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Evan
05-21-2010, 10:44 AM
Seems we are getting a lot closer to creating life in our own image. I wonder where this development might lead?

First functional synthetic bacterial genome announced
By John Timmer

Craig Venter, who has been a prominent figure in genome research, has been using Science magazine as a host for updates on his latest project: building a bacterium that runs off a genome engineered for specific tasks. As of early 2008, his research group had managed to assemble the entire genome of a small bacterium in a yeast cell, starting with nothing but mail-order DNA.


http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/05/first-functional-synthetic-bacterial-genome-announced.ars



Ultimately, this is just another step on the way to a designer genome, one with a specific set of genes that rewire the bacterium's metabolism to produce a specific biomolecule, digest a toxin, or something of that nature.

This is one of those 2 edged knives. I see great potential for good and bad. Which one outweighs the other?

John Stevenson
05-21-2010, 10:45 AM
Seems we are getting a lot closer to creating life in our own image. I wonder where this development might lead?



Airsmith with a built in spell checker ?

.

Ken_Shea
05-21-2010, 10:49 AM
John Stevenson with out a big mouth?

John Stevenson
05-21-2010, 10:51 AM
John Stevenson with out a big mouth?

Never said a word.............

gwilson
05-21-2010, 10:53 AM
Could This Lead To A Germ That We Have No Resistance To?

Tony Ennis
05-21-2010, 10:54 AM
Right now you know someone in some government (or all of them) is asking, "How can we weaponize this?"

...and that's why I hate this kind of research.

dp
05-21-2010, 11:09 AM
I hope when they create the carbon-eating germ that it knows the difference between an oil slick and a school bus full of kids.

And that all it's subsequent generations retain that useful knowledge.

rotate
05-21-2010, 11:17 AM
The scary thing is that the equipment used to do this sort of bio-engineering is becoming cheaper and cheaper. They are already talking about open-source bacteria. This is something much more dangerous and powerful than nuclear weapon in that it can be done in someone's basement with equipment which isn't controlled by the government.

Bio-technology will be the defining technology for 21st century. Too bad that I won't be around for most of it...sigh.

lynnl
05-21-2010, 11:18 AM
It doesn't matter. We're all doomed anyway.

I've been watching a lot of TV programs about the universe, from Stephen Hawking and his ilk. If an astroid doesn't get us soon a black hole will.

The more I learn, the less I want to know.

radkins
05-21-2010, 12:30 PM
Too bad that I won't be around for most of it...sigh.



I was feeling the same way but sometimes I feel like it just might be a blessing instead of a disappointment!



Edit: I mistakenly sent that reply before I was ready and it could have been taken wrong, I hope no one was offended.

vpt
05-21-2010, 12:59 PM
I will take one tall hot blonde please.

Weston Bye
05-21-2010, 04:12 PM
... starting with nothing but mail-order DNA.

Impressive enough, I guess, but when they can do the same starting from nothing (organic, that is), well then they can play at being god.

Evan
05-21-2010, 04:22 PM
How about an army of Arnie's in his prime? That is where the biggest ethical dilemma lies. Should we permit research into gene modification in humans that allows the birth of children without horrible mutations caused by genetic damage such as the Thalidomide debacle? What is the next step? Hair and eye colour is easy. How about increasing the number of telomeres on the DNA? That might allow humans to live several hundred years (see Hayflick Limit). Where do we draw a line?

Evan
05-21-2010, 04:27 PM
Impressive enough, I guess, but when they can do the same starting from nothing (organic, that is), well then they can play at being god.


DNA is trivial to make. The breakthrough here is being able to create independent from a living organism a sequence over 1 million base units long that actually works as a program for a dead cell. The cell is dead because it has had it's own DNA removed and without that it cannot do anything that constitutes the mechanisms of life.

johnhurd
05-21-2010, 04:28 PM
Where do we draw a line?

We don't we are not privy to the strings...............drink the koolaid.:mad:

macona
05-21-2010, 04:35 PM
Cylons! (The cute kind)

Evan
05-21-2010, 04:40 PM
We cannot ignore this technology. It is already here.

This is a DNA Baser aka Sequencer. It is the ultimate CNC machine. It isn't particularly expensive although the learning curve is steep. This is a market product that isn't regulated. Anybody may buy one. I wonder what sort of black market will exist soon, if it doesn't already?

http://ixian.ca/pics7/dnabaser.jpg

macona
05-21-2010, 04:43 PM
Maybe I could get a job making custom eyes like in Blade Runner. Dont know if I could take the cold room though.

dp
05-21-2010, 05:04 PM
DNA is trivial to make. The breakthrough here is being able to create independent from a living organism a sequence over 1 million base units long that actually works as a program for a dead cell. The cell is dead because it has had it's own DNA removed and without that it cannot do anything that constitutes the mechanisms of life.

Or a subset is available but unreproducible - like a virus - until it makes a connection with another cell. It will be interesting to see what happens to these mutant lab toys when they start mixing and matching DNA segments with other opportunistic cells like rhinoviruses.

lazlo
05-21-2010, 05:17 PM
Right now you know someone in some government (or all of them) is asking, "How can we weaponize this?"

My fiancee in college was a promising post-doctoral biochemist (geneticist) at Johns Hopkins, and she was hounded by the Fort Detrick bio warfare labs (a.k.a. the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases).

You can bet Fort Detrick, the National Labs, and the Army/Navy/Air Force Research Labs have been working on exactly that for decades. The Russians and the Chinese have also been pursuing designer bio-warfare, and the Russians have particularly good geneticists.

jugs
05-21-2010, 05:46 PM
How about an army of Arnie's in his prime? That is where the biggest ethical dilemma lies. Should we permit research into gene modification in humans that allows the birth of children without horrible mutations caused by genetic damage such as the Thalidomide debacle? What is the next step? Hair and eye colour is easy. How about increasing the number of telomeres on the DNA? That might allow humans to live several hundred years (see Hayflick Limit). Where do we draw a line?

Where are they all going to go ? there are too many now chasing dwindling resources !! perhaps we need a prolonged biological war to wipe the slate clean !! :eek:

The meek ( viruses & bacteria) may well inherit the earth.

brian Rupnow
05-21-2010, 07:16 PM
How many of you have read "The Stand" by Stephen King? End of the world scenario with something very similar. Can you say "Captain Trips"?-----Very scary stuff!!!!----Brian

Evan
05-21-2010, 07:24 PM
Where are they all going to go ? there are too many now chasing dwindling resources !!

That has never been a problem for the rich and unfamous or for the tyrants of the world. Also, being able to live a very long life does not insure you will, even with "perfect" genes.

airsmith282
05-21-2010, 07:35 PM
Airsmith with a built in spell checker ?

.


spelling is not a prerequeset for making 150.00 and hour ,

jugs
05-21-2010, 07:41 PM
spelling is not a prerequeset for making 150.00 and hour ,

It is if you are forging banknotes :)

airsmith282
05-21-2010, 07:48 PM
It is if you are forging banknotes :)

then i guess its a good thing i auctually work for a living then

Weston Bye
05-21-2010, 09:16 PM
...being able to live a very long life does not insure you will, even with "perfect" genes.

Indeed, in a world competing for resources, it would seem that achieving death from "natural causes" would be less likely. Instead, higher odds of some sort of violent end...

Richard-TX
05-21-2010, 11:02 PM
How about an army of Arnie's in his prime? That is where the biggest ethical dilemma lies. Should we permit research into gene modification in humans that allows the birth of children without horrible mutations caused by genetic damage such as the Thalidomide debacle? What is the next step? Hair and eye colour is easy. How about increasing the number of telomeres on the DNA? That might allow humans to live several hundred years (see Hayflick Limit). Where do we draw a line?

The issue isn't that we might create some designer babies, but in that we may create a bacteria that easily mutates into the "Doomsday Bug". Imagine a bacteriium so deadly and resistant to drugs that it wipes out some class of insect or animal necessary for all life on this planet. Imagine if the oceans were suddenly huge dead zones.

dp
05-21-2010, 11:50 PM
Like killer bees that make honey to die for.

Evan
05-21-2010, 11:57 PM
I don't think that is a likely accidental scenario. To be able to create an artificial genome requires a very complete understanding of how it works in every detail. Even if there was an attempt to creat such a superbug intentionally there are natural mechanisms and circumstances that will tend to prevent such a disaster.

A plague could be created with devasating consequences, I am quite sure of that. But to wipe out all life in a biome would run into the problem of how to infect all individuals of every species even when the numbers are low. At some point the chain of infection breaks as the remaining numbers are too thinly spread to support further transmission. Also, the worst biological killers are generally very poor at spreading as they kill the host before it has a chance to spread the disease. The Ebola Hemmoragic Fever virus is a case in point. It kills within hours and that is why there are not Ebola pandemics.

If a pathological bacterium is created that doesn't kill quickly the immune system has time to mount a defence. The game of measures and countermeasures has been played out for millions of years. While we may be able to improve the deadliness of some types of infectants I doubt we could make something that is capable of eliminating all life. If that were possible then we wouldn't be here corresponding.

dp
05-22-2010, 12:14 AM
A good germ wouldn't have to kill us - it only has to eat or spoil all our food as happened with the fungus that killed off the Gros Michel banana and which may ultimately take out the Cavendish banana. Because we have such heavy reliance on just a few crops, we're rather vulnerable to a generalist pest that likes what we like.

A.K. Boomer
05-22-2010, 07:34 AM
Never said a word.............


How about "I'll just get me coat now":p



Evan - you ask if this is going to be an overall good thing or a bad thing,
personally the more I hang around the planet the more I believe that mankind is spiraling out of control with his technology - it will "fix" one problem and create ten more.

We really do need to get our heads out of the pine needles and step back to take a look at the tree's,
For most answer's to the future look to the past, Yes maybe we could design and produce a super species that consumes oil like a pig and that sounds great about right now (till it goes anaerobic and gets into the underground oil reserves:eek: ) but it's also going to be coupled with hundreds if not thousands of mis-uses.
As far as it helping out mankind and all of his ailments - not going to happen, Trust me on this one -- im the final word on this, that's going to be an ongoing situation that does nothing but get worse and worse.
Until people finally put it together that all it takes to avoid just about everything is to practice biologically correct eating/living habits then anything and everything we do is futile, granted - outright miracles in patchwork - but patchwork just the same, Why? because if you don't address the root cause then all you will ever end up really doing is chasing your tail... And we have become experts at that.

Really not impressed, don't care how far we take anything anymore, Im seeing mankind as both the most intelligent and yet stupid species ever to occupy the globe - but stupid wins out by a long shot...

andy_b
05-22-2010, 11:13 AM
How many of you have read "The Stand" by Stephen King? End of the world scenario with something very similar. Can you say "Captain Trips"?-----Very scary stuff!!!!----Brian

Weren't "Omega Man", "I Am Legend" and "Children of Men" also based on a runaway "helpful" virus?



