|Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 12:39 pm: |
INTELLIGENT DESIGN VS. EVOLUTION?
Is the term "intelligent design" only a "God" related term? Can intelligence be designed into the universe without invoking a Deity?
Since this is such a big issue in today's debates over the theory of "evolution as science", it might be good to explore whether intelligent design is really incompatible with the scientific theory of evolution of the species, on Earth and on all the living worlds.
|Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 02:51 pm: |
Wiki's "intelligent design" description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design
Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection." Proponents say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.
An overwhelming majority of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.
Junk science? Not necessarily so. There is a way to see intelligent design as a philosophical necessity in how evolution works, hand in hand, with how the universe is built. Can it be faslifiably tested? That remains to be seen...
Also see: How "intelligent" is Intelligent Design?
|Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 03:16 pm: |
Some people got left out of "intelligent design", including judges and politicians, in my opinion.
|Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 03:32 pm: |
I concur with you regards intelligent design. The current generation of scientists have for the most part rejected the concept of God and intervention and ascribed to the Freud view of the universe. I note that Freud was an athiest, along with most pyschiatrists, and that Freud's, Darwin's, Jung's and Hobbe's philosophies merged to give rise to the Fascist State philosophy that Hitler rose to power on. The modern scientist when pressed about his or her philosphies are about as anti-religous group as you will ever meet. Rejecting the concept of an order to the universe that the Greeks found through geometry and overlooking anything that smacks of divine intervention, using all tools of logic, argument, science to attack a religous basis to the universe and divine hand in its creation. By way of a philosophy, they see the State and medical industry as the agent capable of curing all social ills and that the problems of society stem from the failure of the state to eliminate social inequality. In large measure they reject the need for individual responsibility or a positive relationship with God as being a needed component of the human condition.
This comes into play with your cross posting about the repressed sexuality of the juveniles forming the basis of their motivation to become killers and suicide bombers; yet when pressed to explain the killings and murders committed by extremely sexually active juvenile gang members they cite social issues for the cause of it, again refuting the need for a religeous based philosphy or relationship with God that accepts and reinforces the fact that some behaviors are not permitted as they have negative impacts on society and the human condition.
|Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 11:31 pm: |
Intelligent Design, as a new theory of Evolution?
In an opinion letter to editor, Orange County Register (Jan.7,2006), the author says in part:
Consider the statement, "...the theory of evolution isn't purely scientific, either. It's one thing to argue that species evolved, quite another to argue that the world started with the big bang."
Well, it's quite another matter to call the "big bang" a verifiable theory, since it rests exclusively on an interpretation of what is the cause for distant cosmic light redshift: Is this redshift due to expanding universe and resultant Doppler redshift effect? Or is it from some other cause, which does not involve space expansion, and the resultant Doppler effect? If the latter, then there is no need to roll back the clock to day one, or the first nanoseconds of time, to explain an expanding universe if such univers is NOT expanding. So Big Bang is truly a speculation, not a theory.
On the other hand, there are plenty of fossil records showing species coming and going over great geological times, some no longer living amongst us, while others are. And some species are clearly new arrivals, while others still possess many traits of their primitive ancestors. I think of the La Brea Tar Pit in Los Angeles, where the many skulls of a primitive wolf, obvious ancestor of today's wolves, are displayed prominently. The large brutish beasts have a pretty good resemblance to modern wolves. So, if there are fossil records galore around the planet within geological time strata, and there are reasonable resemblences of primitive ancestors to modern species, and there is DNA support of tissue samples of frozen remains from the last Ice Age, then why shouldn't Evolution be considered a theory? I think it is by far a more intelligent theory than the Big Bang. And whether or not God or some other super-intelligent agent went into evolution should not be considered in the same manner we consider the neo-creationist Big Bang, but on its own merrits. Intelligent Design is not anti-scientific, but nor does it of necessity have to be proto-religious either. Why not have ID stand on its own as a new theory of Evolution? That works for me.
|Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 11:42 pm: |
Ed, in yours:
This is the way of the world, that if God or some greater universal intelligence is taken out of science, then things start to look oddly sinister. I think this is the trap of modern science, that in its overly objective objectives, it forgets that human beings are first a subjective species, and that the objectivity to be precluded from subjective ideas must be reigned in tight. However, if too tight, being subjective beings first, and objective second, we then run into the error of believing our own objectivity as being actually objective, while it is in fact still subjective. So Freud, Nietzche, and Adolph all fell into that trap, without ever being aware it was sprung on them from within their own minds! Pretty neat trick, to make science into a godless dogma, in my opinion. I think the ancient Greeks were more careful, but they were firstly geometrists and philosophers, and scientists only second. But even they were not spared the hot breath of dogma, since they imagined a perfect world of form, from which emenated a rather imperfect world of what we call "reality". Of course, they kind of got it backwards, I would think.
The current generation of scientists have for the most part rejected the concept of God and intervention and ascribed to the Freud view of the universe. I note that Freud was an athiest, along with most pyschiatrists, and that Freud's, Darwin's, Jung's and Hobbe's philosophies merged to give rise to the Fascist State philosophy that Hitler rose to power on. The modern scientist when pressed about his or her philosphies are about as anti-religous group as you will ever meet. Rejecting the concept of an order to the universe that the Greeks found through geometry and overlooking anything that smacks of divine intervention, using all tools of logic, argument, science to attack a religous basis to the universe and divine hand in its creation.
|Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 12:07 pm: |
EVIDENCE OF 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN'
The Universe is full of mysteries, including some of these listed here. I personally feel the reasoning behind what they are observing is flawed, given that gravity is still so misunderstood, but the intelligence behind what is observed is non-plussed.
Mini-galaxies may reveal dark matter stream
Fast-spinning neutron star smashes speed limit
Rapid rotation distorts bright star
|Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 01:07 pm: |
Teaching Intelligent Design as discussed on The Examined Life Philosophy forum; also per Wiki's: Intelligent Design, with the prominent proponent of ID being William Dembsky.
My take on this is somewhat expressed here:
"I had not yet read the full paper by Dembsky, but it looks like his argument is that Intelligent Design cannot be lumped in sum with God, or religious conceived Creationism, and that some other process exists whereby the chemistry of the universe arranges itself into living things. Evolution steps in as this re-arrangement shows progressively more sophisticated design, and ultimately more sophisticated brains. In us, our brain's development has reached a point where we can actually consciously reflect on the possibility of such an evolutionary process and wonder. We are aware that we can think, and thus deem ourselves conscious beings.
Biology is not merely chemistry, however, and the two sciences only meet on the periphery of how living tissue responds to chemical or electrical stimuli. Thus far we had not yet succeeded in observing a single instance where inorganic chemistry comes alive, though we had simulated amino acids in the laboratory. But though they may be the building blocks of living matter, they still fall far short of spontaneously coming to life. So biological science is separate and distinct from the other physical sciences, and is thus unique, because it deals with living things. Life science is thus a mystery. What makes it more unique is that it shows evidence of constructive change, where life forms adapt to their environment with some degree of success, hence survivability, and show improvements and refinements over prior designs, as shown in fossil records. As such, the biological process does show some form of evolution, unlike the inorganic chemical process which remain static. Crystals may grow in their natural solutions, but do not show improvements that would lead us to think they evolve, for example. Nor does the crystalline solution lead us to believe it is somehow becoming conscious of what it is doing. We, on the other hand, as increasingly intelligent beings with some sketchy evidence of an evolving brain, we might be excused in thinking that the evolutionary design is intelligent, though itself not a final proof. Rather, it is merely a postulate, that the design of future evolution will tend towards better and more conscious biological beings.
Does this evolutionary biological difference from inorganic chemistry signify "intelligent" design along the way? It may, but to do so we would have to invoke another idea, that biological things alive in the physics of our universe have some mechanism allowing them to tap into the intelligent design of our universe. As yet, we are not equipped to see it this way. We know of no cause-effect relationship that can take the incredibly complex order of our universe and translate it intelligently into the metabolism that inhabit it. In effect, to invoke Intelligent Design into our scientific thinking, we would need to draw upon a philosophical concept of how such intelligence is absorbed from the universe by living tissue. We would have to invent a new language and body of thought to address such a possibility, which could be infinitely exciting for the field of philosophy, if not directly for science."
|Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 09:37 pm: |
It may be true that under many circumstances creatures who have sentience are better able to survive than biological species that lack it. But on earth, plants, bacteria and viruses exist and flourish far more readily in many places than animal species do, and there are many more plant species than there are animal species.
Furthermore, most animal species are dependent on plants for their existence--no plants, no food; no food, no life. Most plant species can continue to exist perfectly well without animals. And so can most bacteria and viruses.
Kevin, is this a kind of "chicken or the egg" question for evolution? Surely bacteria precede other life forms, but do other life forms precede plants and bacteria? Were humans here first, and 'evolved' ultimately into bacteria and plants, or mollusk animals? I think octopi and squid as highly intelligent animals, btw. Seriously, if we are considering evolution as, at least at some level, also an evolution of mind, then there must be some sort of progressive order. De-volution would mean that we started with higher order animals, or plants, and worked backwards. But I don't think there is any real evidence this is so. Would you know of any, Kevin?
