The Anthropic principle - was Earth made for man?

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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Prions are proteins, folded into a certain shape, nothing more. Nothing more. They "convert" other proteins via a simple, non-"intelligent" process.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />That's right. That doesn't keep them from being life forms, does it?<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>If this thread continues along this path, I, or another Moderator, will move this thread to Phenomena.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />That's fine with me. It started out close enough anyway. :p <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Actually, yes it does prevent them from having intelligence. They are nothing more than chains of Amino Acids. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Actually, yes it does prevent them from having intelligence.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Where did I claim they were intelligent? I was equating them with the life forms likely present in the ocean 3700000000 years ago, not with us. The idea is for simple life forms to spend said 3700000000 years evolving into us (provided the ecological niches are available, of course). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Sorry, response to the wrong poster. But in answer to your comment, I wouldn't think they qualify as a lifeform either. They are simple chains of Amino Acids, nothing more. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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newtonian

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Yevaud - That's better than locking the thread! Progress!<br /><br />Seriously, I cannot control the tangents responders take.<br /><br />Does the question of origin of life really belong in Phenomena?<br /><br />It is clearly linked with the search for life in our galaxy, and the specific environments required either for the origin of life or the sustaining of life.<br /><br />So, which of the following belongs in Phenomena, and which of the following belong in Ask the Astronomer:?<br /><br />1. Planet or moon environments considered favorable for origin of life.<br /><br />2. Planet or moon environments considered favorable for the sustaining of life.<br /><br />3. Thread theme.<br /><br />4. What would earth be like without a moon?<br /><br />5. How fine tuned is our moon's properties for making life enjoyable for man?<br /><br />6. How plants and animals instinctively, or by informational programming, produce a complex ecology that makes life enjoyable for man?<br /><br />7. What is the habitable zone for a planet in respects to stellar properties (e.g. temperature, magnetic fields, planetary properties (e.g. atmosphere, magnetic fields, ozone layer), and position in a galaxy?<br /><br />8. What planetary rotation speeds are hopitable for human life?<br /><br />9. What planetary mass is conducive to human life - e.g. for weight, protective atmosphere, etc.?<br /><br />10.. Is earth unique in having abundant free oxygen in its atmosphere?<br /><br />11. How important is a high concentration of Nitrogen in the atmosphere for human life?<br /><br />Etc - clearly any of the specific ways earth has been fine tuned somehow to be hospitable to human life?
 
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newtonian

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greeh_meklar - Yes, I realize you were talking about the simplest form of life, not intelligent life.<br /><br />Yevaud: How are you defining intelligence? Would an informational sequence of amino acids rather than a statistical sequence of amino acids be an indicator of intelligence?<br /><br />Green_meklar - Again, a prion is not simply a statistical arrangement of amino acids. It is still partly informational, although having decayed from the higher degree of information required for it to function as a protein useful to life.<br /><br />The point I make on this is that in the absence of life, i.e. after death, proteins decay and prion proteins are no exception.<br /><br />Chemical evolution is the opposite of what is actually observed - and this basically is one type of entropy - returning to the most stable state.<br /><br />Life is characteristically unstable, and non-living chemistry is far from living chemistry because of informational direction.<br /><br />Informational direction is a form of intelligent design - it is what produces many fascinating and useful designs in nature.<br /><br />Hence the new and productive science of biomimetics.<br /><br />But how did proteins become informationally sequenced in tbe first place?<br /><br />To me such complex, actually amazing, informational coding including the specific required 3-d shapes of proteins in life, cannot come by chance but requires an intelligent designer, a Creator.<br /><br />There is zero evidence in science for believing information can enter a complex amino acid sequence by chance.<br /><br />However, please note that, like intelligence, one must also agree on the definition of informational vs. statistical.<br /><br />In short, chance only produces statistical sequences while the degree of information required for life requires intelligent design.
 
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newtonian

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green_meklar - Back to astronomy - what environment are you proposing for the origin of prions on earth?<br /><br />Note that since prions are proteins, we are not talking about the hypotheses you posted about where life started in a different way, to wit: RNA first, or extremophiles first.<br /><br />Sticking with proteins first, which many scientists agree on btw, what environment do you feel is required for earth, or any planet or moon, to synthesize proteins?<br /><br />I'll help you by reminding you that amino acids have been found on meteorites.
 