I don't think that is a likely accidental scenario. To be able to create an artificial genome requires a very complete understanding of how it works in every detail. Even if there was an attempt to creat such a superbug intentionally there are natural mechanisms and circumstances that will tend to prevent such a disaster.


If what I heard about this artificial life was correct, they had no idea what they were making. They supposedly generated all kinds of gene sequences, some based on passages from famous novels. They just matched up the letters in the passages to the available letters representing the four DNA chemicals. There are always those shows on TV about hidden messages in the Bible. Wouldn't it be funny if they use a Bible passage to generate a genetic sequence and that turns out to be the one to do us in? Maybe this is what will happen in 2012?

andy b.

Evan
05-22-2010, 11:52 AM
If what I heard about this artificial life was correct, they had no idea what they were making. They supposedly generated all kinds of gene sequences, some based on passages from famous novels. They just matched up the letters in the passages to the available letters representing the four DNA chemicals.

Complete utter bull sheet. Sound like some factions that may feel very threatened by this development are on a campaign to discredit this work.

The full article from Science Magazine is available for free here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/science.1190719v1.pdf

A.K. Boomer
05-22-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes that's bull, you don't throw in a bunch of random codes and then end up not only with something that actually is alive - but also replicates...

aostling
05-22-2010, 12:52 PM
you don't throw in a bunch of random codes and then end up not only with something that actually is alive - but also replicates...

The ability to reproduce is a necessary attribute of "being alive." As an artificial bacteria, the new life form presumably replicates by cell division. Has it started doing this yet?

dp
05-22-2010, 02:11 PM
According to the original article:


The new cells have expected phenotypic properties and are capable of continuous self-replication.

They didn't offer if it had any natural enemies.

Your Old Dog
05-22-2010, 02:59 PM
How about an army of Arnie's in his prime? That is where the biggest ethical dilemma lies.

That's always been my biggest fear. It will start as designing a soldier to protect us and move onto to designer employees for the work place. Our ordinary great grandchildren won't stand a turds chance in a flood to get work over designer humans. This can't end anywhere good. The days coming when we'll all live for 200 years and then see whose going to pay for our social security :D

Your Old Dog
05-22-2010, 03:05 PM
......................................
Really not impressed, don't care how far we take anything anymore, Im seeing mankind as both the most intelligent and yet stupid species ever to occupy the globe - but stupid wins out by a long shot...

Well it may be true that cockroaches will out live all of us and be the last one standing, I'm not so sure they are sophisticated enough life form to enjoy a good piece of tail like we humans do.

andy_b
05-22-2010, 06:35 PM
Complete utter bull sheet. Sound like some factions that may feel very threatened by this development are on a campaign to discredit this work.

The full article from Science Magazine is available for free here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/science.1190719v1.pdf


Maybe it was the WaterMarks that were being discussed. I didn't read the report thoroughly enough to make out how long the WMs are. If they are only a few proteins long, then they obviously aren't passages from some novel. :)

I didn't realize they just took an existing genome and attempted to build a copy themselves from scratch. I thought they just came up with an entire unique genome. Still pretty amazing that they could pull it off. From what I have read, that could be just as dangerous though since many of the unused portions of DNA are turned OFF by certain gene sequences. Messing with the off button may accidentally turn them back on. In most cases this would just lead to a defective or malformed organism. Who knows though, if enough genes were turned back on in an ostrich, maybe you'd end up with a velociraptor. :)

andy b.

wierdscience
05-22-2010, 06:52 PM
That's always been my biggest fear. It will start as designing a soldier to protect us and move onto to designer employees for the work place. Our ordinary great grandchildren won't stand a turds chance in a flood to get work over designer humans. This can't end anywhere good. The days coming when we'll all live for 200 years and then see whose going to pay for our social security :D

Ever see the movie Gattaca?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/plotsummary

Evan
05-22-2010, 06:56 PM
This new capability makes a reality of what was a very unlikely scenario that I read about quite a few years ago.

A bacterium is designed that is highly infectious and also contains genes that cause extremely rapid death by provoking a huge over reaction of the immune system. The genes responsible for initiating such a cytokine storm are crafted so that they are inhibited by a protein produced by another gene. In turn the inhibitor gene is made to be very sensitive to high energy ionizing radiation.

The bacterium is introduced to the general population a little at a time in city after city. It produces almost no symptoms as it has been designed to present no external foreign protein markers. Some people may experience a slight fever for a few hours at the most. In a few months 90 percent of the population is infected with this bacterium in their intestinal tract. It is benign and causes no difficulty for most. The enemy watches for an increase in mysterious deaths among CAT scan patients. A CAT scan administers a very heavy dose of radiation, equal to around 4000 chest xrays.

Then, three short range theatre class missiles with nuclear warheads are launched from cargo ships standing off shore. They each travel on a trajectory that will clearly not end inside the USA. In fact, they are on a trajectory that will eventually land them in the middle of the ocean. At the apogee of the suborbital path at an altitude of 300 miles the weapons explode, one on the east coast, one on the west and one on the south. They are enhanced radiation weapons and deliver a ground level dose of about 10 millisieverts. This is much more than the dose anybody will receive from most procedures or exposures but isn't nearly enough to cause any harm.

Unless you are infected with the custom bacterium. The radiation disables the inhibitor gene. Without the inhibitor protein the storm genes swing into action and produce a flood of highly sensitizing antigen based on the poison oak family. This is much the same as receiving an injection of pure extract of the oil of poison oak. The fatality rate is 90% within 24 hours. Only those who were underground or in well shielded structures are spared.

Astronowanabe
05-22-2010, 07:01 PM
ya had to post it like you didn't know what would happen ... ;)

pandemics... less likely than vendettatics
(is it miss spelling if you make the word up)

these watermarks are typically just proteins found in a different species
i.e 'GFP' green florescence protein from jelly fish.

so the "watermark" would be the gene inserted to produce the protein
that showed up as blue in the images.

kind of a "kilroy was here"

Deja Vu
05-22-2010, 09:13 PM
I will take one tall hot blonde please.

Yes sir! Coming right up. Would you like that with or without?.....a functioning brain.:D

Evan
05-22-2010, 10:33 PM
Here is an excellent story about the man behind the story who is, among many other things, "... the largest private user of computer power in the world."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2010/may/23/observer-profile-craig-venter

wendtmk
05-23-2010, 08:50 AM
Yes that's bull, you don't throw in a bunch of random codes and then end up not only with something that actually is alive - but also replicates...

According to some theories, isn't that how life supposedly originated from the prehistoric goo?

Mark

A.K. Boomer
05-23-2010, 10:02 AM
According to some theories, isn't that how life supposedly originated from the prehistoric goo?

Mark


I think your talking about "primordial oooz"

And yes -- it's a very viable theory, but it took billions upon billions of different attempts to "hatch" the most simplest of life form,

In laymans terms - for them to randomly get it right it would be like handing them a totally mixed up rubix cube --- blindfolding them - mixing it up more, then having them go through thousands of twists and turns - handing it back to you and its all complete colors,,, now times those odds by a thousand,

It sounds overwhelming --- but when the planet had billions of little "experiments" percolating away all over the place it was just a matter of time before we hit the lottery ------------ and Walla -- here I am:D

(hey - who just threw that tomato?):p

andy_b
05-23-2010, 10:23 PM
According to some theories, isn't that how life supposedly originated from the prehistoric goo?

Mark

So if we created a human with the color eyes we wanted, color hair we wanted, physical features we wanted, and learning capacity we wanted, would it be intelligently designed?

andy b.

Evan
05-24-2010, 12:40 AM
would it be intelligently designed?


That depends on whether you think humans are intelligent or not.

I am noticing that the regular press is beginning to pick up this story. I expect it to become a very hot topic since it is going to force some revisions to various belief systems. Either that or it will become much harder to maintain various fictions such as the "intelligent design" argument. That argument and other similar "explanations" use the trappings of science to try to lend a sense of credibility to what is still nothing more than a belief system. The intelligent design argument and all others that deny the evolutionary principles always can be stripped down to a very simple core. That core is simply stated as "Why?", "Because I believe it is true."

In science the response to questions without answers is "Why?", "I don't know, but that doesn't mean there is no answer." That is the difference between belief and knowledge.

Knowledge has an objective existence independent of the beholder. It doesn't depend on what you believe and isn't subject to conflicting interpretations.

This recent scientific development shows that it doesn't require invoking a supernatural entity to create a living thing. That will prove to be a very threatening outcome to many that believe otherwise.

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 01:09 AM
This recent scientific development shows that it doesn't require invoking a supernatural entity to create a living thing. That will prove to be a very threatening outcome to many that believe otherwise.


Yeah but could they have done it without the "gutted out" empty cell sac,

Also - they had to copy a code, try writing one of your own with no specs from any kind of life form, now the task gets daunting...

the fact of the matter is - is all we can really do is copy cat (right now anyways) and we really can't even do that because we need a gutted out cell to start with.

Evan
05-24-2010, 01:39 AM
They have been making cells complete with functional cell walls for almost 30 years. What has been missing is the DNA.

They didn't just copy code. They revised it, some of it extensively. There is still a long way to go to create a complex lifeform from first principles but that has now become an engineering problem rather than one of discovery.

wendtmk
05-24-2010, 08:19 AM
That depends on whether you think humans are intelligent or not.

I am noticing that the regular press is beginning to pick up this story. I expect it to become a very hot topic since it is going to force some revisions to various belief systems. Either that or it will become much harder to maintain various fictions such as the "intelligent design" argument. That argument and other similar "explanations" use the trappings of science to try to lend a sense of credibility to what is still nothing more than a belief system. The intelligent design argument and all others that deny the evolutionary principles always can be stripped down to a very simple core. That core is simply stated as "Why?", "Because I believe it is true."

I'd say that it adds ammo to the intelligent design argument. If it takes a level of intelligence to be able to manipulate the gene (genome?) to come up with living breathing human beings, rather than some random happenstance such as a lightning bolt causing life to issue forth from the primordial ooze, perhaps science will have to someday admit to a higher intelligence being responsible for life here on this planet. not saying it was God, but simply a higher intelligence than us, creating life here as we know it.

The answer to "Why" then becomes, "Because it couldn't happen any other way."

Mark

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 09:07 AM
then why gut out a human cell and use it as the recipient ?
must be a reason (division?), if your going to claim "synthetic life" form you better start from scratch.

Like an experienced computer programmer who knows the code differences between critical systems operations and simple little "frills" we revised the "frills" part.
We have learned much no doubt - and we will learn allot more no doubt, but most all of our basis will be from whats already here, erase all of that and start from scratch and all we would really have is controlled random experiments that would take forever,

Im not downplaying this - its huge to the point of being scary, it starts with copy catting - and has an evolution of its own - weve already been able to "leap frog" entire species with other species with our manipulative ways,

Eventually we will be able to design a brand new species to whatever specs we like,
who knows, maybe then we can find a planet to "plant" them on and watch them grow, watch them develop religions and create wars over them - kill each other while we sit back and snicker...