On another note, regarding the 'science vs. philosophy' of Intelligent Design: Science tests and collects data, but it is Philosophy that creates theory. The biggest example I can think of is the Big Bang Theory origin of the universe: astronomy and physics observe and collect data, but the 'scientific' conclusion that the redshift of cosmic light is cause for a cataclysmic big-bang creation, well, that's pure philosophy. Unlike our manipulations of the electron and quantum light, where we successfully use it for computing technology, lasers, optic fiber communications, etc: these are all applications due to good science. But whether or not we truly understand the dynamics of atom physics, or relativistic observations in QTM, or what exactly is the interaction between magnetism and electricity, for example, these are all philosophy. In fact, most of these we truly do not know, though the science behind them is superb. So likewise for evolution. Sure, we can readily identify fossil records and date them to atomic accuracy, but do we really know the 'scientific' reasons for why these fossils evolved into today's life forms? Not really, hardly at all... so it's all philosophy.
(Cross posted on Examined Life Forums: http://examinedlifejournal.com/discus/ on the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools.)
|Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 - 09:44 pm: |
Ivan a very interesting post that relates to what we are talking about. In terms of design only we an our cousins the great apes have the ability to perceive and intuitively see geometry. A subject that the greeks spent thousands of years studying with compass and ruler, discovering that it is possible with the mind to behold perfection and discover a fragment of the design of creation.
Very interesting Ed, about how animals already have the neuron hardwire for seeing geometric patterns. I believe some insects see only geometric patterns, and thus identify things that way, as well as communicating how to get there again; bees come to mind. Are we actually reflecting back in our mental processes the construction of how is 'hardwired' the universe? I suspect so.
|Posted on Monday, January 23, 2006 - 10:17 pm: |
More on this (at Examined Life Forum, Jan. 23, 2006):
Kevin, it is something of a dilemma in evolution theory that consciousness *seems* to be on the bow front of more modern species. I agree that "consciousness" itself is something difficult to define scientifically, though the power to communicate with one another may be considered one guideline. Humans are very good at this (like we're doing now), while more sentient animals display some form of communications (dolphins, whales, elephants, chimps, gorillas, etc.) and we're only now beginning to decipher how this "animal talk" works. Can plants communicate? We don't know they can, anymore than we can tell if bacteria or viruses communicate, though they are alive. There seems to be some sort of pattern recognition in bees, for example, where they can communicate locations of nectar filled flowers, but we're only beginning to understand this. Is the brain, or at least an active nervous system, necessary for communications? Probably yes, though we cannot know this for sure yet. -ibid.
I think it more challenging, and certainly more exciting, to "invent" how mind, or consciousness, interacts with its greater natural environment. Part of this new "language" might be termed "locomotion", in that animals, and plants, can either move towards or away from natural stimuli. (I think they all love classical music, even plants, though not so fond of rock'n'roll, from something I once read.) If locomotion, and the consequent ability of making a choice in using this locomotion, is somehow indicative of mind, and to a lesser degree of consciousness, then we can theorize a new "language" spoken by all living species, more so by sentient species in that they can talk to each other, but for all living things also, in that there appears to be some sort of physical awareness of their surroudings. Think of "fight or flight" as one such message sensing modus operandi. However, other than some New Age types, no serious scientific study had ventured into this kind of testable idea, that I know of. But think how exciting it would be if we could identify patterns of communications between living species and their environment, in some cosmic metaphysical sense, which in higher order animals translates into communications with each other! Of course, we'd have to give it a name, something like "locomotion feed-back consciousness", or LFBC, where in each action and reaction to conditions living things "communicate" with their reality.
Now, if this new "language" was verifiably shown to exist, then it also means us humans are "talking" to our environment, with each step we take, or any action, while our environment conditions then "talk" to us, in how reality responds to our actions. Pretty cool, if it were so.
BTW, any such LFBC in life forms is no confirmation they are conscious, but it might be a venue for showing how *consciousness* works itself into evolution over time. In effect, the universe may be "teaching" us to become more conscious with time. And that, should it ever be shown, would be the introduction into seeing evolution as an "intelligent" design, or something like it. Do you see where this may be going?... but pooped out logically here... need more LFBC stimuli from my environment.
|Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 12:46 pm: |
ON DNA ADJUSTING WITHIN EACH LIFETIME
This little bit was written in response to Graham's question on the "Intelligent Design" thread at Examined Life forums philosophy discussions:
It would appear that the question itself implies some bio-feedback mechanism for change within the cell's DNA while still alive. That change, in response to its circumstances and conditions of life, is then recorded and passed down into the next generation, so that gradually over time, future generations have the recorded changes accumulated in them. The eventual effect would be where some future offsprings are beginning to show structural changes in their physiology, to the point where the distant offsprings generations are now truly a different species adaptable to the new (environmental) conditions in which they are found. Once the new conditions stabilize, and the distant offsprings are comfortable in their new conditions, survival becomes more adapted, all of which is now registered in their DNA. Once there, change is now less likely, and the new species continue on as a new stable family. I.e., cows become whales.
Our DNA, as you know, controls the process of cellular growth and development. Changes to our DNA alter the process of growth and development. An interesting question arises: What mechanisms are responsible for the alteration of genetic codes?
The question then morphes into: was this an 'intelligent design' evolutionary process? And if so, 'whose' intelligence?
How would such a process work? Does science have a clue? Is this live changing DNA idea testable?
|Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 06:46 pm: |
Rapid changing DNA in the making?
Genetic shift may be happening before our very eyes. Here's an example mentioned in NewScientist.com, where the red squirrel of northern Canada is adapting to global warming: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3382
I had read sometime ago that ageing in fruit flies is delayed by having them reproduce later in life, so their descendants live longer, but I can't find the reference to this. It might be intriguing because it may point to how our DNA adjusts itself in living species while still alive, but gets passed down in this new form to their off-springs. A delayed reproductive cycle may thus lead to longer living descendants, for example.
Another intriguing idea is "contemporary evolution" where a species adapts to new conditions in the blink of an eye, again right before our very eyes. In this case, it's the fish responding to larger mesh nets. Here's a short: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg18725071.100
Of course, all this reverts back to the original "intelligent design" idea, where the question remains whether such design is intelligence driven from within the organism, or from without? If our DNA "knows" how to adjust to changing environmental conditions, such as the red squirrel above, then the "intelligence" is from within the organism, in effect. But if this adjusting mechanism is external, meaning that the composition of the environmental stimuli drive the change in DNA, then it would point to some external "intelligence" driving evolutionary change. In the case of rapid change, such as driven by global warming or the mesh size of fishing nets used, then evolution may not have the leisure to wait for "random mutation" to adapt the species to new conditions, since this process may suffer too great a loss to have them survive the change. Instead, an "intelligent" response from within the organism is a better solution, though we cannot know for certain that this process is not also "interactive" with a kind of bio-feedback from the environmental conditions of the universe where these organisms live. It could be that Evolution is a "talk" between living things and their universe, which would indicate some sort of intelligence at work on both ends. I leave it here, since I have no clue as to which is which... Though, that said, there is a "progression" evident in Evolution from simpler, more primitive organisms to those more sophisticated, and mentally more advanced. So something of an "intelligent-mind" is driving the design!
|Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 09:51 pm: |
Chemical changing DNA?
This is a cross-post from Examined Life Philosophy Discussion forums, on "Teaching of Intelligent Design":
By Ivan A. - on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - 12:14 pm:
Thanks Anon, for this very fine explanation of how the chemistry of 'meiosis' works. You mentioned in yours:
Overall, this process of meiosis creates gametes which pass unstable chemistry from parents to offspring, continuing the family tree and the species as a whole. Each of these gametes, however, possesses a unique chemical structure ? a genetic 'fingerprint', if you like ? due to the situations in meiosis where genetic diversity is increased. It is this genetic diversity, occuring quite naturally, without rhyme or reason, and explicable in exclusively chemical terms, which, at the level of individuals within a species and their physical characteristics, then becomes the subject of natural selection.
I agree (with Graham here), that this last: "It is this genetic diversity, occuring quite naturally, without rhyme or reason, and explicable in exclusively chemical terms, which, at the level of individuals within a species and their physical characteristics, then becomes the subject of natural selection," that is a 'loaded' statement. What may appear to us as happening randomly, without 'rhyme or reason', may be happening instead 'deterministically', though we are not equipped either conceptually or scientifically to know what it is that determines the apparently 'random' chemical meiosis changes. Natural selection may then follow of necessity, but only as an a posteriori phenomenon, without shedding light on the a priori chemical changes. So there is progression from chemical meiosis to natural selection, which is reasonable, but there may also be a relationship between the environmental conditions of natural selection with the chemical changes taking place within the cells' chemistry, which is as yet unknown. It is this 'selection' of changes in the chemistry of meiosis that is suspect here, because in not understanding how this takes place, and thus calling it 'random', we in effect discard the possibility that there is some deterministic relationship taking place to effect change. I think it should be this small chink opening in the chemistry of changing DNA in living things that could offer the greatest reward for our search, where we could find ways to identify the process in some reasonable way. That would make for very good, and very exciting science! And if this is found, then that is the 'reason', or 'intelligence', that may be driving change in how the evolutionary process of species is interactively relating to the environment in which it struggles to survive. After all that is in place, that the chemistry changes 'in response to' the environmental conditions (rather than randomly), then the natural selection of the successful changes takes place, and the species change to accommodate those conditions. As to why should the progressively evolved species show certain refinements of form, and greater intelligence, for example? It may have to do with the overall 'intelligent design' of our universe, which may have a cosmic 'agenda' in what the future life forms are to represent. In my view (a personal theology of sorts, I guess), that representation is a more perfect form of itself on some cosmic scale.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 09:58 pm: |
"Lost World" discovered.