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SpeedFreek

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Maybe space.com needs a <b> cosmology </b> forum? <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />At the moment, Ask the Astronomer is supposed to be for amateur astronomy questions, and phenomena is for explaining the unexplained. So technically this thread should always have been in phenomena.<br /><br />It is my personal view that all threads that, by their nature will include religion or extra terrestrial life should be in phenomena. It's not astronomy!<br /><br /><font color="yellow"> There is zero evidence in science for believing information can enter a complex amino acid sequence by chance. </font><br /><br />The same goes for believing information was put there by intelligent design.<br /><br />Anyway, the evidence for evolution is there and we can see many of the steps involved through fossil evidence. The evidence for DNA mutation is there too. So we can safely assume that humans evolved from simpler primates, that evolved from simpler mammals etc etc all the way back to the single celled amoeba.<br /><br />So are you saying the Earth was intelligently designed for the amoeba, and then all the evolution since was due to natural selection/mutation? Or are you suggesting that the changes in DNA were all pre-programmed into that single celled amoeba? That it had, hidden inside it, the template for all plants and creatures on Earth? And that humans were the inevitable result? And if so, are we the final stage?<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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I agree, Ask the Astronomer is for getting questions answered about what's in the sky, not how it got there. Yes a reasonable diversion into some discussion beyond that is appropriate, but the the thread turns into a shouting match between s******* and N*********, it no longer belongs here. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The point I make on this is that in the absence of life, i.e. after death, proteins decay and prion proteins are no exception.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Of course. Such proteins have evolved to survive in an environment where there is a lot of life. The proteins we use in our bodies evolved to survive while being nourished by our bodies. Taking one of them, dropping it in some random place and expecting it to survive is about like taking an alligator and dropping it at the South Pole and expecting it to survive. In both cases, it just didn't evolve for that environment. However, prions are still <i>alive,</i> and are doing a pretty good job of surviving and reproducing in the environment they do live in, so your point by no means invalidates abiogenesis.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But how did proteins become informationally sequenced in tbe first place?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Well, either they were formed out of nonliving material in a chemical reaction, or evolved from something that didn't use proteins. From what I can find on the Internet, it seems that it is possible to form quite simple molecules that still technically count as proteins and which could evolve to have additional amino acids.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Sticking with proteins first, which many scientists agree on btw, what environment do you feel is required for earth, or any planet or moon, to synthesize proteins?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />What environment is <i>required?</i> Well, proteins could probably form in almost any environment with the right elements present, it would just be very unlikely in some environments. The best environment would probably include warm water (or possibly some other suspension medium, but water seems to be the best possibility), a rich supply of elements and either some ultraviolet rays or some lightning to get complex chemical reactions goin <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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You know, I think this really depends on the definition of 'life' (something even top scientists have yet to agree on). For something that isn't alive, prions do a very good job of reproducing, surviving and evolving, and the same goes for viruses. Just like other life forms, prions use the available material to make more of themselves, which most dead things are very bad at. I think we should be careful not to define life too strictly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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<i>How are you defining intelligence? Would an informational sequence of amino acids rather than a statistical sequence of amino acids be an indicator of intelligence?</i><br /><br />In point of fact, neither would be. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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Possibly SETI will the forum to discuss whether prion is life building molecule.Whether prion can be called molecule of life.
 
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newtonian

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Yevaud - I agree that an informational protein is not intelligent in itself.<br /><br />However, an informational protein cannot be formed by chance.<br /><br />Only statistical sequences are formed by chance. <br /><br />My point was that statistical proteins are not particularly useful to life. <br /><br />However, life is not possible without informational molecules.<br /><br />To illustrate: posts on SDC are informational sequences of characters on an informational template.<br /><br />All posts are products of intelligent design.<br /><br />Would you agree? (I mean, more intelligent than a chimp!)
 
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newtonian

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stevehw33 - I agree with your points on prions and life.<br /><br />However, scientists do not know all they would like to in their definition of life.<br /><br />This is shown by the difficulty in looking for markers for life in space probes sent out in search for life on other planets and moons, etc. <br /><br />This is because life may include more than life as we know it - in fact I and many scientist believe it does.<br /><br />That does not mean the definition of life is wrong, btw. Just that it is not detailed enough for us to definitely catch a marker for a type of life we are not familiar with.<br /><br />How's that for an astronomy tangent!
 