Not downplaying the turning point - just trying to put the hillbilly back where he belongs.
The bottom line is the roots of all our synthetic end results will still be based on the good old fashioned stick to your ribs two main ingredients -- and those are the primordial oooz and the heavy hitter called father time...
You can perfect the shortcuts all you want - but the miracle has already been handed to us, This new claim that mankind can create life is both ignorant and arrogant, we can copy life, even if we totally rewrite everything, that's all...
Any monkey can find an alien spaceship - tear it down - copy the specs and then go traveling across the universe - it really speaks nothing of their intelligence -------- try building one of your own.
The fact of that matter is - is that all of our idea's about this originated from the same place we did - a bunch of smelly goop...

lazlo
05-24-2010, 10:19 AM
Any monkey can find an alien spaceship - tear it down - copy the specs and then go traveling across the universe - it really speaks nothing of their intelligence -------- try building one of your own.

It's a matter of technical sophistication, not intelligence. We're no more intelligent than the ancient Greek, but if you handed Archimedes a cell phone, he'd have no idea what it was, or what to do with it.

Heck, you could give a modern CPU or GPU to a brilliant scientist or engineer from 100 years ago, and they would have no hope of reverse engineering it.

Similarly, 100 years from now, we'll have technology that we can't even conceive of now, and probably couldn't reverse-engineer if you gave it to us.

Evan
05-24-2010, 10:24 AM
then why gut out a human cell and use it as the recipient ?
must be a reason (division?), if your going to claim "synthetic life" form you better start from scratch.



Why waste time reinventing the wheel? Everybody including the Nobel Prize Comittee knows he could make a lousy cell membrane with both frontal lobes tied behind his back.


Like an experienced computer programmer who knows the code differences between critical systems operations and simple little "frills" we revised the "frills" part.


Are you quoting somebody or just making this up? All it takes is one bad bit and the code doesn't run. That was one of the problems they had, a single assembly error in over 1 million base pairs caused the DNA to be non functional. That was definitely NOT a "frill".

They aren't "copy catting". That is what has been done for quite some time now. They call it Gene Splicing. This isn't Gene Splicing.

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 10:46 AM
All im saying is take a look back - there's a rock back there from where we crawled out from under, and don't ever forget it.
Like i stated earlier with this - mankind's recent "track record" has proven that with every problem we try to solve within by-passing simple biological rules - we create about ten more,
Species need to evolve gradually into the environment in which they were created, mess with that and your asking for troubles yet to be predicted --- You can't fool mutha nature -- she'll spank the dawg crap out of you every single time... she's relentless - she never tires - and she always wins...

Not only that, she holds the almighty trump card -- she's hooked up with father time,

It is within our very haste that we fail miserably to see just how important this is.

Evan
05-24-2010, 11:32 AM
The answer to "Why" then becomes, "Because it couldn't happen any other way."


That amounts to just saying "Because". There is no reason to think that it couldn't happen by self assembly from freely available chemicals in the ooze.

There is one very big mistake made on both sides of the argument. The assumption has usually been that the evolution of life is the result of the eventual random accident finally producing something that is "alive" and capable of reproducing and differentiating.

The mistake is in assuming that the first step is accidental and the result of an unlikely random event. I don't think that is reasonable. There is plenty of evidence for natural self assembly of chemicals into complex orderly forms driven by energy inputs from the earth or the sun. Entropy can be reversed on a local scale by energy input. One of the things that makes DNA unique is that it will not assemble into random groups of molecules. It always makes a spiral molecule and only certain base pairs can follow others.

This is very important because it is the type of behaviour that self assembler molecules exhibit. What it argues is that the evolution of life was not random but instead was inevitable and not due to an unlikely chance happening. Certain type of molecules will always follow from certain types of reactions just as burning carbon always forms CO or CO2. The chemicals that make up DNA are common and if you toss a bunch in a pot they will begin to match up in an orderly way because they can't do otherwise. There are natural rules that govern how elements may combine to form molecules and DNA is no exception.

This should be no surprise. We live in a universe that provides the precise conditions required for this to happen. If it didn't we wouldn't be here to observe it. It follows that if the conditions are precisely those needed to support life then the evolution of life isn't unlikely but is instead inevitable.

dp
05-24-2010, 12:01 PM
That amounts to just saying "Because". There is no reason to think that it couldn't happen by self assembly from freely available chemicals in the ooze.

The mistake is in assuming that the first step is accidental and the result of an unlikely random event.

What it argues is that the evolution of life was not random but instead was inevitable and not due to an unlikely chance happening.

We live in a universe that provides the precise conditions required for this to happen.

It follows that if the conditions are precisely those needed to support life then the evolution of life isn't unlikely but is instead inevitable.

Selective snipping above, but what you are saying is not inconsistent with intelligent design. I don't believe in ID, but if it existed, your description would be represented.

In fact, all that you describe is an accident of this universe - or at least our part of it. It didn't have to turn out this way. I agree with the inevitability of it, though. Given what we have for a universe, the building blocks necessary for life are a given. All that is needed is a nurturing local environment.

The questions I'd like to see answered is why does energy exist, and if it did not always exist, where did it come from, and since it does exist, why does it still exist? Are there forms of energy that cannot make the matter/energy phase change? That implies the potential for universes without matter.

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 12:17 PM
but if you handed Archimedes a cell phone, he'd have no idea what it was, or what to do with it.




Yeah - but pass them out to all his buddies and give them a few towers and see what happens,,, think we'd have the electronic age a little earlier than we did?
Cell phones are actually a great example due to the communication factor,
something tells me those blokes wouldn't be talking about finger nail polish...

Deja Vu
05-24-2010, 01:09 PM
You can perfect the shortcuts all you want - but the miracle has already been handed to us, This new claim that mankind can create life is both ignorant and arrogant, we can copy life, even if we totally rewrite everything, that's all...

This may be why everything we do is called..."re search"

Evan
05-24-2010, 02:02 PM
Selective snipping above, but what you are saying is not inconsistent with intelligent design. I don't believe in ID, but if it existed, your description would be represented.


Only to the extent that it could be consistent with the origin of the universe being the result of a supernatural being and it's "intelligent design". That can only be a matter of belief since what may have been before this universe is forever hidden from us. Science cannot answer your questions with fact, nor can anyone else. To postulate the existence of anything before this universe is pure speculation without the possibility of proof. If anything did exist it is outside the World Line (http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/gr1.html) of this universe.

mayfieldtm
05-24-2010, 02:54 PM
ID !!

Whoever designed my Prostrate was one Royal Dumb A$$!

Tom M.

dp
05-24-2010, 03:06 PM
ID !!

Whoever designed my Prostrate was one Royal Dumb A$$!

Tom M.

No chit! I'd like them to take another walk-thru on the lumbar idea. How did that go into production? :)

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 03:47 PM
Stop blaming the "parts" guys, the parts are fine otherwise we wouldn't be here,
It's mostly what your feeding them and therefore the environment that you put them in...

lazlo
05-24-2010, 03:56 PM
I'd like them to take another walk-thru on the lumbar idea. How did that go into production? :)

'Cause we used to walk on all-fours -- some even still do ;) That's why we have vestigial tails during gestation. Not sure why the Intelligent Designer threw that in :p

vpt
05-24-2010, 04:05 PM
I wonder if they can make a bird big enough to carry a bighorn sheep?

lazlo
05-24-2010, 04:29 PM
I wonder if they can make a bird big enough to carry a bighorn sheep?

LOL -- good one!!! :)

Evan
05-24-2010, 04:32 PM
I am sure they can make smaller sheep, so the answer is yes.

lazlo
05-24-2010, 06:08 PM
This is Craig Venter's TED talk about the synthetic life form. They encoded the names of 46 staff members, a web address, and 3 quotes in the DNA :)

http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

dp
05-24-2010, 06:41 PM
This is Craig Venter's TED talk about the synthetic life form. They encoded the names of 46 staff members, a web address, and 3 quotes in the DNA :)

http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

Mmmmhmmm - a vegetable soup. Campbell has already done that.

aostling
05-24-2010, 08:10 PM
This is Craig Venter's TED talk about the synthetic life form. They encoded the names of 46 staff members, a web address, and 3 quotes in the DNA :)


I like the embedded quote from Feynman: "What I cannot build, I cannot understand."

This inclusion of watermarks in the artificial genome reminds me of that advanced civilization in Contact -- it had control of the digits of pi, and encoded images in matrices specified by a sequence of digits starting millions of places to the right of the decimal point. I wonder how many words (or images) could be encoded in an artificial bacteria?

Evan
05-24-2010, 08:34 PM
Escherichia Coli K12 has about 10 percent junk DNA out of 4.5 million base pairs. That DNA doesn't code for proteins and can be altered without major side effects. It might not reproduce reliably though but if that can be overcome then that would give about 500k worth of data storage. That is enough for a novel or a very good quality high resolution jpeg image. Jpegs are very resistant to scrambling by random errors and would be a good choice for data encoding in DNA.

BTW, the human genome is 90 percent junk DNA. It is thought that among other jobs this DNA provides protection against mutation by simply being a bigger target for anything that damages DNA, aka "cannon fodder".

A.K. Boomer
05-24-2010, 10:30 PM
Good stuff you guys, someone bumps a jar and the information of someone's life work goes down the toilet.:p

Astronowanabe
05-25-2010, 02:45 AM
BTW, the human genome is 90 percent junk DNA. It is thought that among other jobs this DNA provides protection against mutation by simply being a bigger target for anything that damages DNA, aka "cannon fodder".

about 8% of our genome is actually virus genome,
that's right, lowly viruses have been using us as a long term mass storage device for eons :D

Astronowanabe
05-25-2010, 02:59 AM
Escherichia Coli K12 has about 10 percent junk DNA out of 4.5 million base pairs. That DNA doesn't code for proteins and can be altered without major side effects.


to a point.
the term "junk" was chosen unfortunately early on but also very specifically
it was unfortunate because "junk" has negative connotations and infers easily dismissed.

but the term "junk" was intended to differentiate it from "GARBAGE" in that
(as some of us know too well) garbage you get rid of (hopefully),
but "junk" you keep around.
This 90% of our genomes is kept around but for the most part we do not have a good understanding of why. epigenomics is starting to crack that nut but there is still quite a ways to go.

Evan
05-25-2010, 07:03 AM
This 90% of our genomes is kept around but for the most part we do not have a good understanding of why. epigenomics is starting to crack that nut but there is still quite a ways to go.

We can be certain of one thing. It is there for a good reason. The presence of viral RNA segments reinforces the idea that it provides a "fake" target of opportunity for anything that might alter DNA. Bacteria have far less jumk DNA because it takes up too much space. This also makes it much easier for bacteria to swap DNA segments in a manner that may enhance survival by conferring resistance to toxins such as antibiotics.

My favorite quote from Richard Feynman:

"Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. "

madman
05-25-2010, 07:42 AM
Would this be like the BLOB in that old Movie??