In the far inaccessible mountain forests of Indonesian Papua -where there is no human habitation- had been discovered numerous new species of fauna and flora, including the illusive home of the 'bird of paradise'. This is very exciting, that we still have worlds to discover on our planet, where evolution took a turn unknown in the rest. What drives evolution into lifes rich diversity, and beauty? Some of the animals found had no fear of humans. Really neat!
Great pix too in the links provided.
|Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 10:01 pm: |
THE 'INTELLIGENT' WAVE?
By Ivan A. on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 12:25 pm:
Kevin, in yours:
I think the problem is a matter of confusing metaphors.
Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, but the abandonment of science. The real difference between Darwinian theory and Intelligent Design theory is more about whether we should cease looking for causes for evolutionary changes, and instead attribute them to an Intelligent Designer, or whether we should continue looking for causes, but meanwhile attribute our ignorance of the exact cause for some evolutionary development to "randomness" and "chance mutations," rather than the intervention of a transcendent Designer.
Would this not be a matter of semantics, where the term "Intelligent Design" is taken in a non-scientific way, being attributed more to some theological idea of 'God', rather than meant to be understood as a branch of scientific inquiry? Could it be instead that the universe has some sort of "intelligence" built into its structure? So it becomes a different metaphor. It is this universal intelligence that then drives how life evolves, not in a vacuum of random events, but in a structured process that causes evolution to progress in ways observed. I think if we take out the "God concept" out of Intelligent Design, we are then "looking for causes for evolutionary change" that may exhibit some sort of natural "intelligent" selection taking place in how living species of the planet evolve. There is a marked difference here, where the metaphors are dissected further to remove the confusion of semantics, that Intelligent Design may be due to natural causes, rather than some Deity's influence on the outcome.
I had tried to show in my above posts (unsuccessfully it seems) how the interrelationships of environment and survival had materialized into a sequence of changes in living species, that we have come to know as Evolution, as a dual process endowed with 'memory'. Again, these changes are not occurring in a vacuum, but are determined by a process of feed-back between the organism and its surroundings. That we think of this as being random is merely our function of not being able to inventory all the circumstantial stimuli that effect such change. However, we should be careful to separate the ?random mutations? from randomness itself, such as would be expected from how ping-pong balls come up in a lottery machine. Neither the machine, nor the balls, have any memory of what preceded, so their outcome is truly random. This is not the case for living organisms, which do have memory, not necessarily some consciousness memory such as enjoyed by us humans, but which have the past registered in some way on their internal chemistry, i.e., such as in their DNA. We may think of memory as being what is remembered by us, but a living organism has "memory" in that all events are somehow registered into their bodies, much like either benevolent or malevolent scars, so the experience is not necessarily lost. But if not lost, where is it registered? What is this chemical, or electrical-neural, "memory" look like? To date, the only form we seem to have identified is DNA, but there may be others of which we are still ignorant, perhaps all the way down to the Quantum electron level. But our ignorance should not sway us into thinking that this process is not intelligent; nor should it necessarily plug the hole with some concept of ?God? either. What good science demands is that we remain skeptical of our knowns, and continue to experiment and observe to identify some data that may illuminate what are our unknowns. We are driven for this continuous search by the fact that Evolution has been observed, and it is not some random process (where it goes any which way) but seems to have a progression of organism towards greater sophistication, and mind (like us). The key may be that from all those nearly random forces that propel species into the future there are two interactive relationships taking place: environmental stimuli and organism memory. Somehow these two interaction in some, albeit unknown, biofeedback seem to be driving Evolution, as observed.
All that said, it feels to me like I am hearing my own voice on this issue, so will let it rest. But I'd like to leave it with a final thought, before I drop it:
When a surfer is sitting on his board waiting for that perfect wave, he may imagine that the wave coming towards him is a random event, merely a function of wind and water; but that wave is there and then from causes infinite, where its true origin rests in the eons of the stars. And that wave may be "intelligent" in ways we cannot even imagine.
|Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 10:56 pm: |
Does "random" really exist?
WE may think of events happening randomly, such as the toss of a coin, but is this a real representation of what is taking place? We know there will be causality as to how the coin will fall, but because such causality is not assessable by us empirically, we simply assign it the label "random" and then leave it at that. But this is not necessarily how things happen in real terms, nor in how the universe is structured. I think there is a schematic way to view this where randomness does not exist, of necessity.
Take a thought experiment, as illustration:
Imagine a barrel drum full of marbles floating in space, so the loose marbles can move about inside without apparent cause, i.e., "randomly". Now also imagine that this drum full of marbles is a totally closed system, so that nothing from outside is influencing how the marbles will bump around inside. Thus, only a totality of marbles in the drum constitutes the causality of how the interior pieces will behave. (Of course, in real life, such a "totality" closed off from the rest of existence is impossible, but this is only to illustrate a point.) Now think of these (randomly moving) marbles as being positioned at any one time in relation to all the other marbles in the drum, as they bump against each other, so that the exact position at any moment in time is per force the totality action of all the other marbles in the drum. Seen this way, the apparent randomness of the marbles is now "defined" by the position and motion of all the other marbles, as their totality dictates. This is another way of saying that the causality definition for each marble is contingent on the sum total position of all the other marbles, so that in effect a kind of "totality definition" is taking place for each individual marble. So what appears to be random motion is in fact determined by the totality of all the marbles, so that the "causality" of such motion is dictated by this totality. Therefore, randomness does not actually exist, since each marble is necessarily "defined" by the position of all the other marbles, to totality.
Now, take this same thought into the real world, and the same "definition" takes place for each atom or molecule, or at the subatomic level for each unit of interactive energy (electrons, quarks, leptons, etc.), so that nothing ever happens "at random" but instead is predetermined by the position of all the other things with which any one unit comes into contact. In effect, there is an interrelationship of these atoms and forces, to totality, which in the universe (for lack of a better totality term) means these interrelationships stretch to infinity. And if that (infinity) is truly all inclusive of "all that is", then randomness simply cannot exist. Where we fail with this idea, however, is that it is simply impossible for us to see it this way, though we can reason it out conceptually. There is no way for us to inventory all the forces at work in how interrelated phenomena of causality stack up to infinity, and from infinity, redirect each and every part of itself. Yet, though we cannot assess this, this process is the "Grand Design" that drives all things in existence at any moment in time, of necessity. And because we cannot inventory it, we end up calling it "random", but it is not so. Randomness simply does not exist.
* * *
What are the implications for Intelligent Design in biology? Using this same schematic of totality-interrelationship, we have a process by which nothing is every 'randomly mutated', because the forces and conditions of how this mutation takes place is already pre-defined in terms of the infinite whole. Does this mean God? No, but it does mean that no matter how impossible for us to assertain the causes, they still do exist. And in toto, that is the Design. Whether or not it is 'intelligent' then comes down to what it is we want to believe, or call it. The fact that such a system could produce intelligence, in a kind of reverse-engineering way, it would imply that the Design already has Intelligence built in; and we are but the necessary outcome of it being there, i.e., us "intelligent beings" as a most recent product of evolution.
This still leaves the problem of subatomic 'uncertainty' in Quantum theory. As earlier mentioned with reference to Bohm, and Einstein, the uncertainty at the quantum level is a randomness of our own doing. We simply cannot get down deep enough with our measuring instruments, which at that level remain obtuse in using electromagnetic wavelengths, that the subtler forces on electrons, or subatomic particles, are lost to our observations. We simply cannot construct instruments fine enough to see it. In effect, the Heisenberg 'uncertainty principle' is a gap in our understanding, but not a real effect. The Universe, in how it is constructed, with all levels of sets of totalities, ad infinitum, is already re-defining itself, infinitessimally at any moment of time, in terms of its totalities. And this brings me back to Graham's:
Davies uses the model of the mind as the model for the universe. He suggests that the universe is like a giant 'mind' or 'computer.' Every event within the system is controlled, in some fundamental sense, by the same kind of purposiveness we find in a mind or computer. Of course, minds and computers are not merely 'random' or 'blind' things. They are things that provide law-like frameworks for events. The law-like framework for the mind is what makes experience possible. But let's assume, for a moment, that all of the events in the universe occur within this larger frame of reference? What if individual local events are what they are because of the larger purpose of which they are a part? Our world is an incredibly intricate system of ordered relationships. Ecosystems, for instance, are microcosms of the larger macrocosmic order which is the earth. But that larger macrocosmic order of the earth is a microcosm of the larger macrocosm of the solar system. And the macroscopic order of the solar system is merely a microcosm in relation to the larger macrocosm of the universe.
