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Decimal
2003-Aug-02, 08:09 AM
Sure we are looking for life...but doesn't anyone wonder how it all started?

I am for sure curious how a selection of chemicals came to be a living cell, no matter how primitive

anyone got ideas or sources? :)

DippyHippy
2003-Aug-04, 04:51 AM
There have been lab experiments that have successfully replicated the conditions upon the embryonic Earth whereby primitive organic matter was formed... don't ask me *exactly* how it happened because I wouldn't have a clue but I know the experiments were successful back in the 70's or earlier.

What puzzles me is how simple mutli-cell creatures can evolve into 100 billion cell, intelligent creatures such as ourselves. How did consciousness and reasoning evolve?

Dips

Josh
2003-Aug-04, 08:43 AM
Leaving consciousness to the side for one moment, I have a little theory about reasoning and as an extension, imagination.

Humans aren't the fastest, aren't the strongest, aren't able to climb the highest, can't see nor hear the best of the animal kingdom. What we do have though is a bigger brain. So we used it. We used it as problem solving machines in order to get food and avoid becoming it. This was probably (in my wonderful unfounded baseless theory) where our ability to reason came from. Problem solving necessarily leads to a reasoning mind. It has to otherwise it just wouldn't work. From here the next logical step it would seem is imagination. We can't go and ask whether other animals have it but we know we do and we can see how it expresses itself. So there you go, my theory in a nut shell: We got eaten too much, became problem solvers which needed a reasoning mind and as a product of this - a sort of training to reason and solve problems more efficiently - we developed imagination.

what do you think? paradigm shift or ****?

Planetwatcher
2003-Aug-05, 01:58 AM
In the beginning was in the beginning. Before the beginning was nothing, for anything that was would have caused the beginning to have no beginning.

So what was before the beginning? Most likely nothing. But then, we don't know for sure because we were not there, and besides, it was the beginning.
But the beginning of what?

mnc1916
2003-Aug-05, 05:46 PM
Sorry gentlemen but no queries concerning lifeand or it's beggining
or anything concerning it can even beging until and only until we have a realistic definition of life ! So far nothing that meets most of the criteria that have
otsatisfy. recent discoveries have shown that what we call life does not need sunshineor water or hwat or cold or oxygenor for that matterany other condition imaginable to exist. Life is ???????? So the looking for earthlike planets to find life on other worlds seems like really limiting ourselves to a very small segment of the universe. So first of alldefine what it is that we are looking for,before we start looking then be damn sure that we are ready to accept wht we are seeking.
By the way I, of course have't a clue of " what is life "

Arramon
2003-Aug-05, 10:50 PM
Life is the ability to grow, mature, learn, procreate, and devour whatever sort of chemical or substance is needed to maintain your/the organism inwhich you/it is contained... or maybe just one of those, or a few mixed together, or in many different pairs...
a virus is life... it feeds.. and grows... and uses the organisms it devours to grow and maintain its funtionality... is it alive? most certainly, for it would die without the proper amount of nutrients it needs... bacteria... fungus..microbes... chemical reactions that produce these things...
What was there in the beginning before our universe? most likely a being that knows what He/She/It's doing... its funny how people think that since it said that we were made in the image of God, that God must look like us...
but, God scooped from the soil, and then made us....
What soil did He scoop from? prolly from the building blocks of life...
chemicals and molecules that are evident in ALOT of places...

ALOT!!

oi!!

. ..-={A}=-.. .

VARN
2003-Aug-06, 02:00 AM
Is fire alive? It has the same attributes "it feeds.. And grows... and uses the organisms it devours to grow and maintain its functionality"

Arramon
2003-Aug-06, 02:37 PM
I would think that many firemen would say yes to that...
Some have said:
"We think of something alive as displaying, for example, 'volition', meaning that its behavior is not easily predictable. Fire does not display 'volition.' "- Dan Berger

and some 'definitons' i picked up:

"1)Living things contain reproducible hereditary information. This is the genetic definition. I avoided mentioning DNA, nucleic acids, chromosomes, and such so as not to limit this to life as we know it on earth. Yet this definition is still open to criticism. Some people argue that a machine could contain reproducible hereditary information but we wouldn't consider it alive. Most scientists would counter: why not? If we accept the possibility of artificial intelligence, why not artificial life? A more serious objection is that by this definition a virus is alive. A lot of biologists don't buy that. A virus is basically a chunk of DNA or RNA (or computer code, for that matter) that succeeds in reproducing itself. But it's not a cell, which many consider the fundamental unit of life, and it doesn't do the things cells do, such as metabolize, react to the environment, etc.

2)Life is an illusion. Now I'm really starting to feel that six-pack. Let's set aside the question of sentient life to avoid arguments about the soul. It seems obvious that at some level all we see about us, living or otherwise, is merely a manifestation of chemical reactions and the laws of physics. Chemists implicitly accept this mechanistic idea, defining "organic chemistry" (whose nominal subject is the chemical reactions underlying life) as anything having to do with carbon. In short, life is an arbitrary distinction.