Evan
05-25-2010, 08:16 AM
On a slightly reduced scale I guess you could say that Mike. :D

Guess who the star was?

http://ixian.ca/pics7/blob.jpg

A.K. Boomer
05-25-2010, 08:24 AM
about 8% of our genome is actually virus genome,
that's right, lowly viruses have been using us as a long term mass storage device for eons :D



Yes but not so fast - have they been using us? or have we been using them?

We still don't know if there dead or alive, weve never witnessed viruses replicating - you can't "grow them" in a petri dish - they get gobbled up by a white blood cell and then that cell explodes (as white blood cells do when they shell out) and walla, more viruses -- but tens of thousands already exist within a so called healthy cell - So we don't get sick from them - And in fact Viruses are incapable of doing us any direct harm - unlike bacteria that can do anything from chew on tissue to poison us, viruses have no "teeth" they hold no toxins - hell - they don't even have a metabolism - their just little organized chunks of organic matter, dead bits of DNA in a protein lipid membrane coating, what makes us sick is our body's immune reaction to them, When you "catch" a cold or the flue your doing nothing more than experiencing the power of your own immune system attacking/purging itself, different viruses produce different immune response results...

The big bad wolf theory:

Actually it is Louis Pasteur and his predecessor Dr. M.A. Plenciz who we can credit for much of the misery and sickness in the modern world of medicine today --- their theory's that germs cause disease triggered the immediate knee jerk reaction of kill the germ. What this did was spread the notion that if we heated all of our food before we ate it we would have no illness,
A diet of enzyme exempt food however - dead lifeless mush - is what has made our bodies not only weak but extremely toxic.
The fact of the matter is - is that our bodies actually try to use some germs as a last stitch effort to purge toxins from our systems,
Body's that are already overburdened with waste material and toxins are susceptible to disease.
This is proven as a body kept in pure form resists most illnesses, (Louis Pasteur even admitted this on his death bed and stated that his initial theory was incorrect)
For this reason the word "contagion" has to be used with extreme caution,
if certain bodies are able to resist while others are not the emphasis should be on the difference between the two. You cannot effectively use the word "contagion" if its not really contagious to all...
Just because one body provides the proper "soil" to accept "germs" from another contaminated host only proves that germs trigger responses and or thrive in a contaminated environment and therefore easily cross these barriers...

This isn't some kind of free pass to eat a piece of lettuce and then go around licking all the toilet seats in public restrooms while saying nah-nah na nah na...
The Germ theory is important - but more important and way more practical is keeping the system clean/strong and healthy.
One should take external precautions with the highest emphasis on internal personal environment.

What we've done is adopted the germ theory and abolished anything else - germs are bad, kill them all esp. in the food we eat - the reality of the situation is no matter how clean an external environment you keep you still have to live with them internally.

wendtmk
05-25-2010, 10:14 AM
That amounts to just saying "Because". There is no reason to think that it couldn't happen by self assembly from freely available chemicals in the ooze.
Not necessarily. Occam's razor. Just because you here thousands of hoof beats in Virginia, doesn't necessarily mean you're hearing an approaching herd of zebras.

[qoute=Evan]There is one very big mistake made on both sides of the argument. The assumption has usually been that the evolution of life is the result of the eventual random accident finally producing something that is "alive" and capable of reproducing and differentiating.[/quote]

If you stop right there, if it's not accidental, it was created on or for a purpose.


The mistake is in assuming that the first step is accidental and the result of an unlikely random event. I don't think that is reasonable. There is plenty of evidence for natural self assembly of chemicals into complex orderly forms driven by energy inputs from the earth or the sun. Entropy can be reversed on a local scale by energy input. One of the things that makes DNA unique is that it will not assemble into random groups of molecules. It always makes a spiral molecule and only certain base pairs can follow others.

This is very important because it is the type of behaviour that self assembler molecules exhibit. What it argues is that the evolution of life was not random but instead was inevitable and not due to an unlikely chance happening. Certain type of molecules will always follow from certain types of reactions just as burning carbon always forms CO or CO2. The chemicals that make up DNA are common and if you toss a bunch in a pot they will begin to match up in an orderly way because they can't do otherwise. There are natural rules that govern how elements may combine to form molecules and DNA is no exception.
Ah, but if you throw those chemicals that make up DNA into a pot, how often would they resolve themselves into a strand of active DNA? If they don't, why not? And what would it take to make those chemicals form into an active strand of DNA?


This should be no surprise. We live in a universe that provides the precise conditions required for this to happen. If it didn't we wouldn't be here to observe it. It follows that if the conditions are precisely those needed to support life then the evolution of life isn't unlikely but is instead inevitable.
Does the universe actually provide the precise conditions to create life? That hasn't been definitively proven yet. The universe that can provide the conditions to support life doesn't necessarily mean that same universe can create life. A+B does not always equal C.

Mark

wendtmk
05-25-2010, 10:17 AM
Only to the extent that it could be consistent with the origin of the universe being the result of a supernatural being and it's "intelligent design". That can only be a matter of belief since what may have been before this universe is forever hidden from us. Science cannot answer your questions with fact, nor can anyone else. To postulate the existence of anything before this universe is pure speculation without the possibility of proof. If anything did exist it is outside the World Line (http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/gr1.html) of this universe.

To postulate anything else at this point in time is pure speculation also. To this point in time, we have no definitive proof for any of the theories being bounced around today about the origin of the universe and the origin of life.

Mark

Evan
05-25-2010, 10:41 AM
We still don't know if there dead or alive, weve never witnessed viruses replicating - you can't "grow them" in a petri dish - they get gobbled up by a white blood cell and then that cell explodes (as white blood cells do when they shell out) and walla, more viruses -- but tens of thousands already exist within a so called healthy cell - So we don't get sick from them - And in fact Viruses are incapable of doing us any direct harm - unlike bacteria that can do anything from chew on tissue to poison us, viruses have no "teeth" they hold no toxins - hell - they don't even have a metabolism - their just little organized chunks of organic matter, dead bits of DNA in a protein lipid membrane coating, what makes us sick is our body's immune reaction to them, When you "catch" a cold or the flue your doing nothing more than experiencing the power of your own immune system attacking/purging itself, different viruses produce different immune response results...


You have some facts wrong there Boomer.
A virus attacks cells directly. It will enter the cell and commandeer the replication system in order to make more virions, They also "steal" the proteins and lipids they need from the cell wall. This directly kills the cell as it is literally consumed to makes new virions. It isn't just leucocytes that are involved, many cell types may be attacked. When cell death occurs that releases toxins that make you feel ill and may harm other cells in turn.

The vast majority of viruses use RNA instead of DNA. Only relatively few use DNA. It also isn't a matter of never having seen them replicate. They cannot replicate as they do not contain the biological machinery to do so. In fact, many viruses can be crystalized in the same manner as other organic materials.

Organic by the way does not contain the implication that something is alive or even derived from something living. The term "organic" simply means that the chemical in question contains carbon. Not all carbon compounds are organic but all organic compounds contain carbon.

Viruses are also an excellent argument for the validity of the theory of evolution. Viruses must have evolved after cells because they are parasites of cells and could not have preceded them since they are dependent on cells for replication. While the vast majority of viruses are harmless this is only because of the excellent defensive mechanisms that cells have to avoid viral damage and to defeat viral replication, junk DNA being a prime example.

Deja Vu
05-25-2010, 10:41 AM
To postulate anything else at this point in time is pure speculation also. To this point in time, we have no definitive proof for any of the theories being bounced around today about the origin of the universe and the origin of life.

Mark

Well, then I guess we'll just have to keep re searching for those past known answers. The previous universe perhaps left some artifacts from which our present universe is affected by.

Evan
05-25-2010, 10:45 AM
To this point in time, we have no definitive proof for any of the theories being bounced around today about the origin of the universe and the origin of life.


The origin of the universe and the origin of life are independent and unrelated events. One does not have implications for the other. This is a mistaken notion that I see put forth all the time. We are perfectly capable of answering questions about the origin of life without being able to answer questions about the origin of the universe.

A.K. Boomer
05-25-2010, 01:34 PM
You have some facts wrong there Boomer.
A virus attacks cells directly. It will enter the cell and commandeer the replication system in order to make more virions, They also "steal" the proteins and lipids they need from the cell wall. This directly kills the cell as it is literally consumed to makes new virions. It isn't just leucocytes that are involved, many cell types may be attacked. When cell death occurs that releases toxins that make you feel ill and may harm other cells in turn.

The vast majority of viruses use RNA instead of DNA. Only relatively few use DNA. It also isn't a matter of never having seen them replicate. They cannot replicate as they do not contain the biological machinery to do so. In fact, many viruses can be crystalized in the same manner as other organic materials.

Organic by the way does not contain the implication that something is alive or even derived from something living. The term "organic" simply means that the chemical in question contains carbon. Not all carbon compounds are organic but all organic compounds contain carbon.

Viruses are also an excellent argument for the validity of the theory of evolution. Viruses must have evolved after cells because they are parasites of cells and could not have preceded them since they are dependent on cells for replication. While the vast majority of viruses are harmless this is only because of the excellent defensive mechanisms that cells have to avoid viral damage and to defeat viral replication, junk DNA being a prime example.


Actually were both correct if the statement includes "depends on the virus"

My main point to all this is how we (mankind) overreact to situations even in the event of a brilliant (for its time) discovery ---- the reaction was OMG there's things called GERMS !!! Vee Must Killlts zem Vee must killts zem all!
So with absolutely zero respect for what got us here in the first place (mostly raw food) We do a 180 turn about with being in tune to biologically correct living and immediately terminate any life in the food before we eat it!

In the process we make the body very susceptible to disease due to it not only not having what it evolved into needing but also the new toxic load from all this material that it doesn't have a clue as to what to do with.

Like I stayed earlier - mankinds track record is to find one "problem" and create ten more by trying to solve it, in this case the ratio is more like a million to 1 as you cannot take a biological system that has designed itself to run on one thing and make it use something that no longer resembles what its been using, were not talking apples and oranges here --- were talking total life and total death.

The "news flash" is that from now back to great great great grandma that this isn't even a drop in the bucket of the history of time of what got us here, Yet we take it as "gospel"
We are so far off the mark it is sickening (literally)
We are totally in a tail chasing mode - yet all that is really needed is to take a deep breath and a couple steps backwards, but we will never do it - because we think the answer lies in the future technologies.
The only real answer in getting a hold of our future is to step back into the past, its sooo freaking simple, its sooo easy to see where we went wrong --------- yet we continue to heap disease on top of disease a thousand fold more than any other species - but don't worry - their working on a pill for that...

Mankind has been missing the big picture for quite sometime now, and will continue to do so...
If we never take the time to figure out this and a couple other simple biological facts of what got us here then everything we do is a gigantic compromise - if we never get this right we will continue to get everything wrong.

Tony Ennis
05-25-2010, 01:59 PM
The previous universe perhaps left some artifacts from which our present universe is affected by.