WE may in fact be living inside a Paul Davies type of great universal 'computer', except that because the universe has shown the ability, through its internal processes, to evolve live consciousness, I'd rather call it 'Mind'. Not the kind of 'mind' that arbitrarily interferes within its own affairs (parting the seas for us humans fleeing Egypt, for example), but Mind that is structured in such a way where nothing 'random' can ever occur, including how life evolves. Nor should it be assumed that this Mind is the 'hard determinism' often brought up in 'free will' discussions. The totality-infinity that defines itself internally is constantly changing, at every instant of time, so that what existed a moment ago is changed now, and will change again in the next instant, at its Totality. In effect, the system is open ended (at its maximum potential), so determinism is constantly changing in response to all that takes place locally, communicated back to infinite-totality. And it is this changing process at the Totality that keeps redefining itself internally, at the local level, which lends it intelligence in how it is self-designed, including how life evolves. By default, we are all products of a very Intelligent Design, if this 'intelligence' is what the Universe is able to produce.
That said, I do not think for one instance that our intelligence is the best it can do, and expect that either already existent, or to be announced at some future date, there are intelligences far more advanced than our own. I also suspect that when we finally meet them, they will tell us they too believe in a universal Intelligent Design, far more fantastic than anything our olde tyme concepts of God could ever imagine. There is nothing random in any of this.
Ps: There is a problem that crops up in this kind of reasoning: How can such an interactively interrelated system be possible if limited by the speed of light? This to me is big conundrum, because if the universe cannot 'communicate' with all its internal parts, ad infinitum, instantly, then the system as described above is unworkable. For this reason, I think 'spooky action' at a distance is a real phenomenon in how works the universe, and we have not yet identified adequately what this instantaneous action is all about, so both in physics and biology, there is grand room for future science.
I might add, that the word "random" for us in trying to assess the complexities of the universe is equivalent to the bush natives whose arithmetic stops at three, after which it becomes "too many". -IDA
|Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 01:08 pm: |
EVOLUTION IN HYPERDRIVE?
"Toxic Toads Evolving Super-Fast"
By Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News
How will they explain that with "random mutations", when an army of longer legged toads is fast footing it across the Aussie bush?
This is exactly the kind of 'bio-feedback' envisioned in how the interrelationship between organism and environment, embodied in brain and DNA, combine to push forward new species, i.e., Evolution.
Is this an 'intelligent design'? To me it is. Though not in any Biblical sense of a 'plague of toads' punishing the population by God, it does show the 'intelligence' of needing longer and stronger legs to cover distance better. Odd, but once they settle down, their legs get shorter again. That's fast!
|Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 12:09 pm: |
X-post from "Teaching Intelligent Design", Examined Life Philosophy forum:
By Ivan A., on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 01:16 pm:
Think about it: the philosophical goal par excellence, probably up until after Hegel, was to chase after some sort of occult knowledge that would reconcile man's subjective existence with the brutal, uncaring indifference of nature.
James, this is close to my own (self-deluded) conclusion of our mortal search for answers to our "being's death": How could such a conundrum exist? The ancients reconciled it with either magic occult, or immensely clever religious paradoxes impossible to reasonably reconcile, where only those truly adept at dialoguing (in the old Hebrew traditions) the most obscure would be considered 'savants'. However, modern scientific discovery, and falsifiable modeling, has forced us to philosophize less on the obscure, or on that which is 'sophisticated', and tend more towards causality and falsifiable theory. Psychoanalysis is the most 'sophisticated' in this, by calling it a form of symptom-formational 'self-delusion', which we mortals suffer, so puts our conundrum into denial. Where "intelligently designed" evolution comes in, then, is to prove both scientific materialism and psychoanalytical denial in that there are (what Graham calls "the universe is a giant ecosystem that has a pervading total order in relation to which individual instances of order are merely microcosms") for which we had not yet evolved a vocabulary to cope with. Hence, we all struggle, philosophically, with trying to understand some conceptual model, that is both observable and falsifiable, in showing how life's evolution is progressing (to find the divine origins of our being), from totality to the microscopic. We are now evolved enough to look back upon our universe and wonder, and actually be aware that we are doing this, despite all of life's brutality (which would take truly sophisticated 'self-denial' to cirumvent its reality), and have some sense of inner satisfaction that our subjective nature had not been totally obliterated by objective reason. I think the word "humility" is what captures it best philosophically, with shock and awe, before we die.
|Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2006 - 12:34 am: |
WHY DOES IT ALL TAKE SO LONG?
It always takes time to see things evolve. Ever notice how the evolution timeline stretches over millions of years? It took bacteria about one and a half billion years to evolve into the first single celled lifeforms, plants and protozoa, and another billion years for multicelled organisms. Then, about another half billion years for real evolution to begin branching into the many diverse life forms in fossil records, the first vertebrae, and then life seemed to explode in the last quarter billion years into land animals and air breathing species. Seen from an astrophysical perspective, it all took so much time. Not even discounting a theorized Big Bang origin to all existence some 13 billions years ago, but taken merely as a continuous timeline of life evolving on Earth, it took time. The universe does not do things instantly, it seems.
Perhaps it could, in that the universe has some capability to have things happen instantly. Accidents happen in nearly no time, for example. But that is a destructive force at work, a chaotic event, while construction, like any edifice built, takes time. Planning, drawing, assembly of materials and labor, and then execution. Likewise for all things in existence. There seems to be some timeline of structuring that brings results to fruition. Events do not happens randomly, but are organized from some greater source into specific things, especially living things. Why is it that the universe cannot come fully formed, immediately? Why could not life have sprung in its current many multitudes of form at some primordial point in time? It did not, but rather was assembled laboriously over billions of years. We know this from fossil records on Earth, and by extension must assume that something similar happened elsewhere in the universe. Life came into being not instantly, aside from some instant when molecules were arranged such as to produce a living form. Time is something the universe seems to have much of, and it is universally true that nothing ever comes into being of itself, but it happens through the many steps necessary to produce the present.
If the universe in its present form already existed as a potential, something in the arrangement of its infinity in both space and time that manifest into all its present forms, then it did not come into being already formed. The arrangement of forces and matter, of an infinity of energy and space, needed necessary steps to form itself internally into all that is. Each change had registered itself somehow into this infinity of arrangements to solidify into some acceptable form, universally acceptable to all existence, before it can become real. Same with life, that the process of arrangements that produced first life forms took a very long time to reach just the single celled format. In that format was somehow registered all the steps needed to make it so, and then it continued onward towards greater complexity and diversity. Today, looking back at it all, the timeline was staggering in terms of a human life span, but it seemed to accelerate with each successful stage of development. By the time of mammalian life, and in particular the arrival of first humans, the acceleration became staggeringly rapid. Within a mere few million years, human beings came into their present form, a species that became so successful that now we dominate the whole planet. What was it that accelerated the process with the arrival of each new life species? Was it the evolution of mind? If each organism in its rudimentary nervous system was already on the path towards more consciousness, greater choices and memory, then it would appear that the idea that life's evolution accelerated exponentially with the development of mind is not far from the truth. Something in that early potential of the universe found expression within its evolving species, so that with greater mind, a greater rate of growth happened. Was that potential mind?
On the other end of things, mind is what drives us to question and seek answers to our own existence. But even there time rules how we think. Ideas, no matter how brilliant, or perhaps especially when novel, take time to absorb into the human psyche. Planetwide, ideas flow but are resisted, sometimes with good reason, until one day they become the accepted format for how we humans become conscious of what it is we accept and ultimately believe. But like the myths of our ancient ancestors, we tend to play with ideas that may not truly represent what is, but need time to absorb reality in terms of itself. It took thousands of years to allow ideas of personal freedom, and democratic ideals, to become a normal way of seeing things, though these ideas are not new to us. Already our ancestors had them in some form. But we could not cope with them, so mythified ideas of ourselves into religion, into fanciful beliefs which were claimed to be from God. But what is God? Did God take time to form as well? Or is God but an intermediate step humanity needed to come to terms with its own existence. And if so, then religious mythology, universal to all societies, was that necessary step towards an eventual understanding of our human identity, our being, and who we are in existence. Vestigial religious dogma still dominate large parts of the planet, sometimes violently resisting change, but that too is part of the time element needed for change. We cannot become fully formed, fully conscious human beings without putting in the time, and effort, to do so. Of course God did not make all creation a few thousand years ago, in the biblical sense, but we needed that much time to come to grips with an understanding of how our human reality came to believe in something much bigger than ourselves, and our part in the whole.
It is the whole that takes time to fulfill its potentials. Whatever can come into being will do so, but only after all the parts of the whole had come together in such a way that the new is fully formed, and thus is prolonged as something new. The survival of the species comes not of accident, but of a carefully measured process that carries within its structure the ability to sustain itself over time. It is the same with ideas, that once they are understood and accepted rationally, they continue their existence, though it may have taken decades, or centuries, to get there. That is the normal process of the universe, even in how it is structured itself, that progressive development cannot happen instantly. Everything needs the right sets of conditions to become what it is, even if at times we wish God would intervene and make it so now. No, it will take its own evolution in its own time to achieve what is needed, and then, once that is achieved, it endures. That is how life seems to be structured. And yet, that same structure is mirrored in each organism in that its form and being, and its mind, reflects already all the inputs that had gone into its creation. We are the product, each one of us, of a whole vast chain of evolution that spans eons, and is infinite in its potentials, all registered in what is evolving as our mind. And when conscious of this, at least to me, it brings about an immense calm. We are cradled within an infinity of being that had brought us to the present state, where we can actually look back upon this evolutionary progression, and exist as conscious beings within it. It took a very long time, but we are here, now.