3)Life reverses local entropy. Popularized by Isaac Asimov. In lay terms, life reverses the default trend toward ever-greater disorganization. Yeah, I know: Asimov must never have had children. Still, this one's got a certain appeal. In contrast to, say, fire, which in its uncontrolled form is one of your more basic entropic phenomena, life is a creative force. Admittedly that idea isn't much help in deciding what's alive and what ain't. The chemical reactions occurring for the universe's first few billion years led inexorably to our teeming world, yet no one would describe them as life. But so what? The claim is that there is a powerful antientropic force in the universe (at a certain level of organization, it's called natural selection), of which we are the latest and coolest manifestation. I'm not saying it's as cuddly a thought as a benevolent Creator. But it beats waiting for things to just sputter out." --- Cecil Adams

I believe that it would be up to the individual to determine if fire is alive, and in what state of living it may be in...
For, if it helps him to understand growth, fueling, the intensities of heat, and the combustion it causes, etc, then maybe it is, in some archaic form... It IS one of the elements that have always been here...

"O for that flame of living fire,
Which shone so bright in saints of old!
Which bade their souls to Heav’n aspire,
Calm in distress, in danger bold.----" - W.Bathurst, 1831


. ..-={A}=-.. .

pHoSfEe
2003-Aug-18, 08:35 PM
I learned life just started with simple chemicals "rolling" around on Earth. And wehn they mixed enough, or by luck, they came to be some single celled creatures. Now, how did single celled creatures become large billion celled creatures like us?

At first, there were midochondrea (don't know how to spell it). Right now, they act as little power plants in each of our cells buy burning fat and creating energy. At one time, the little power plants were not in our cells, but free-floating (or so it is said) and cells moved around here and there without midochondrea. But one day, by pure luck, the a midochondrea and a cell combined forming the cells we have today.

Today, you'll also notice that animals or living creatures (everything from cells to humans) reproduce two ways: By dividing cells, or by fertilizing an egg. The egg fertilizing method started out as two cells. One smaller swimming cell (at that time looked round) and another larger less mobile cell. The two cells eventually became the egg and sperm, and although I have no idea how they bace two big bulky humans, I believe that's how it started. Kinda crazy, huh?

- YMP

Alaskan
2003-Aug-19, 08:44 PM
Very interesting contributions.

I guess we tend to think of life being composed of beings like we have surrounding ourselves. But there are different degrees of life.

I think that life is that which exists. An atom exists and has a life.

In death we have life....even a black hole grows as it devours.

Maybe our ability to see all is limited, we may lack the tools to see more of the Universe or to understand it. So we may be missing some important clues.

Perhaps the Universe considers us to be too primitive to be life because we can't make a solar system, we can only exist tenuously on this little planet. Is life what we do?

I believe that wine is life. Chateau Margaux is it's highest form.

megaquark
2003-Aug-23, 12:34 AM
It is such a shame that our educational system does such a terrible job of teaching evolution by means of natural selection. This is most likely to due to the duality of religion and science in this country. We can;t seem to decide on a way to go, so we only half-*** everything.
I had many of the same questions until I read a book called "Evolution: Triumph of an Idea" by Carl Zimmer. It is the companion guide to the mini-series produced by PBS. It answers all these questions and many you haven;t even thought of yet!
I can honestly say that now I am an expert in natural selection compared to anyone I know simply by reading this one book! OK, maybe not an expert, but the underlying principal behind it is so simple that once understood, everything else makes sense.

Natural selection exists in all manners of life, and anything else that reproduces itself. Here are the basics:
1.) There is natural variety in everything (ie, nothing duplicates perfectly every time)
2.) Anything that replicates has more offspring than can possibly survive to the point of replication
3.) Some of that natural variety is passed on to offspring.

This applies to computer data, bacteria, viruses, complex lifeforms, and even photocopies. Take a copy, make 2 copies. Copy each one seperately once. Repeat this several times and after just a few "generations" you will notice that you have different "distinct species". I did this and it works. Pretty neat to show your kids!

Anyways, I can't even pretend to have time to go through all of this, but if you will pick up this book, you will be VERY glad you did. Then you can pretend to be an expert too! :-)

rahuldandekar
2003-Sep-18, 11:26 AM
In the begining, there was just a very hot earth. Then due to the chemical reactions, DNA got created. Cells got created. Cells began to unite to form some primitive organisms like sponges. Some multicellular organisms were formed when
cells began to have specific functions. This gave rise to many forms and now, we are the (not final, if we dont make it ;) ) result.

P.S. see my entry in the closed 'aliens'.

imported_ROB
2003-Sep-18, 11:54 AM
today some organisums live a single cells but group together as one unit could that be how early organisums developed to form multi celled organisums then its a simple process called evolution that took over to create intelligence

Asle
2003-Sep-19, 06:16 PM
Why do we speak in terms of Beginnings and Endings?
You are thinking from your cultural platform-- which is religious, and spiritually based.
:huh:
If matter existed, compiled and generated evolution, there could be no 'true beginning'. What IS, therefore, developed from what WAS, indicating pre-existance.
:unsure:
The truth is, science has no inkling of beginnings.
B)

major_eh
2003-Sep-23, 09:38 AM
Certainly science has an inkling of beginnings but they are all relative. Some say my life began when I was born, some say my life began when I was conceived while there is the argument that the process of my being born started long before my parents or their parents were born.

Experiments would be impossible to recreate without the ability to ignore the part of the process that occured before an experiment's 'beginning'.

This, of course, supports the 'no true beginning' theory.
;)

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-06, 09:11 AM
In terms of the beginning, I think that's something we'll never truly be able to define, particularly what became before the beginning, before the Big Bang, at least to the satisfaction of all stakeholders in the argument.

As to humanity, I think perhaps we're beyond the beginning, but as of the early stages of the 3rd millennium we're only truly arriving at the end of the beginning, which is a complete counter argument to any millenialists. At least I would hope we're only arriving at the end of the beginning!

:)