It isn't possible to know if there was a previous universe according to Hawking.

jugs
05-25-2010, 05:51 PM
Young Paddy bought a donkey from a farmer for £100. The farmer agreed to
deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, 'Sorry son, but I have some bad news.

The donkey's died.'

Paddy replied, 'Well then just give me my money back.'

The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I've already spent it.'

Paddy said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'

The farmer asked, 'What are you going to do with him?'

Paddy said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'

The farmer said, 'You can't raffle a dead donkey!'

Paddy said, 'Sure I can. Watch me..

I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Paddy and asked, 'What happened with
that dead donkey?'

Paddy said, 'I raffled him off.

I sold 500 tickets at two pounds a piece and made a profit of £898'

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'

Paddy said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two pounds back.'

Paddy now works for the Royal Bank of Scotland

:D

John Stevenson
05-25-2010, 06:25 PM
spelling is not a prerequeset for making 150.00 and hour ,

You have spelt 'prerequisite' and 'an' wrong :rolleyes:

.

beanbag
05-25-2010, 06:39 PM
and the Russians have particularly good geneticists.

I know this is a little late for this joke, but:

What are they gonna do, make mutant killer pea plants?!?!?

Edit: dammit, got Mendel confused with Mendeleev :o

jugs
05-25-2010, 07:11 PM
and the Russians have particularly good geneticists.


As can be seen in their latest export drive @

http://www.russianbrides.com/

They come fully inflated
.

Evan
05-25-2010, 07:17 PM
and the Russians have particularly good geneticists.

Sure, founded on the rock solid theories of Lamarck...

Teenage_Machinist
05-25-2010, 07:23 PM
That was a long time ago. And may have been related to screwed-up stalinism.

I am glad that this has happened. I do not expect the great redesigning of humanity to come within my lifetime, but it might.

We may eventually be able to get rid of mortality, radiation sucseptablility, racism, tendancy to prejudge, and the requirement for large amounts of organic chemical food... Within the next few thousand years. The Early Nuclear Age is a cool time to live in.



To postulate anything else at this point in time is pure speculation also. To this point in time, we have no definitive proof for any of the theories being bounced around today about the origin of the universe and the origin of life.

In science we do not prove. We have a pretty clear general idea of the origin of life (when organic chemical soup gets complex enough, some things just line up and make cells), and the origin of the universe, I believe that the general idea is that it has always existed and the Big Bang was simply a spontaneous transition from an oddly unstable utter void called "false vacuum"to the current laws of physics
and so on.





This is a DNA Baser aka Sequencer. It is the ultimate CNC machine. It isn't particularly expensive although the learning curve is steep. This is a market product that isn't regulated. Anybody may buy one. I wonder what sort of black market will exist soon, if it doesn't already?

I heard a talk about this sort of thing. They are licensed, although it is not hard at all to obtain. Sucsessful creation of something really deadly would be tough. The vast majority of terrorist attacks have been uberfails including the recent one.

as far as immortality causing loss of resources, I would like to remind you that the universe is of infinite size, and contains an infinite number of stars.

Weston Bye
05-25-2010, 07:56 PM
...I would like to remind you that the universe is of infinite size, and contains an infinite number of stars.

...and the best we've done is leave a few footprints on the Moon and noble space junk on Mars. [edit to add: And a fleet of space busses just capable of reaching the orbiting collection of garbage cans (ISS) ] Society has degenerated since then - no more adventurers. Even the most courageous have been overwhelmed by bean counters, safety police, tree huggers and paper pushers. Today, it would take twice as long to duplicate our first primitive placement of a Man on the Moon. We have forgotten how, and have no motivation.

Evan
05-25-2010, 09:20 PM
Today, it would take twice as long to duplicate our first primitive placement of a Man on the Moon

I think you are being much too optimistic. I doubt we can do it at all. The will isn't there. Ever since the original manned space program was cancelled when they cut off funding for the X-20 I have been totally disappointed and even disgusted with the US space program. The biggest fiasco of all is the Space Shuttle which was designed to accommodate a KH-11 spy satellite under financial blackmail from DoD. If it had been designed to about half the size as was the original intent it would have had a chance of meeting it's design goals. That of course doesn't take into account that Rockwell used the cost plus STS program as a dumping ground for all of it's cost overruns for many years. Nobody actually knows how much the Shuttle program cost.

lazlo
05-25-2010, 10:48 PM
Sure, founded on the rock solid theories of Lamarck...

Lysenko was influential more than a half century ago -- during the Lenin/Stalin years. We ended up with Stanley Pons -- let's call it even :rolleyes:

lazlo
05-25-2010, 11:05 PM
Today, it would take twice as long to duplicate our first primitive placement of a Man on the Moon. We have forgotten how, and have no motivation.

That's quaint and popular, but bullsh!t. There's more compute power in a dime-store calculator than the Apollo Guidance Computer. Aerospace design and engineering, like every other field, has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 41 years. Likewise for electrical engineering (including control systems), materials, propulsion systems, fluidics, chemistry, ...

The Mercury/Gemini/Apollo mission series was a Manhattan Project to build missiles and guidance systems for ICBM's during the height of the Cold War. Mercury used the Atlas ICBM, Gemini used the Titan II ICBM developed from the Mercury missions...

Sputnik was launched for the purpose of establishing the freedom of space doctrine for spy satellites.

Governments rarely do things for philanthropy's sake, let alone a $170 Billion project (the cost of the Apollo program, adjusted for 2005 dollars)...

John Stevenson
05-26-2010, 03:28 AM
As can be seen in their latest export drive @

http://www.russianbrides.com/

They come fully inflated
.

They have other advantages though, each one comes with a fork truck license and heavy goods.
Some can even weld Titanium under water and because they come from a cold country and are used to it you can rack the central heating down 3 notches and save money.

Best of all is that if they come from the Belarus area you can read in bed at night without the light on.

.

Weston Bye
05-26-2010, 06:15 AM
That's quaint and popular, but bullsh!t. There's more compute power in a dime-store calculator than the Apollo Guidance Computer...

Indeed, I worked on '60s era airborne inertial navigation systems in the Navy. We can do better now.


Aerospace design and engineering, like every other field, has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 41 years. Likewise for electrical engineering (including control systems), materials, propulsion systems, fluidics, chemistry,

True enough, but it would take years of comissions, committees, environmental and social impact studies, feasability modeling, political evaluations and so on before anyone was allowed to do anything.


The Mercury/Gemini/Apollo mission series was a Manhattan Project to build missiles and guidance systems for ICBM's during the height of the Cold War. Mercury used the Atlas ICBM, Gemini used the Titan II ICBM developed from the Mercury missions...

Sputnik was launched for the purpose of establishing the freedom of space doctrine for spy satellites.

Governments rarely do things for philanthropy's sake, let alone a $170 Billion project (the cost of the Apollo program, adjusted for 2005 dollars)...

You make my case. We have no overwhelming motivation to overcome or sweep aside the horde of nonproductive regulatory bureaucratic wankers that we have allowed to interfere with every aspect of creativity and productive effort.

A.K. Boomer
05-26-2010, 07:48 AM
They have other advantages though, each one comes with a fork truck license and heavy goods.
Some can even weld Titanium under water and because they come from a cold country and are used to it you can rack the central heating down 3 notches and save money.

Best of all is that if they come from the Belarus area you can read in bed at night without the light on.

.


It's all good SJ most of the talents could come in handy exceptin you can keep the Belarus babes - I like my women to have a little hair on top of their head (although it could save on razor expenses elsewhere)

lazlo
05-26-2010, 09:45 AM
True enough, but it would take years of comissions, committees, environmental and social impact studies, feasability modeling, political evaluations and so on before anyone was allowed to do anything.
...
You make my case. We have no overwhelming motivation to overcome or sweep aside the horde of nonproductive regulatory bureaucratic wankers that we have allowed to interfere with every aspect of creativity and productive effort.

My apologies Wes, I misunderstood your point. There's a popular misconception that we've lost the skills and expertise necessary to go the moon.

If you get a chance to tour Kennedy Space Center, they have a giant bay window where you can watch the NASA and ESA engineers building modules for the space station. Modern machinery, electronics, CNC machines... In the observation room they have a section of the Apollo capsule, and two modular sections of the Space Station that you can walk through. The contrast is startling.


We have no overwhelming motivation to overcome or sweep aside the horde of nonproductive regulatory bureaucratic wankers that we have allowed to interfere with every aspect of creativity and productive effort.

It's much more than that. We've become a selfish, materialistic culture. The polar opposite of "The Greatest Generation." When the first Mars rover landed, a bunch of people were standing around one of the big screen televisions in Best Buy, and they were sending back the first images of the surface of Mars. One of the customers remarked -- "God, what a waste, they spent billions of tax dollars on that thing. What do I get out of it?" The ultimate irony being that we're standing in the Temple of Consumerism, looking at an expensive big-screen television.

This isn't just Americans either -- no one else is interested in exploring space these days. The Chinese have variously mentioned interest in a manned lunar landing, and they launched a lunar orbiter in 2007, but the second phase of their long-term plan to put a man on the moon (a lunar rover) has been pushed back at least 7 - 10 years.

Eventually, our priorities will change, but I don't see any serious lunar or Mars explorations in my lifetime...

Deja Vu
05-26-2010, 09:56 AM
If I believed in reincarnation, I'd want to come back as the first born from a remote colonization. Heh! I'd be royally pampered, artificial or not! :D
But seriously, the time will come, if not after a readjustment of the earth's population from mismanaging ourselves, when mankind goes out and explores the infinite rather than conceding to our finiteness. We've already established that if we remain here on earth, we WILL eventually be engulfed by the dying sun.

"To the moon" as Ralph used to exclaim....It is closest, easiest to reach, and a great laboratory for learning how to exist away from earth. To go to Mars first, before returning to the moon, in my opinion, would be putting the cart before the horse.

Evan
05-26-2010, 11:47 AM
Eventually, our priorities will change, but I don't see any serious lunar or Mars explorations in my lifetime...


Not a chance, in my opinion. If the will was there we have the technology to get to Mars in just a couple of months. I have pointed this out before but it is very easy to forget that we have fully developed and flight ready nuclear engine technology that pollutes less than a coal fireplace. With twice the specific impulse of the best chemical designs today it makes Single Stage to Orbit a trivial engineering exercise and doesn't require the use of a Hohmann transfer orbit to reach Mars.

Instead of the Hohmann transfer which is the most fuel efficient but also slowest way to get someplace you can afford to go direct.

But of course the real problem with nuclear rockets is people that don't want any atoms near them.

wendtmk
05-27-2010, 09:32 AM
The origin of the universe and the origin of life are independent and unrelated events. One does not have implications for the other. This is a mistaken notion that I see put forth all the time. We are perfectly capable of answering questions about the origin of life without being able to answer questions about the origin of the universe.
Never said they weren't independent and unrelated events Evan. That's why they are separated with an "and", rather than hyphenating the words life and universe. You're inferring something from my words that isn't there.