What is so intriguing about this idea, that it all takes so much time, is that we are a living part of its development. Our being is living proof of its success. Personal accomplishments may give us a sense of glory, but it is the larger picture of all that went into getting that accomplishment that is such wonder. Nothing we ever can do is of its own, unsupported by the immense inputs that went into creating our being, our mind, our person who we are. We are so rich. We are a product of a very great movement of time, of the infinite arrangements of space, into now. Does that in itself not give us some comfort? Is this not what faith is all about? That we believe that we are not singular in our being, but part of something so much bigger and greater than ourselves? That is the intelligence at work in ourselves, when we can see it this way, and a new calm comes over us. We are the products of a universe that, through immense movements of itself, patiently from infinite reaches of itself, has produced each and every one of us. This is who we are. That patience, of the eons, is something on which we could meditate, and wonder. Call it myth, but to me at least, it is an immensely wonderful thing to behold. That we exist at all is a wonder. But that we exist with a mind that can ultimately see all this, and be a product of all this, is truly something incredible, something beyond reason. Yet, here we are.
What comes to mind, when it is all seen this way, is not self congratulation, nor arrogance, not personal glory, but patience and humility. And faith. We are not alone in all that we do, for there already preexists a whole pantheon of existence that laboriously, through great dimensions of time, had produced all that we think in our infancy as being created of our own. No. We are not the creators, but merely the repositories of all creation. And of that creation is the intelligence, and passions, that we exhibit in our vainglorious being. So faith, that is what drives our patience, because we will achieve all we wish, and our greatness will be recognized, in time. For now, however, we are merely part way within the greater process, and because only part way, we have no justifiable reason for our egoism, nor arrogance. Tolerance, that is the criteria here, especially for those of us who cannot yet see this. We need patience and tolerance for our fellow human beings, because they need time. Not all have arrived at understanding of who we are, and thus some must still live within their old myths. Understanding takes time, because confusion is the other side of what we still cannot understand. That will come with time.
I wrote this because it had been long on my mind how contentious the world is, just before we reach full understanding and maturity, as a planet of conscious human beings. We will get there. We are who we are. Though, that vision of who we are is not yet universal, and some would stay within the safety of not knowing this. They want to be told by others, rather than discovering these ideas for themselves. In effect, they are not yet free in their own hearts and minds to be themselves. But we are free human beings. So even if not all in the world recognize this yet, those of us who have come to understanding must, of necessity, keep that small flame of consciousness alive. It takes work, effort of mind. We must not allow it to be destroyed, neither by accident nor by the chaotic fears others have in their hearts. They will come to also understand, and have faith in themselves, in time. That is what tolerance will allow, though in the same vain, nor can we allow those who are still driven by myth to destroy those who have achieved understanding. Patience and faith, for they will in the end awaken. It is a very big and patient universe, and we are not abandoned in our quest of becoming who we are. The contentiousness of the world is driven, I believe, by the fact that enlightenment cannot come about instantaneously. Our species must still suffer confusion before we can see it universally. Still, the universe does not rest, and in time, it will be done. That is universal evolution. And for those of us who are awakened, our need is merely to not let it be forgotten, nor destroyed. In time, it will be understood by everyone, as universally as the smile on a human face.
|Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 09:12 am: |
HOHOHOHOHOH! -Humour is a sense of irony in the face of the absurd- HHAHAHAHAHA!
|Posted on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 05:47 pm: |
Double 'DNA' helix in space?
How about that for (cosmic) humor? If the ideas of 'interrelationship' (as postulated in Habeas Mentem, Bk I) are in some form valid, then what is at the greatest dimensions of space will also reveal itself in its smallest. So it may not be surprising to find forms universal to both, spiral galaxies look like the inner ear, and double helix like our DNA. Works for me.
|Posted on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 10:22 pm: |
Works for me too Ivan
On a sadder but more down to earth note scientists and doctors have begun to crack the code on what they are now call TBI, tramatic brain injuries and the after effects that our soldiers are experiencing. The following webpage documents this injury, its effects and what is being done about it.
Casualty of War
Damaged brains are emerging as the singular injury of the Iraq conflict. A soldier’s story.
having survived this injury myself and recovered my skills I understand what these soldiers are going through, the anger frustration and the rest.
The amount of pain I went through to relearn how to do things, think and remmber was beyound words as my brain healed and found new paths.
There is hope with the right treatment, faith and modern medicine.
I will pray for these soldiers as I know the agony of such a wound. I also hope they find my fight back and achievments in school and with compass and ruler after such an injury somewhat of an inspiration
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 05:51 pm: |
WHALE SONGS ARE COOL
Chalk one up for the animal kingdom, singing whales have complex language skills: Whale song reveals
To hear their music, click here
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 06:59 pm: |
And life created continents...
Cool, cool, wonderful whales songs. This one linked above is about bacteria forming continents by reworking rocks. There is no end to surprises on what Life can do!
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 02:22 pm: |
"I concur with you regards intelligent design. The current generation of scientists have for the most part rejected the concept of God and intervention and ascribed to the Freud view of the universe."
"God" is not a scientific concept. It is just a one size fits all name for whatever causes that we don't understand.Proponents of "God" cannot set up testable hypotesis about "God", nor can they describe its attributes.
Having failed dismally to explain any natural phenonmenon with "God", theologians change tacts and make the far weaker claim that God is *consistent* with science. So, say, evolution may be somehow mysteriously guided by "God" in some unknown way. Well, the problem is "God" is such a flexible concept that it is consistent with ANY theory under the sun.It gives no additional insight or understanding to whatever phenomenon under investigation.
Also, if in the opinions of believer that the complexity and apparant orderliness of nature requires a first cause or a creator, then who creates this creator? "God", if exists, must be even more complex than the universe itself.
Inventing a word for our ignorance is no science.
BTW, I am not aware that Freud was a cosmologist. Philosophers and students of the liberal arts may still take him seriously, but I assure you most working scientists in biology or physics don't take their cue from Freud.In fact I suspect even psychologists nowadays don't read Freud anymore.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 03:52 pm: |
I think what the discussion in this particular thread is all about is that Freud and Darwin's work was used by the NAZI philosphers to create the world view that was Nazism.
As to God, well heck a guy that walks around with 1200 times a lethal dose of nerve agent in his body confirmed by NIH and Duke university and makes dean's list at school has a right to have an opinion on that.
Unless we want to go down the road of trying to explain that event as evolution or space alien intervention. A discussion which could very well take us back to the idea's promoted by the NAZI's
For me I'd rather ascribe to the peaceful Christian view of the situation myself.
Besides I seem to recall that Padre Pio had some words to say on the subject of God and has been made a Saint. When you attack the concept of God sometime its hard to forget that tens of thousands visit the shrines of Padre Pio on a daily basis and that true belivers tend to get very heated about certain subjects.
Religion defies explanation by science.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 06:56 pm: |
"I think what the discussion in this particular thread is all about is that Freud and Darwin's work was used by the NAZI philosphers to create the world view that was Nazism."
So what is the argument? Is it that Freud and Darwin's work intrinsically and inevitably lead to Nazism? This is laughable and crass.
Genocides and racism existed long before Darwin and Freud. If you care to look up the Old Testament, it is full of explicit commands to commit mass murder, same with the Quran and a few other holy texts which claim to originate from "God". At least neither Freud nor Darwin actually told people to commit murder.
People with homicidal agenda can and do always distort or selectively interprete any cultral, religious or political ethos to justify their murderous undertaking. This is completely unremarkable and is as old as the human species. If I follow your dubious argument perhaps the human race is the source of all evil and thus should be wiped out.
"As to God, well heck a guy that walks around with 1200 times a lethal dose of nerve agent in his body confirmed by NIH and Duke university and makes dean's list at school has a right to have an opinion on that."
Eh?? What does it have to do with the price of tea in China? Are you saying that being druged up makes one's opinion more valid? Strange criteria I must say. May I inquire as to what you're smoking?
"Unless we want to go down the road of trying to explain that event as evolution or space alien intervention. A discussion which could very well take us back to the idea's promoted by the NAZI's "
The Nazis probably agreed 1 + 1 = 2. So in your opinion we should insist 1 + 1 = 3 to avoid Nazism?
"For me I'd rather ascribe to the peaceful Christian view of the situation myself."
How "peaceful" is the Christian view is well borne out by the inquisition, lynching and religious wars.Ignorance is not even a sure recipe to innocence.
"When you attack the concept of God sometime its hard to forget that tens of thousands visit the shrines of Padre Pio on a daily basis and that true belivers tend to get very heated about certain subjects."
Since when is logic become a matter of democratic votes? There was a time when 99% of the population believed in a flat earth. Majority endorsement didn't make the idea less wrong.
As for being made a saint, big deal. I don't seek guidance in life from a bunch of pedophiles who claim to have a direct channel to the OLD one.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 07:02 pm: |
Dear Anon, I knew of Padre Pio before his sainthood, of people in Rome who believed in him. Sure, miracles defy science, which is why they are called miracles.