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newtonian

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green_meklar - Thank you for your thought provoking responses. I have some questions. For starters:<br /><br />A. You posted that proteins "have evolved to survive in an environment where there is a lot of life."<br /><br />How do you propose proteins have evolved?<br /><br />Remember, we are talking here about origin of life. <br /><br />Is there some selection mechanism that would favor an informational molecule before the origin of life?<br /><br />Of course, I am aware of intelligent selection - compare genetic engineering by human creators. But I am not aware of any non-informational selection mechanism for informational proteins.<br /><br />I will respond more another day.
 
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SpeedFreek

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Newtonian, I await eagerly your thoughts on whether the individual DNA differentiations of ALL the plants and animals that have ever existed on this planet were all pre-programmed into the DNA of the simplest early forms of life and evolved from them in a pre-determined manner.. and whether humans are the final stage in this pre-programmed sequence... ?<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Life grows, reproduces and metabolizes. If all of those are not seen, then it's not life. Spores and seeds, for example, are simply steady state types of those, so those DO qualify as living.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />What about women who have gone through menopause, or neutered pets? Technically they wouldn't be alive...<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>And a protein, such as a prion? It does not grow, reproduce OR metabolize.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />It may not grow or metabolize, but it certainly reproduces.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>How do you propose proteins have evolved? <br /><br />Remember, we are talking here about origin of life.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />I believe I said only that <i>prions</i> evolved to live in an environment where there is lots of life. The first life on Earth may have been something like prions, but certainly not exactly the same thing.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Is there some selection mechanism that would favor an informational molecule before the origin of life?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Well, depending on how you want to define life, any nonrandom selection in favor of complex molecules might already make the molecules alive. So I'd say that prelife conditions probably did not specially select complex molecules, just that the presence of water along with carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, etc made it likely for complex chemical reactions to occur.<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Newtonian, I await eagerly your thoughts on whether the individual DNA differentiations of ALL the plants and animals that have ever existed on this planet were all pre-programmed into the DNA of the simplest early forms of life and evolved from them in a pre-determined manner.. and whether humans are the final stage in this pre-programmed sequence... ?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />I'm not New <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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Heheh, well I am glad that somebody here sees sense! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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I agree, and thus our observations of the fossil evidence and the diversity of DNA neatly illustrates the ridiculousness of the idea that humans were intelligently designed - it's preposterous and anti-science. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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newtonian

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speedfreek - No, of course not. I do not believe in macroevolution, and therefore the simplest early forms of life did not contain the various coded traits of all life within their DNA.<br /><br />However, what evidence do you have for the simplest form of life?<br /><br />One celled life forms are far from simple forms of life!
 
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newtonian

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green_meklar - Your above response is to the wrong person - I did not post that definition of life.<br /><br />On prions reproducing - and how do they do that exactly? Is it not by use of pre-existing mechanisms for the production of proteins?<br /><br />Did you read the response posted above by the poster you should be addressing this to? <br /><br />That would be Stevehw33, btw.
 
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newtonian

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green_meklar - On prions, did you read the quote from "Awake!" in my above post on this? It referenced Scientific American.<br /><br />I will try to find the Sciam article and respond further on this.
 
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newtonian

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speedfreek - DNA evidences shows all extant human races come from one father, and mitochondrial DNA evidence shows all human races come from one mother.<br /><br />And that DNA is not of an ape or some apelike ancestor either.<br /><br />What diversity of human DNA evidence are you asserting exists?<br /><br />The Human brain is also unique.<br /><br />Now, if you want to discuss the various fossils I suggest we start a different thread as it is off thread theme and involves much evidence and research.<br /><br />The simplest reply is that fossils are either hominid, hence with the prefix home, or they apelike, with prefixes like australo, etc.<br /><br />On thread theme, however, many of the beautiful things we observe here on earth are only appreciated by humans with our unique brain. <br /><br />They pass unnoticed, or at least not fully appreciated, by all other forms of life on earth.<br /><br />Or have you noticed any chimps contemplating astronomy or any of the other sciences which comprise the things made which we can observe here on earth?
 
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