So, now you state we can definitively prove the origin of life? Please, post your thesis, peer review and unanimous agreement from all the scientific and theological minds in the world. Please.

Mark

A.K. Boomer
05-27-2010, 11:37 AM
So, now you state we can definitively prove the origin of life? Please, post your thesis, peer review and unanimous agreement from all the scientific and theological minds in the world. Please.

Mark


Excuse me but he didn't say that we could "prove" the origin of life, his statement was that we could answer questions about it, big difference as one could mean it takes it all the way and the other picks it up from a certain point.

But - being a can of worms that the topic is and being it attached to both religion and scientific scrutiny I can't help resist to tell you that I always carry a can opener around for occasions like this.

for one - im getting sick of the age old argument between the intelligent design folk and the evolutionists - one does not disprove the other or visa versa - Just because evolution is an absolute fact does not mean that there is not some kind of force out there that created it, or not,
but if the former were true then it would obviously mean that the force is intelligent.

you cannot disprove one by stating that the other exist but I do have to clarify right now that we simply don't have any proof of an existence, I also have to state that its impossible to prove Non-existence - so this indeed does answer some of the questions of our origins - but only to a degree and that degree is we did indeed evolve.

We simply don't have enough info to take it any further - deal with it.

What we do know is that the "magic wand theory" of some "force" tapping its high heel shoe's together and creating everything in a snap (the way it is today) is a big bunch of BS, which leads us to the major religion of this country being incorrect -
if its called mythology then that's OK , but as soon as you try and tell it as fact you make yourself look silly, now it's not that I don't find value in it - after all its written by man for man and like many religions there's lots of lessons over the ages that are timeless and valuable - it's just that some things I change around a little for my own personal benefit and belief - For instance - (and i will change the name's of the character so as not to offend anybody.)
We'll call her Eva:p
In one particular "lesson" Eva was told to simply not bite an apple or all of mankind would suffer for her sin of disobeying
In my revised edition; (im agnostic - i can do that) Its not the fact that Eva took a bite of an apple (after all that's what apples are here for) its the fact that the stupid B. cooked the damn thing first, and ever since then mankind is paying for those sins... ( see - I still do like keeping the tradition of blaming it on the woman:D )
If there is a "force" and if there is anything such as "sin" we create the biggest one there is by disobeying the very rules of our biological functions, hell - we do that even if there isn't one... (mutha nature always wins)

I mean think about it - its like two guys showing up at a Ferrari dealership and each guy buying one of their cars,
One guy immediately goes out - picks up a hot girl and gets a high-speed 160mph blowjob while driving through nevada while the other dude goes home and fills the tank with diesel.
which one do you think is going to piss off Enzo ( or in this case "God" )
in one case you have the car doing exactly what it was designed to do and the other ? well - not so much... Who's going to make Enzo proud?

There - Theology 101...

So what does this have to do with the original post you ask,?
everything - We need to focus more on what got us here and what were doing wrong, not splicing - not cloning - and not creating designer species - non of that crap matters if your just going to repeat the same basic mistakes and create a being full of internal rot...

Evan
05-27-2010, 12:31 PM
So, now you state we can definitively prove the origin of life?


I have already stated what may be the case, in my opinion. My opinion is backed by actual scientific data from a wide variety of disciplines and can be independently verified by anybody with the appropriate education and equipment. I did NOT say that anybody can PROVE the origin of life. However, there is actual tangible evidence for a natural evolutionary progression in keeping with the physical nature of this universe we live in.

BTW, something that most do not even consider on either side of the argument is that it is most likely that we evolved from plants. Animals require oxygen. Free oxygen was not a part of the original earth environment. It takes plants to maintain an atmosphere with a significant amount of free oxygen.


Please, post your thesis, peer review and unanimous agreement from all the scientific and theological minds in the world. Please.

You first. I take it that your belief system is largely based on a book, written by men. Which one? Which version? Which language? Which era? Find me just two scholars of that have studied the Dead Sea Scrolls that are in agreement on the meaning. Do you even know What you think you believe?

aostling
05-27-2010, 02:34 PM
something that most do not even consider on either side of the argument is that it is most likely that we evolved from plants.

Cladistics is a fascinating and controversial field. It adopts an evolutionary approach to depicting the tree of life. Although it was published ten years ago a book by Colin Tudge remains a good reference on the subject. This page shows relationships based on a three Domain system (Bacteria, Archaea, Eucarya). We are in Eucarya, along with all biota made from cells with nuclei.

When it was published the current thinking was that plants branched off along with an (unknown) common ancestor to animals and fungi. Ten years is a long time in this field, though, and I hope that a revised edition will be forthcoming.

From The Variety of Life, by Colin Tudge (2000):

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Eucarya.jpg

Teenage_Machinist
05-28-2010, 01:49 AM
Single Stage to Orbit a trivial engineering exercise

Not. Quite. They have the problem of low thurst to weight ratios, and rad-sheilding without making it too heavy is hard when teh atmosphere scatters the neutrons. Still, it's pretty usable. It probably would have chemical boosters, or a catapult.

The moon, IMO, is useless. It is missing most elements needed to do anything. Mars is much better. The atmosphere can be used as fuel for nuclear rockets and chemical rocket fuel can be made. Take a little hydrogen and make enough fuel to get home. Mars also has basically all natural resources except free oxygen. Water is a bit of a prolbem unless on the polar ice caps. Or if you have a drilling rig.

Evan
05-28-2010, 05:52 AM
From almost 20 years ago:



Study supports advanced nuclear rocket for Mars journey - Sandia National Laboratories reports that a nuclear rocket engine could make for a quick manned trip to Mars
Sandia Science News, Feb, 1992

An advanced nuclear rocket engine could cut trip time for a manned mission to Mars to 90 days - about one third the time of previous proposals - reducing spacecraft mass and launch costs significantly, according to a recent Sandia National Laboratories study.

By reducing trip time, the advanced nuclear engines would lessen the adverse effects of prolonged space travel on the crew due to radiation exposure and microgravity.

Sandia researchers calculated that use of graphite composite propellant tanks and a particle bed nuclear reactor with improved core materials could reduce vehicle mass by more than 300 tons and launch costs by nearly $4 billion per mission from an earlier, more conservative nuclear propulsion concept.

The study recommends pursuing improvements equally in three technology areas: tank weight, nuclear engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and specific impulse rather than focusing primarily on specific impulse as previous studies have done. Specific impulse is a performance parameter of rocket propellant that measures the thrust-producing energy content of the propellant. The higher the specific impulse, the less propellant mass is needed to perform the mission.

Gets crew to Mars faster

"We really felt it was important to get the crew out there in much less than 260 days to prevent levels of physical and mental deterioration that could jeopardize their ability to function on Mars and carry out the mission," says Sandia scientist Leonard Connell. "The faster you want to go, the more important it is to have these technology advancements

Evan
05-28-2010, 06:22 AM
From The Christian Science Monitor:



First life on Earth

Going even further into the past, scientists could create a bacterium with the minimum number of genes needed to live, Embley said. This pared-down bacterium would effectively simulate the first cell on Earth, allowing scientists to test hypotheses about how inert chemicals made the jump to self-perpetuating life, Fitch said.

Venter addressed this issue on Thursday, noting that he and researchers at his institute had themselves debated how this technology would allow scientists to test the minimum level of biological material needed to spark life.

"I think it'll be interesting as the people working on origins of life, people trying to understand these minimal early possible precursors to life as those programs proceed in one direction, and we proceed from the other, building on top of the evolution of an information system, we might be able to meet somewhere in the middle and have some exciting new tools," Venter said.

By understanding how life on Earth evolved from non-living matter, synthetic biology could also bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo experiments, Fitch said.

In biology, in vitro experiments are those done in a test tubes, while in vivo experiments are done in living organisms. Often, reactions that work well during in vitro experiments progress differently during in vivo experiments, thanks to the influence of other chemicals in an organism. This can frustrate the process of scientific discovery. For example, a drug that treats diseased cells in a test tube might not actually work to cure a person who has that disease.

But with synthetic bacteria acting as living test tubes designed specifically for an experiment, scientists could iron out some of that discrepancy, Fitch said, initiating an era where designing an experiment becomes synonymous with creating a new species.

"In vitro systems that allow you to test hypotheses can be very complex now. At some point, the complexity becomes life," Fitch said.



http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0526/Artificial-life-could-offer-clues-about-how-life-began

wendtmk
05-28-2010, 08:32 AM
I have already stated what may be the case, in my opinion. My opinion is backed by actual scientific data from a wide variety of disciplines and can be independently verified by anybody with the appropriate education and equipment. I did NOT say that anybody can PROVE the origin of life. However, there is actual tangible evidence for a natural evolutionary progression in keeping with the physical nature of this universe we live in.
There are a number of different "theories" about the origin of life. However, none of them offer definitive "proof" on the origin of life. Natural evolutionary progression assumes that life already exists and it changes as time goes on. Evolution does not explain how the original life comes about.


BTW, something that most do not even consider on either side of the argument is that it is most likely that we evolved from plants. Animals require oxygen. Free oxygen was not a part of the original earth environment. It takes plants to maintain an atmosphere with a significant amount of free oxygen.

And I could counter that with the statement that plant life evolved from mammalian life because there needed to be a mechanism to deal with the excess carbon dioxide created by mammals exhaling. But, I've no proof of that as much as you have no proof of your posture.




You first. I take it that your belief system is largely based on a book, written by men. Which one? Which version? Which language? Which era? Find me just two scholars of that have studied the Dead Sea Scrolls that are in agreement on the meaning. Do you even know What you think you believe?

Doesn't work that way. You were the one that exposited your theories and proofs, without proof to back it up. You were called on it. Now you're exhibiting the same behavior you've accused others of doing in the past.

My belief system isn't based on biblical things, like you are insinuating. My beliefs are based on separating what is fact, has proof, and can be proven over and over again. Not theory, supposition, or hypothesis, backed by, "Well, it's possible it might have happened this way" or some other non-proof backed statement. Prove to me your theories are correct. It's not up to me to prove the negative, that they are false.

Mark

Evan
05-28-2010, 09:41 AM
There are a number of different "theories" about the origin of life. However, none of them offer definitive "proof" on the origin of life. Natural evolutionary progression assumes that life already exists and it changes as time goes on. Evolution does not explain how the original life comes about.


Evolution means not just change but produce or germinate. Evolutionary principles apply to the development of life from inanimate organic molecules. Self organizing molecular entities are common as is replication of such organized groups of matter. Crystals self organize and the presence of a seed crystal will cause more similar crystals to form under the right condition. Many viruses may be crystalized as they have similar properties.

These are very common processes. There are direct connections to the basic physical structure of the universe. The total dependence of life on the sinister chiral enantiomers is directly traceable to the chiral symmetry breaking of the electroweak interaction. It favours the production of left chiral amino acids which are the foundation of all the molecules of life with only the exception of a few that are too simple to exhibit chirality. There are only 20 amino acids required to sustain life and all twenty exhibit sinister chirality. This is not a coincidence.