The road to Nazism, however, takes a different tack. You need absolute conviction that you are right, and a strong leader to convince the masses that they are right, and then dogma becomes deadly. Coercion is coercion no matter what its labels, unlike love thy neighbor which is anti-coercion. Padre Pio was of the latter, while those who worship power are the culprits in what had always been wrong with our world. But that, Nazims et al, is not what this thread is about. Rather, it is about the wonder of how intelligently designed is life, and in particular the life of human beings who had become conscious enough to embrace love over coercions.
On this day, would it not be better to embrace the Resurrection, and believe Love?
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 07:18 pm: |
Well said Ivan,
Miracles, by their definition defy science. They are intended to challange us intellectually and restore faith. I note the case of the Sago mine disaster survivor as one such case amoung many. When I looked at my Doctors, all learned men of science with published papers in the best scientific journals they all said the same thing. This defies our science. You should be dead. Then they looked at me for the answer, one said it must be good genes, selective breeding. The rest shook their heads and said, sometimes even we see things we can't explain. Until then we will call it a miracle.
My Best on this Easter.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 07:53 pm: |
"Miracles, by their definition defy science. They are intended to challange us intellectually and restore faith."
The true source of wonder is that the universe is actually orderly and describable in mathematical laws.This is the true miracle and you know what, it is only accessible to us through science..
The kind of "miracles" that "defy science" that religious believers routinely speak of are just vulgar, anthropocentric, circus freak show. If you want to see real miracle at work, try to understand, say the intricate biochemistry of a living cell. The universe would be a considerably less wonderous place if it permits arbitrary "miracles" that "defy science" becuase that implies the universe is devoid of deep structures.
The tiny wings of a butterfly represents a much more profound miracle than all the supersitious nonsenses peddled by the religious types.
Religion is but a cheap way to substitute true awe and genuine mystry with vulgar, human centred cosmic soap operas and ready made answers.
Pre Med Student
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 08:25 pm: |
Considering the fact that at the celular level organophosphate based neurotoxins are designed to interrupt the flow of neurotransmitters between nerve cells thus disrupting the bodies ability to control its autonomic and motor functions.
A 1200 times lethal dosage of a neurotoxin goes beyound a, "Circus freak show", because its a physical impossibility to survive without ventilator support and drugs to counter act the effects of the poison. At best the person should be severely crippled, likely with a large degree of CNS damage that would preclude normal functioning.
I would love to see the test data.
I can now see why medical papers have been written on this and why they would be held in the strictest confidentiality.
Honestly if Ed walked in the door I would be scared, because by all science he should be laying in a morgue.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 09:13 pm: |
Yes, the point of this thread is whether "ID" is science. The answer is clear from the postings here.
The fact that God is brought up so many time by those who seem to be sympathetic to ID validates the claim by The U.S. National Academy of Sciences that ID is but a way to smuggle in god through the back door(and they are not even very discret in carrying out the smuggling).
This is a free country, I am cool with people wanting to believe in their "God(s)" of choice, but please don't pretend that it is science.The proper place for ID is in the classrooms of comparative religion or pesudoscience awareness, not biology.
|Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 10:09 pm: |
I agree Anon. Mixing God with Science is not a good thing. To make God the souce of science is a weak argument. To make Science into God has its problems too, as you(?) pointed out, that it leads to Nazism. However, it should be noted that modern religious sentiments want to agree with science. Though, that is not the same as saying Science is God, though some may think so.
I would think the gist of this thread is less esoteric and more mundane. Life that can evolve intelligence has intelligent design built into it. The question is not that God has given intelligent design, as some would have us believe, but rather than God does not have to be involved. The miracle of life is already mysterious enough to make us wonder how a universe can have intelligence, of any kind, develop within it over the evolutionary time scale. That is a worthy question, in my opinion.
|Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:04 am: |
" as you(?) pointed out, that it leads to Nazism..." Ivan
Actually that was a different "Anon". I took great exception to his/her view. I stated my objection in my post at 03:56 pm.
"Life that can evolve intelligence has intelligent design built into it.."
I think you're using the term "intelligent design" in a very broad sense. This usage is quite different from what ID proponents have in mind.
The gist of their argument is that there exist "irreducibly complex" biological systems.
By that they mean systems which have no useful function if some key parts are missing. Such systems cannot arise through natural selection and adaptation, so the argument goes, because under the evolution paradigm organisms develope into their present froms through a slow process of trial and error and gradual fine tuning.
In contrast all human artifacts are "irreducibly complex". For example, your computer is designed
for a specific purpose. If a key incredient, say the CPU clock, is absent, you don't get a partially functioning computer. The thing just becomes a piece of junk.
Since an "irreducibly complex" system has no functioning, evolutionary precursor(either partially functoning versions of itself or less complex versions that may perform DIFFERENT functions) it must have come into being in one single, fully functional package. It thus follows that such
a system has to be the product of engineering rather than evolution. Hence "intelligent design".
Even though not explicitly stated by ID proponents, but the existence of a "designer" is clearly implied by their arguments.
The problem is none of their proposed examples of "irreducibly complex" systems are actualy irreducibly complex. Besides, their arguments often reveal a lack of understanding of even the most basic of biology. For example, an engineered gene with all its purposes and functions built into our gene pools millions of years ago would have become totally dysfunctional by the time it expresses itself. Why? It would have undergone many mutations while without being acted on by natural selections. Most mutations are deadly. We call that cancer.
For more details of the debate, you can do a google search.
Pre Med Student
|Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 05:36 am: |
I agree with regards to the issue of mutations and cancer. As to God and the rest, I feel that is a debate that should be confined to the Churches. It has no place in science.
I have been researching the issue of neurotoxins and the Bible.
I propose this, at the neurocelular level there is a chemical that facilitates the transmission of neurotransmitters. Neurotoxins block the chemical from functioning.
If a set of human beings had a mutation that caused them to use another chemical/enzime for that reaction then the effect of neurotoxins would not be the same. Ie. the story of St. Paul in the Bible being bitten by a serpent and not dying.
However, this begs the question of whether or not there is a second or alternative branch of the human race running about out there.
Some research has indicated that the high priests of Judism have an identifiable genetic marking in their DNA. However the Jewish people due to factors that include a small gene pool also have a number of genetic diseases that they are suseptable to.
This begs the question of past selective breeding efforts amoung elite warrrior and priest casts and just what is walking around out there in our society.
As I did my research I could not help to think of the x-files despite all my education.
I for one and glad that we live in a democracy with the rule of law and seperation of Church and state but feel the issue of invitro reproduction needs to be regulated and controlled as I see a danger now where people with power and money are being to shop for eggs to support the production of wonder kids. On my campus high functioning attractive women have seen adds for eggs to help couples have kids that involve large sums of money.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 08:50 pm: |
WHAT IS GOD?
God is the infinite and its every zero point center.
God is everything and nothing, intelligent design and chaos.
God is the ultimate reality and the ultimate paradox.
It is for this God in Science means nothing, and everything, makes for a poor argument.
The Gnostic ascetics had it right:
Intelligent Design is beyond reason.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:15 pm: |
This begs the question of past selective breeding efforts amoung elite warrrior and priest casts and just what is walking around out there in our society.
As I did my research I could not help to think of the x-files despite all my education.
I for one and glad that we live in a democracy with the rule of law and seperation of Church and state but feel the issue of invitro reproduction needs to be regulated and controlled as I see a danger now where people with power and money are being to shop for eggs to support the production of wonder kids.
Pre med student, you bring up an important point, that even in a free democracy, demarcated by a separation of Church and state, there is still a moral imperative to prevent the creation of wantom life, such as raising babies for 'donated' organs, or even taken to the superficially benign desire to have 'alpha' kids procreated through genetic selection, or engineering. What if the wunderkind kid is just ordinary? How will he or she live with himself or herself if its parents had unreasonable expectations that it should somehow been a super child? It is a special human being regardless, in a free world, free to find itself in terms of a greater reality. And what if it were superior in some ways, would that justify domination of others? The Nazis thought so, but we already fought that war. Net result is that once we selectively begin to design human beings, and take this function away from natural processes, we then position ourselves above the natural workings of life and how the universe had already designed humans. Sure we're imperfect, but that's the point of it all, that the perfections of our universe are of a higher order than we can identify. To believe otherwise is merely puny human arrogance. The intelligent design that went into creating life, and all the living beings in it, must defer to an element of randomness and risk, if we are not to raise ourselves above the wonders of what had been evolved, or created, with a mind capable of making both rational and irrational choices, and feel that "who I am" in themselves. If we do not respect this element of the unknown, we run the danger of thinking ourselves, in our fertile imagination, that once we reach a higher level of consciousness we are free to rule over others, and coerce them if need be with full justification. Thee Catch-22 here is that once we reach higher intelligence, once we become truly conscious human beings, we come to the higher awareness that it is exactly for this reason that we are forbidden from coercing others. This is when complexity of all existence is reduced to its simplest: we may not use coercion except to stop coercions.
What the couples soliciting "super desirable female" eggs for their expectant offsprings are doing, though they are not aware of this, is coercing both the future parent, and certainly the future child, for their own vanity. Unacceptable, if they truly think themselves superior.
Thanks for bringing up this challenging idea, Pre med. That's why we have a separation of Church and state, so the pseudo-elite cannot rule over the creatures of natural creation.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:21 pm: |
Natural selection and sleep?
This came up in casual conversation, but all living animals seem to need sleep. It appears that the more evolved, the more they need this sleep. But why is that? As my friend mentioned, sleep is really counterproductive to survival, since we are helpless and at risk while asleep. So would not "natural selection" have favored less and less sleep, or perhaps no sleep at all? Is this not a contradiction in Darwinian evolution?
Think about it. Sleep at your own risk... you might get eaten!
|Posted on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 11:38 am: |
Dear ad gnostic, in your above "What is God?" there is some resemblance to the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts in The Thunder: Perfect Mind.
It is one of the great mysteries of the universe that such reason can exist beyond reason, which only points to the humbling fact that our reason is merely a small artifact within a much greater whole. That alone is cause for a deep humility before the All.
|Posted on Saturday, April 29, 2006 - 11:35 pm: |
TAKE A TEST, SEE HOW HAPPY YOU ARE
The Science of Happiness
I came up "satisfied" so not unhappy, but can reach for more happiness, to make myself happier, that is. I don't mind being happy, but really prefer a kind of serenity balance over manic happiness, if such a thing is possible.
|Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 10:08 pm: |
Boobs for physics, as in simple harmonics:
Now, intelligent design gets no simpler than this.
|Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 08:43 am: |
LOL Le Chef you have gift for lightening up serious discussions
More power to you! I loved the one on Cheeses of Nazerith, you can poke fun at religion in good taste and get a laught out of even the most serious of people
|Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 11:53 pm: |
Oh Vanity, thy name is... (fill in your blank)
Watch the guy on the left as she walks by.
Le (lean cuisine) Chef
|Posted on Sunday, November 04, 2007 - 01:31 pm: |
The atom is the 'messenger' in how universe designs itself?
Helium atomic structure: The nucleus is, showing protons in purple and neutrons in pink. In reality, the nucleus (and the wavefunction of each of the nucleons) is also spherically symmetric. The darkness of the electron cloud corresponds to the line-of-sight integral over the probability function of the 1s electron orbital.
In the [Ps:] at Our Modern Universe in G-flat, I wrote something that makes sense on still another level, of how the universe is constructed, or self designed, at the atomic level. There my spontaneous response to a "What is the space-vacuum?" query was:
[Ps: I slept on this, and the answer to 'space is gravity' seems to be 'the atom is the messenger'. Weird answer, but thinking about it, what Axiomatic seems to be saying is in low e.m. hot energy the atom 'picks up' more of space-vacuum energy, which is gravitational, so exhibits higher G; conversely, in hight e.m. energy, the atom picks up more light energy to suppress the space-vacuum, hence lower G. So 'space' is merely a state-of-being which is all gravity, and when all e.m. energy is suppressed (like in galaxy black hole where all e.m. lambda cancels out) then ALL gravity takes over, and that's immense. The reason this is impossible anywhere else in space is because there is always background 'noise' of e.m. energy flying around, so even if G is very great, it never goes to max except in black hole conditions (which may also be true inside all massive hot bodies). But in this intepretation, space has no waves, gravity has no waves, since it is merely a state of being; what has waves is its duality opposite, hot radiant energy, which then modifies how the atom messengers perform to exhibit either more or less gravity. Neutron stars are an important clue to how much gravity exists in free space away from hot stars... Keeping thinking, but the real evidence is out there. The brass ring goes to the first one who finds real evidence of a variable G, away from Earth's known 1G. Once that happens, everything changes, even the energy used in our future engines, whch will tap into the space-vacuum gravity potentials.]
Particle physics focusses all its attention on the electromagnetic wave function, with any gravity function associated with this is largely ignored except in the instance where a fraction nanosecond Planck-scale micro 'black hole' occurs. So the atom, as now understood, is a unit of energy expressed in terms of particle physics, and given the quantity of kilograms for measuring it. What the above spacevacuum energy implies is that the kilogram force is actually a gravity function within the atom, of which nano particles are then interacting with. Smashing atoms has given some insights into the basic structure of the atom, subatomic particles as now understood with quarks and mesons, but these may be no more than how photon energy interacts with spacevacuum energy. Where electromagnetic 'photon' energy interacts with the 'gluon' energy of gravity inside the atom, the formation of the whole structure, as found from Quantum mechanics wave-particle duality, are confined within a finite space, what becomes the atom. This atom is then the 'messenger' of space, connecting itself with every other atom throughout the universe, as a totality of infinite atoms, both through photon energy as well as gluon structures, to where all are interlinked, infinitely, into a vast interrelationship of matter and energy. This is our universe, and by appearances, it may be a 'harmonics' universe right down to the level of the electron. (See Aug. 25,2002: "Electron 'Harmonics' for Hydrogen".) If so, then all the infinity of interrelationships that structure our universe, which is now infinitely interactive at the photon-gluon levels, makes sense as an 'intelligent design' for how the universe is a self-interactive duality energy-gravity system, where the two are inversely proportional. What comes of all this interactivity, interrelated to infinity, is a harmonious whole of existence, so complex and beautiful that it can create life and intelligence within it.
I once wrote something, which was cross-posted from the Examined Life philosophy forums, titled The Rule of Interconnectivity: Logic, where I tried to show how the interrelationships of the universe dictate reason, or what we also call Logic. Now, with an understanding of the atom as the 'messenger' for how light energy and dark gravity interact in space, perhaps instantaneously so that their interaction is geometric outside time, then we have a mechanism at the atomic level which defines itself logically as the structure of the universe, or All that Is. The mechanism allows, therefore, for the universe to be logical, mathematical, interactive, self defining, and last but greatest, that it is also alive. A life force that manages all of existence? Now we're talking God stuff. However, rather than defaulting to God, as all ancient philosophies always had, we can instead default to the atom, inside the atom and outside how it interacts with all of matter and energy to infinity. That kind of 'God' interaction makes sense in a living, harmonious, competitive, sensual, intelligent universe. So from the atomic interactions of light and dark, we get all of existence of a Living Universe, which now becomes not some faith based mystery, but actually understandable. Now, that's progress! We can finally leave behind ancient religious superstitions, and take on God with a scientific understanding.
Can we do this? Is there an Intelligent Design behind all these by appearances 'random' activities in the universe? Yes, of course there is. There is no randomness except in the fact that our algorithms and theories are limited by our observations, where our understanding falters. But what is so difficult for us to understand, for the Universe it is child's play, because all things, I mean absolutely everything in existence, are connected and interconnected in a sensible way right down to the quarks inside the atom, for all matter and all living things. That's so cool! This opens up a whole new universe of understanding our reality, that it is not random or chaotic, if at times brutal, but ordered at the highest level of intelligence possible: A universal totality of interrelationship communicating with itself, and redefining itself, at every split nanosecond of time, infinitely and instantaneously.* I cannot imagine a more intelligent design than this. And we are still evolving... How cool is that?!
Does Habeas Mentem make more sense now? Perhaps... the first few chapters at least, to where our human consciousness is a product of an all encompassing infinite interrelationship totality... God stuff.
BTW, Chef, those above harmonics are indeed a thing of beauty.
*(See more on 'instantaneousnes' of light in earlier post here: http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/6/17.html#POST3983 )
|Posted on Friday, January 25, 2008 - 06:37 pm: |
Apple Shop Tourist
Click to see AOL Apple board forum
Ivan/how Life started
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 10:16 pm: |
How could Life happen?
[Also see follow-up: A Universe of Life, posted May 31, 2008]
Marine life around a coral reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
We think bacteria as the simplest form of life. And yet even this simple microorganism is exceptionally complex, since it has both the ability to reproduce and store its genetic code, as well as process energy to keep itself 'alive'. But what does alive actually mean? Particularly, how could a living microorganism go from some primordial chemical composition to life, where it went from inanimate to animate? How could life happen?
We know life dies; and we also know life is born. But these require very specific conditions to occur, not out of nothing. Yet life is found throughout the planet, so it is a durable fact that life exists for all living species. But how could it be alive? We know all life is carbon based, all of it here at least. In the Santa Fe Institute Bulletin, Spring 2008 issue, on pg. 66 the article titled: "Cherry Picking the Periodic Table: A New View of Life", it says:
This goes on to show how the elements found in the Earth's crust, mainly carbon and iron, hygroden and nitrogen, oxygen, sodium and calcium and trace elements of phosphorus, sulfur, selesium, cobalt, etc., are also found in living systems, so we are made up of what our planet is made up. This is a sensible place to start. But how would these elements then combine into something that could replicate as DNA and make itself alive? It did not just spring up spontaneously out of some primordial ooze. Though in the laboratory there had been replicated trace amino acids from inert pre-biotic conditions, such as the Miller-Urey experiment, where between electrodes water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen combined into organic compounds, it was not officially alive. That would still require something more than merely the chemistry of life, since that chemistry would then have to be activated into a living thing. But such a trigger had not been found, so it may not be a simple micro event that sparks life. Perhaps it is instead in another direction, at the macro level?
To know how life developed, in other words, we have to start by knowing how atoms and molecules came to interact with each other as they do in living systems.
If we are to shift from the micro, such as electricity applied to a chemical solution, and swing over to the macro, there are a couple of preconditions that must be met. First, to avoid the micro label we must choose the largest possible macro, since anything smaller is still inherently a 'micro' process; so we must choose an infinite macro system. Second, the conditions that allow for first life formation must no longer exist on Earth; within the budget of conditions that could be responsible for life, life already has taken root on Earth, so any such new attempt would already be factored into that budget. With these two conditions in place, as postulates of life formation, let us examine how this could be possible.