And I could counter that with the statement that plant life evolved from mammalian life because there needed to be a mechanism to deal with the excess carbon dioxide created by mammals exhaling. But, I've no proof of that as much as you have no proof of your posture.


No, you can't. In the absence of something to create free oxygen all available oxygen will be combined in short order to form oxides. CO2 however is created by natural non living processes and is stable. Without life it will continue to build up until it produces a runaway greenhouse effect, Venus being a possible example.


Doesn't work that way. You were the one that exposited your theories and proofs, without proof to back it up. You were called on it.

No, I wasn't "called on it". What was demanded was an obvious impossibility that is not related to the correctness of any hypothesis or theory. A hypothesis must be framed in a manner that permits it to be tested. A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested and is supported by available and reproducible evidence. Believing that something is or is not true does not make it so. A belief depends only on conviction, something that stands apart from evidence or proof. Asking for all to BELIEVE the same thing is both ludicrous and irrelevant to the discussion.

Intelligent design is neither a hypothesis or a theory as it does not permit testing by any scientific method. It is a belief system.


My belief system isn't based on biblical things, like you are insinuating. My beliefs are based on separating what is fact, has proof, and can be proven over and over again. Not theory, supposition, or hypothesis, backed by, "Well, it's possible it might have happened this way" or some other non-proof backed statement. Prove to me your theories are correct. It's not up to me to prove the negative, that they are false.



Then I take that to mean you are agnostic.

lazlo
05-28-2010, 10:13 AM
This page shows relationships based on a three Domain system (Bacteria, Archaea, Eucarya). We are in Eucarya, along with all biota made from cells with nuclei.

That's not controversial Allan -- that's high school biological taxonomy: Eucarya is the domain. The next level of the biological taxonomy is the kingdom, shown in your diagram, which includes plants, animals, fungi, and protozoa.

Humans are Animalia kingdom, chordata phylum, mammalia class, primates order, hominidae family, homo genus, homo sapiens species.

That hierarchy is derived from the evolutionary path (the the best of our understanding/experimental data), as your diagram shows. So we didn't evolve from plants, we evolved from single-cell organisms that further diversified into plants, animals and fungus. Lawyers clearly took the latter path.

Evan
05-28-2010, 10:32 AM
. So we didn't evolve from plants, we evolved from single-cell organisms that further diversified into plants, animals and fungus. Lawyers clearly took the latter path.

I didn't mean it in that a tree developed legs instead of roots. More likely was the the earliest organisms were more plant like than animal like. Without free oxygen the methods of obtaining energy would have to be plant like. Oxidation processes were not available. The early environment was highly reactive as can be seen on Mars. Mars has only a thin CO2 atmosphere left. All oxygen was long since consumed in oxidation reactions.

andy_b
05-28-2010, 09:43 PM
This recent scientific development shows that it doesn't require invoking a supernatural entity to create a living thing. That will prove to be a very threatening outcome to many that believe otherwise.

I'm not following where your reference to a "supernatural entity" comes from. Wasn't the guy that created this life-form human? I don't think he had any supernatural powers.

andy b.

andy_b
05-28-2010, 09:54 PM
This is Craig Venter's TED talk about the synthetic life form. They encoded the names of 46 staff members, a web address, and 3 quotes in the DNA :)

http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html


Interesting, so as I posted many posts ago, they DID use quotes from famous novels. I recall someone saying I was full of bull sheet for saying that. :)

andy b.

aostling
05-28-2010, 10:43 PM
That's not controversial Allan -- that's high school biological taxonomy:


Are you sure? Until very recently most university biologists stuck to their Linnaean roots. When I was a kid there were just two kingdoms: plants and animals. Fungi were lumped in with the plants. Bacteria were put into the animal kingdom.

Taxonomists largely agreed on a Five Kingdom approach in the 1980s and 1990s -- animals, plants, fungi, plus two Super Kingdoms (Prokarya and Eukarya) consisting of bacteria and other one-celled critters. But this classification was not based on evolutionary principles. It did not stand up to the findings of the mounting evidence from molecular analyses.

Cladistics began with the work of Carl Woese at the University of Illinois in the 1970s. He found that the molecular differences between organisms which had previously been called bacteria were profound.

Biologists are now mostly cladists. They have proposed the three Domains I mentioned, plus numerous Kingdoms, 21 Kingdoms in our group (Eucarya) alone. The cladograms are not static, they are evolving as new evidence is obtained.

But if you doubt that cladistics is controversial, even among scientists, I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Naming-Nature-Between-Instinct-Science/dp/0393061973/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275098336&sr=1-1. Use the "look inside" feature and read the snippet on pages 7 and 8. This mentions the loss of fish. That's right, fish are no longer a clade, descended from a common ancestor. You may know there are fish, but you cannot come up with an all-inclusive definition of a fish. Not, at least, if you grant the validity of cladistics.

Are high school zoology books really teaching that there are no more fish?

andy_b
05-28-2010, 10:50 PM
I am glad that this has happened. I do not expect the great redesigning of humanity to come within my lifetime, but it might.

We may eventually be able to get rid of mortality, radiation sucseptablility, racism, tendancy to prejudge, and the requirement for large amounts of organic chemical food...



Damn, I never saw a definition of Hell written so succinctly, and an actual embrace of it. :)
Just what the world needs, billions of people living forever. I only pray that the microbe capable of killing off 99% of the human race is released soon after we find the Gene Therapy of Youth.

andy b.

dp
05-28-2010, 11:54 PM
Humans are Animalia kingdom, chordata phylum, mammalia class, primates order, hominidae family, homo genus, homo sapiens species.

You forgot dudes and dudettes. We're a bifurcated specie.

Evan
05-29-2010, 12:26 AM
I'm not following where your reference to a "supernatural entity" comes from.
It is a reference to God.


Wasn't the guy that created this life-form human? I don't think he had any supernatural powers.

That is the entire point. If we can create life from inanimate chemicals that makes it no longer something that only a supreme being can do. It doesn't matter what religion or society you might study, every last one has a creation myth in the culture and all of them invoke some sort of supernatural entity or process to explain the appearance of life on Earth. If we are able to create life it makes it a lot less mysterious and takes it out of the exclusive domain of the "omnipotent and omnicient creator", whomever one may hold that to be.

That will not be easy for many to accept. It harks back to witchcraft and the creation of half alive demons and familiars. It smacks of the Devil's work to some. Superstition is still very much alive and well in the world.

dp
05-29-2010, 12:37 AM
It is a reference to God.

That is the entire point. If we can create life from inanimate chemicals that makes it no longer something that only a supreme being can do. It doesn't matter what religion or society you might study, every last one has a creation myth in the culture and all of them invoke some sort of supernatural entity or process to explain the appearance of life on Earth. If we are able to create life it makes it a lot less mysterious and takes it out of the exclusive domain of the "omnipotent and omnicient creator", whomever one may hold that to be.


That is illogical. Because a human can now do it does not revoke the claim that prior, only a supreme being could do it. That, in fact, was the case for hundreds of thousands of years - billions and billions, even, for those who believe. And because a human can now do it does not preempt a supreme being from doing it still. It only means that people were wrong about the degree of uniqueness of the supreme being.

However, what the human did was reprogram existing life, not create it (And it was done imperfectly so it would glow blue). Horticulturists have been doing that for centuries. Neither replication nor modification is original work. In fact there may be implications regarding copyright infringement here ;)

There is that nagging question that persists: did the original supreme being have a navel?

Evan
05-29-2010, 01:09 AM
`
That is illogical. Because a human can now do it does not revoke the claim that prior, only a supreme being could do it.

Sure it does. It is a basic tenet that the creation of life is a special power that only the creator possesses. If we can do it that drives a stake in the heart of creationism. We already know how to create matter from energy and energy from matter.


However, what the human did was reprogram existing life, not create it (And it was done imperfectly so it would glow blue). Horticulturists have been doing that for centuries.

It is only a small step to the creation of life from inanimate matter once you have demonstrated that you can write the program from scratch.

Horticulturists have only practiced forced evolution of plants. In no case have they ever written the code of life.

dp
05-29-2010, 02:04 AM
`

Sure it does. It is a basic tenet that the creation of life is a special power that only the creator possesses. If we can do it that drives a stake in the heart of creationism. We already know how to create matter from energy and energy from matter.

But it may be wrong. Basic tenents are subject to the same discovery as other hypotheses.


Horticulturists have only practiced forced evolution of plants. In no case have they ever written the code of life.

Mmmm - Not evolution at all. Nobody ever created a coffee tree from a salmon. What they do is the same thing as the gene splicer, different tool kit. It's all about manipulating compatible DNA segments to get a result.

Evan
05-29-2010, 04:25 AM
Nobody ever created a coffee tree from a salmon.

How about a firefly crossed with a tobacco plant?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Glowing_tobacco_plant.jpg

http://scienceray.com/biology/a-key-step-in-genetic-engineering-a-glowing-experiment/

A.K. Boomer
05-29-2010, 06:48 AM
There is that nagging question that persists: did the original supreme being have a navel?


I always looked at God as more of a seedless watermelon type - or at least my god is.

oldtiffie
05-29-2010, 07:02 AM
.......................................
.......................................

There is that nagging question that persists: did the original supreme being have a navel?

Dennis.

If it has are you contemplating contemplating it?

Aren't there enough navel-gazers already already?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navel-gazing

All the while grazing on lotus - of course.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Eaters

wendtmk
05-29-2010, 12:03 PM
Evolution means not just change but produce or germinate. Evolutionary principles apply to the development of life from inanimate organic molecules. Self organizing molecular entities are common as is replication of such organized groups of matter. Crystals self organize and the presence of a seed crystal will cause more similar crystals to form under the right condition. Many viruses may be crystalized as they have similar properties.

evolve (ē välv′, -vôlv′; i-)
transitive verb evolved (http://www.yourdictionary.com/evolved) evolved′, evolving (http://www.yourdictionary.com/evolving) evolv′·ing

to develop by gradual changes; unfold
to set free or give off (gas, heat, etc.)
to produce or change by evolution
(http://www.yourdictionary.com/walk)

evo·lu·tion (ev′ə lo̵̅o̅′s̸hən; occas. ē′və-)
noun



Biol.
the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogenyYou forgot one little thing in your snippet above - "by evolution."

Phylogeny deals with the lines of descent or evolutionary development of any plant or animal species.

Ontogeny deals with the biological development of the individual over his lifetime.

Nice bit of cherry picking taking those terms out of context.




No, you can't. In the absence of something to create free oxygen all available oxygen will be combined in short order to form oxides. CO2 however is created by natural non living processes and is stable. Without life it will continue to build up until it produces a runaway greenhouse effect, Venus being a possible example.

So, you can't create something from nothing? How about that.




No, I wasn't "called on it". What was demanded was an obvious impossibility that is not related to the correctness of any hypothesis or theory. A hypothesis must be framed in a manner that permits it to be tested. A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested and is supported by available and reproducible evidence. Believing that something is or is not true does not make it so. A belief depends only on conviction, something that stands apart from evidence or proof. Asking for all to BELIEVE the same thing is both ludicrous and irrelevant to the discussion.