Infinity closed in on itself - a torus, as basic Cellular Automata
For such an infinite macro structure we need a model, such as Wolfram's Cellular Automaton, which is derived from an earlier model by Stanislaw Ulam, working together with John Von Neuman, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1940s. In Wikipedia's Cellular Automata, this infinite macro structure is alluded to:
However, this game is still in the finite grid, or micro state of graphing the 'sets', and to make it infinite in a two dimensional setting, we must use a trick. Again per Wiki:
One way to simulate a two-dimensional cellular automaton is with an infinite sheet of graph paper along with a set of rules for the cells to follow. Each square is called a "cell" and each cell has two possible states, black and white. The "neighbors" of a cell are the 8 squares touching it. For such a cell and its neighbors, there are 512 (= 29) possible patterns. For each of the 512 possible patterns, the rule table would state whether the center cell will be black or white on the next time interval. Conway's Game of Life is a popular version of this model.
So the torus shape is one way to deal with two dimensional sets to infinity; however, in the real universe, we already start out with three dimensions, so this infinity must be represented by still more complex interrelationships. To infinity, through their micro version, in this dimensional representation, sets may in fact be circular, or torus like. What this representation does, in effect, is reduce the infinite to a particular event in the micro, whereby the most complex is reduced to its simplest. In the case of cellular life, or more specifically 'cellular automata', this infinite macro is therefore reduced to its micro equivalent. Why is this significant? Because now we can reduce interrelationship that may be linear in space, and stretching to infinity in three dimensions, down to a micro point within this infinity, where the sets of interrelationships combine into moving parts. Here is an example, per Wolfram's:
The obvious problem with finite grids is how to handle the cells on the edges. How they are handled will affect the values of all the cells in the grid. One possible method is to allow the values in those cells to remain constant. Another method is to define neighbourhoods differently for these cells. One could say that they have fewer neighbours, but then one would also have to define new rules for the cells located on the edges. These cells are usually handled with a toroidal arrangement: when one goes off the top, one comes in at the corresponding position on the bottom, and when one goes off the left, one comes in on the right. (This essentially simulates an infinite periodic tiling, and in the field of Partial Differential Equations is sometimes referred to as periodic boundary conditions.)
In two dimensions, the 'cellular automata' from Conway's Game of Life
So the first condition, of macro rather than micro, conditions for life is met with the above. But the second condition, where such a condition cannot now exist, is still to be determined. If the 'budget of life' is already all spoken for by living species of the planet, then we cannot find such an environment on Earth today. It may be possible to find it on another world, say on Mars or Saturn's moon Titan, or perhaps some other distant world conducive to such conditions, but until we get there to examine this, we are guessing. However, this second condition can exist, in theory, if the 'budget of life' is in fact a temporary phenomenon, even on Earth where under certain conditions created from the macro interrelationships there is a transient state of life. What this means is that the Game of Life creates cellular automata on a temporary basis, which are actually 'alive' for the short periods of time when they manifest, but these do not have the living capacity of life as we know it, in that it does not survive long enough to pass on its information to any form of progeny. So in theory at least, there may be conditions on Earth, but more likely on other worlds, where the chemistry and energy combinations, such as cellular automata would find actively enabling to orchestrate temporary conditions for 'near life' behaviors. Such would include processing the chemistry of ammonia and hydrogen into methane, or converting carbon into other byproducts, such as carbon dioxide, but they are not 'alive' in the full sense since they are only able to do this on a temporary basis, only when conditions of energy and chemistry are right. From such a primordial 'ooze' of activity then could be laid the foundation for actual life. On Earth, we have a similar condition, though not exactly the same (since the 'life budget' is taken by living things, especially bacteria), in hot pools of microbial life located in hot springs rich with chemicals and heat.
Bacterium image - Escherichia coli cells magnified 25,000X
Pool of microbial mats around the Grand Prismatic Spring of Yellowstone
Such a primordial start for 'living' cellular automata would be conditional upon the macro input from an infinite set of interrelationships focussed on that point in space and time, the conditions that will allow for such 'near life' chemical activity to take place. This transitional state of 'near life' however, given enough time, could create a set of cellular automata that do not surrender their 'near life' activity once the energy and chemistry conditions cease to operate, but in fact 'store' that information within themselves to be recreated upon the resumption of same conditions. This could be the primordial event that actually kicks off the life cycle, where from a dormant state, once conditions of energy and chemistry are right again, they come back to 'near life' once again. If this information is stored within the cellular automaton composition, and is able to reactivate itself given the right conditions, then we have the 'first life' conditions, of what will become life through the evolutionary process of passing down this information to progeny.
So what starts off as a near infinite macro set of interrelationships closed in on itself within a micro setting, then becomes a microcosm of those infinite sets in situ. But these conditions are totally temporary, in that they exist only while the sets are favorable for 'near life', but they 'die' as soon as they are not, since the information cannot yet be handed down to their successor progeny. In effect, the 'intelligence' here is entirely external, given the sets from a macro infinity condition, but not yet registered in the 'near living' organism displaying elements of 'near life'. But that comes as soon as this transient 'near life' is able to store that information within itself, and then pass it down to progeny. Once that happens, and it may happen on many occasions before it actually succeeds numerous 'extinctions', the basic cellular automaton of life has just been created. Now it can not only re-awaken under the same conditions, but actually pass this information on to its successors. The next step, again from a macro infinite perspective, is to transfer this re-awakening into its offsprings as replication, where it continuously replicates with the same information with each 'near life' cycle. Once that happens, and it can no longer happen today on Earth, the 'near living' cellular structure takes on the first formality of being alive. And more importantly, that macro structure that endowed it with this ability to pass on information to its next generation is now embodied in itself.
Conus textile exhibits a cellular automaton pattern on its shell
Once that happens, then something new has just happened, where the patterns of the macro cellular automata is now 'imprinted' in the living organism itself, such as in the Conus textile image above. Now we have conditions conducive to recording these macro images into a de facto brain of the organism, so what had existed externally to itself is now also registered as 'information' within its structure, programmed both in its rudimentary brain and its body's DNA. That is then first Life.
What we should be looking for when visiting distant worlds, such as Mars, or perhaps even Venus, is for those proto-living conditions on the macro scale, where the chemistry and energy of the setting, whether subterranean or in pools, shows evidence of 'near life' conditions. The first clue is a conversion of one set of chemicals into another. But this is still not 'alive' in a real sense, not until it is able to pass this macro information, its cellular automata, to the next generation. Though the next generation may not come for years, or millennia, it does not matter, as long as it gets 'awoken' as soon as the same conditions appear. On Mars conditions as extremely cold, and on Venus they are excessively hot, but 'near life' does not care. It probably can even survive the intense cold and radiation of space, because it is not truly 'alive' in a sense we can understand. But if given the right conditions again, on a macro scale, if it is 'near life' it will reprogram itself to those conditions, reactivate, and then subsequently leave that program in its dormant state for the next generation to come 'alive' when conditions allow. This is the most likely scenario of how life started, not with a lightning bold suddenly creating living species out of a primordial soup or ice, but rather in the infinitely painstakingly slow process of 'near life' and then immediate 'death' until such time that the information at the cellular automaton level is registered. Once that happens, the rest of creation and evolution is simply a matter of time. Life began when it first registered information in its proto-brain, and took on the imprint of conditions within which it transiently survived.
Herds of impala gathering on the Masai Mara plain, Africa
And we know the rest of the story... In time it became bacteria, because something wonderful and 'emergent' just happened. And then all the other species until we get to 'us'... we who look back at it all and wonder.
We are the 'intelligent design', along every macro step of the way.
[Ps: This NewScientist article hints at very elemental life forms buried inside the Earth's crust deep beneath the sea bed: Huge hidden biomass lives deep beneath the oceans
Could this be an intermediate step from microbial life to proto-life of the 'cellular automata' mentioned above? -- IDA 22 May, 2008]
They found simple organisms known as prokaryotes in every sample. Prokaryotes are organisms that often have just one cell. Their peculiarity is that, unlike any other form of life, their DNA is not neatly packed into a nucleus.
Not all Life forms are 'created equal' according to NewScientist article (2010): The poison eaters: alternative life forms
Whether or not the existence of an "arsenic bacteria" is confirmed - and some scientists are not convinced by the claim (see "Arsenic life") - the publication of the paper has reinvigorated interest in alternatives to our kind of life.
An equally outlandish life form has now been suggested by Johnson Haas at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Haas calculated that if an alien microbe or plant used sunlight to knock electrons from chloride - producing chlorine gas as a waste product - it would be a more vigorous form of photosynthesis than the one we are used to, whereby light splits water molecules into oxygen, hydrogen ions and electrons.
Also see: NewScientist, Lost world hints at life in the Mesozoic, for sea-urchins' distant cousins, 250 millions years ago, still living today!
Also NewScientist: First life: The search for the first replicator (August 2011) Can we replicate the first RNA in a lab?
The Strange Inevitability of Evolution of Life - Nautilus
|Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 10:20 am: |
Theo Jansen's "Evolution" strange artificial animals.