Yes Evan, you were called on it to back up your statements with solid proof, not your opinions, not your projections, but with solid proof. Until that proof is available, it's still the same. Your opinions, others theories, and others hypotheses. You're asking me to BELIEVE those same theories, opinions, and hypotheses. Sounds like it's your religion to me. I want proof, and I won't believe anything that doesn't have proof.


Intelligent design is neither a hypothesis or a theory as it does not permit testing by any scientific method. It is a belief system.

Straw man. I never said anything about ID. Your injecting this into your and my discussion is a waste of electrons. Give me proof of your opinion of what created the universe and the life within it, and I'll agree that it's the truth.




Then I take that to mean you are agnostic.

You can take it any way you like. Doesn't matter to me, and it's not germane to the discussion. More smoke and mirrors on your part to deflect the attention away from your lack of proof.

Mark

dp
05-29-2010, 01:02 PM
How about a firefly crossed with a tobacco plant?



That's more of a cultivar. Now if they started with nothing but a firefly and created a tomato from it, that would be spectacular. I'd be even more impressed if they started with a box of rock and created a tomato.

Evan
05-29-2010, 01:47 PM
Yes Evan, you were called on it to back up your statements with solid proof, not your opinions, not your projections, but with solid proof. Until that proof is available, it's still the same. Your opinions, others theories, and others hypotheses. You're asking me to BELIEVE those same theories, opinions, and hypotheses. Sounds like it's your religion to me. I want proof, and I won't believe anything that doesn't have proof.


There is plenty of proof. DNA is made from amino acids that exist naturally in non living form in nature and can be readily produced by natural processes. That isn't a matter of belief. The necessary conditions for this to happen existed in the past. Physical evidence for this exists. Also not a matter of belief. As I have said, self organization is a common process in nature and can be observed. Not a belief. Higher states of order may spontaneously occur in an open system with an energy input. Proven.

There are many more proven events, principles and biological records that make it abundantly clear how life originated on this planet. Incidentally, a Theory is a hypothesis that has been shown to be correct by experimental evidence. The phrase (or implication of) "Only a theory" demonstrates a lack of understanding of what consitutes a theory. More importantly a theory must have predictive power. It must be able to not just explain what we have observed to be true but also provided testable predictions of what we don't yet know. The theory of the evolution of life has provided such testable predictions many times.


Give me proof of your opinion of what created the universe...

I have no knowledge of how the universe came to be and neither does anybody else. It isn't provable or testable and I haven't commented on the origin of the universe. You are confusing the origin of the universe with the origin of life on Earth. As I said that is a common mistake.

Evolve; Root Latin Evolvere. Synonyms: To germinate, To reveal, To disclose.

The evolution of life includes the origin of life. It is part of the natural process.

You also wrote:

Prove to me your theories are correct. It's not up to me to prove the negative, that they are false.


Actually it is up to you. That is the only way to disprove the correctenss of a theory. It is called "falsifying the theory". In order to falsify a theory you must provide evidence that is within the bounds of what the theory describes but that is entirely inconsistent with the theory.

macona
05-29-2010, 05:01 PM
At last weeks Maker Faire:

http://hackaday.com/2010/05/28/home-dna-lab-tools/

andy_b
05-29-2010, 09:52 PM
It is a reference to God.

That is the entire point. If we can create life from inanimate chemicals that makes it no longer something that only a supreme being can do. It doesn't matter what religion or society you might study, every last one has a creation myth in the culture and all of them invoke some sort of supernatural entity or process to explain the appearance of life on Earth. If we are able to create life it makes it a lot less mysterious and takes it out of the exclusive domain of the "omnipotent and omnicient creator", whomever one may hold that to be.

That will not be easy for many to accept. It harks back to witchcraft and the creation of half alive demons and familiars. It smacks of the Devil's work to some. Superstition is still very much alive and well in the world.


I still don't get what you're saying. I said someone with the ability to create a perfect human may have created us. You said something about supernatural powers. Then you said the guy who just created this new life form wasn't a supreme being and it proved you didn't need to be a god to do it. That is my entire point. If someone much smarter than us a really long time ago created us, he was just a really smart entity. I never said we were created by God. I said we may have been intelligently designed. How anyone can now say that theory is impossible doesn't make sense. Perhaps some of that 90% useless DNA is just a few quotes from said entity's favorite novels. :)

andy b.

dp
05-29-2010, 11:01 PM
The evolution of life includes the origin of life. It is part of the natural process.


I think that definition evolved after the coinage of the word :)

Evan
05-30-2010, 12:35 AM
How anyone can now say that theory is impossible doesn't make sense

It isn't a theory or even a hypothesis. To even qualify as a hypothesis it must be testable in a way that can be replicated by anyone. It is merely a conjecture and it was named as it is to try and provide an appearance of scientific validity in order to avoid the prohibitions against teaching creationism in schools. By presenting it as something other than a religious belief system it is hoped that the creationist viewpoint can gain enough credibility to be given equal time with scientific education including the theory of evolution. The issue is that it isn't based on science regardless of the attempts to present it as such.

Nobody can say it is impossible any more than one can say the universe was or was not created by some being. That is unknowable and will remain so since the information is not a part of this universe. The universe began as a singularity and the only thing that we can say about the properties of a singularity is that we cannot say anything. A singularity is removed from this universe and it seems that the universe contains an operating principle that absolutely prohibits the existence of a naked singularity. That includes the singularity from which the universe appeared. No matter how far back in time we look with our instruments we will never be able to see the moment that the universe came into existence. If there was a designer there is no way to verify that.

By contrast, the origin of life is a far simpler question that admits of answers. That event is a local occurrence and the evidence for it still exists. There is no need or reason to posit the existence of a designer or to invoke any kind of intervention in the process and progress of natural events.


I think that definition evolved after the coinage of the word

Darwin's essay is titled "On the Origin of Species". Origin means just that.

From The Origin of Species



Several eminent naturalists have of late published their belief that a multitude of reputed species in each genus are not real species; but that other species are real, that is, have been independently created. This seems to me a strange conclusion to arrive at. They admit that a multitude of forms, which till lately they themselves thought were special creations, and which are still thus looked at by the majority of naturalists, and which consequently have every external characteristic feature of true species, -- they admit that these have been produced by variation, but they refuse to extend the same view to other and very slightly different forms. Nevertheless they do not pretend that they can define, or even conjecture, which are the created forms of life, and which are those produced by secondary laws. They admit variation as a vera causa in one case, they arbitrarily reject it in another, without assigning any distinction in the two cases. The day will come when this will be given as a curious illustration of the blindness of preconceived opinion. These authors seem no more startled at a miraculous act of creation than at an ordinary birth. But do they really believe that at innumerable periods in the earth's history certain elemental atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues? Do they believe that at each supposed act of creation one individual or many were produced? Were all the infinitely numerous kinds of animals and plants created as eggs or seed, or as full grown? and in the case of mammals, were they created bearing the false marks of nourishment from the mother's womb? Although naturalists very properly demand a full explanation of every difficulty from those who believe in the mutability of species, on their own side they ignore the whole subject of the first appearance of species in what they consider reverent silence.

It may be asked how far I extend the doctrine of the modification of species. The question is difficult to answer, because the more distinct the forms are which we may consider, by so much the arguments fall away in force. But some arguments of the greatest weight extend very far. All the members of whole classes can be connected together by chains of affinities, and all can be classified on the same principle, in groups subordinate to groups. Fossil remains sometimes tend to fill up very wide intervals between existing orders. Organs in a rudimentary condition plainly show that an early progenitor had the organ in a fully developed state; and this in some instances necessarily implies an enormous amount of modification in the descendants. Throughout whole classes various structures are formed on the same pattern, and at an embryonic age the species closely resemble each other. Therefore I cannot doubt that the theory of descent with modification embraces all the members of the same class. I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number.

Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction. We see this even in so trifling a circumstance as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals; or that the poison secreted by the gall-fly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose or oak-tree. Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.



Note his last sentence in that passage. He wrote of necessity what amounts to an escape clause that can be construed that he believed in a creator of life. However, not in the way that many believe and not in a way that posits a grand design implemented by a designer. He avoids explaining how life may have arisen simply because too little was known about that possibility.

dp
05-30-2010, 12:56 AM
Note his last sentence in that passage. He wrote of necessity what amounts to an escape clause that can be construed that he believed in a creator of life. However, not in the way that many believe and not in a way that posits a grand design implemented by a designer. He avoids explaining how life may have arisen simply because too little was known about that possibility.

The scientists of the era stumbled hard over the existence of monotremes. Nobody expected that. The fundamentals of evolution were largely untested because they really didn't understand what they were doing or looking for. Darwin wasn't the only one to leave the gate open.

Darwin also got a lot of the science wrong but that's expected when one has just discovered something that reverses thinking for all of the history of humanity.

My own thinking on the expansion in the variety of living things is that there were many spontaneous eruptions of life in the beginning and I think this happens even today though there are many more competitors for the raw materials. I think too that many of the life forms were unavoidably compatible and others were not, and that is still the case. The result is modification, competition, refinement, and interdependency.

It was never necessary to try to evolve a tree from a fish - the tree of life was actually a forest. No ID needed, either.

Evan
05-30-2010, 01:14 AM
There was a good reason not to slam the door on the idea of a creator. It would have been professional suicide as well as inviting possible prosecution.

oldtiffie
05-30-2010, 01:16 AM
The OT's topic was artificial life.

From what I've seen from an occasional look at this thread, life had been discussed but not defined. Try this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

Wikipedia has two similar but different classifications to consider:

Artificial life:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_life

and:
Synthetic life:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_life

Which are we discussing - or are we discussing both?

dp
05-30-2010, 01:37 AM
I think we're discussing whether life was created or if existing life was reprogrammed. I'm in the latter camp. The code in a cell was replaced with code that was arranged in a lab. My guess is the result is unique but not particularly remarkable. It's the kind of thing that happens in nature continually.

"Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while"

Evan
05-30-2010, 05:13 AM
I think we're discussing whether life was created or if existing life was reprogrammed. I'm in the latter camp. The code in a cell was replaced with code that was arranged in a lab. My guess is the result is unique but not particularly remarkable. It's the kind of thing that happens in nature continually.


Heh. Yes it does happen in nature continually. That statement encompasses the origin of life as well because it reflects the same properties that are necessary to produce a working code in the first instance. What is so very different about the current news on this subject it that our understanding of nature has progressed to the point that we are also able to do the same. Being able to produce a synthetic code that is viable directly implies that such a code can also be used to create an organism from first principles.

lazlo
05-30-2010, 10:17 AM
At last weeks Maker Faire:

http://hackaday.com/2010/05/28/home-dna-lab-tools/

Holy Cow! Home PCR and electrophoresis -- that's HUGE!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrejvnVfZJE