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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 15 May '09 19:04 / 2 edits
    This link explains the discovery of an observable mechanism of how RNA can spontaneously form in the primordial soup that must have existed in the early Earth’s environment:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227084.200-molecule-of-life-emerges-from-laboratory-slime.html

    The said experiment produces RNA bases in the lab using ONLY the same ingredients as existed in the primordial soup.
    As far as I am aware, his is the first time this has been done using ONLY the same ingredients as thought to exist in the primordial soup -please someone correct me if that is wrong.
  2. 15 May '09 22:57 / 1 edit
    This link explains the discovery of an observable mechanism of how RNA can spontaneously form in the primordial soup that must have existed in the early Earth’s environment

    I'd say this is would be a Scientific observation.

    How the first RNA formed

    I'd say this is more of a religious statement in that it can't proven nor disproved.
  3. 16 May '09 06:53
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]This link explains the discovery of an observable mechanism of how RNA can spontaneously form in the primordial soup that must have existed in the early Earth’s environment

    I'd say this is would be a Scientific observation.

    How the first RNA formed

    I'd say this is more of a religious statement in that it can't proven nor disproved.[/b]
    It's not religion of the sole reason that it cannot be proved nor disproved.
    There are things that we just don't know yet, but well within the laws of nature.
    There is no need for a creator in order to explain the formation of RNA.
  4. 16 May '09 09:45
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    It's not religion of the sole reason that it cannot be proved nor disproved.
    There are things that we just don't know yet, but well within the laws of nature.
    There is no need for a creator in order to explain the formation of RNA.
    …It's not religion of the sole reason that it cannot be proved nor disproved. ..…

    I think you made a misprint there: either you meant “can” from “cannot” above or you meant “It's religion” from “It's not religion” from the above. -either way, I generally agree with what you are saying about what defines religion.
  5. 16 May '09 10:04
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]This link explains the discovery of an observable mechanism of how RNA can spontaneously form in the primordial soup that must have existed in the early Earth’s environment

    I'd say this is would be a Scientific observation.

    How the first RNA formed

    I'd say this is more of a religious statement in that it can't proven nor disproved.[/b]
    …I'd say this is more of a religious statement in that it can't proven nor disproved.
    ..…


    Why couldn’t it ever conceivably be proven nor disproved?

    If the hypothesis that this is the way the first RNA was formed is wrong, it could potentially be disproved by showing that the conditions back then were different in some respect to that in the physical simulation in the lab (say, because there was a chemical compound in the early Earth’s environment that interferes with the process -traces of such a chemical compound X could be detected in the sedimentary rock dating from that time) and a new the physical simulation in the lab that takes into account of that difference (by, say, including that chemical compound X) proves that the RNA formed back then couldn’t have formed in the way the first the physical simulation in the lab suggested.

    If the hypothesis that this is the way the first RNA was formed is right, the hypothesis could be potentially be vindicated by further evidence (such as more refined physical simulation in the lab and, perhaps far into the future, even direct observations of RNA spontaneously forming on primordial Earth-like planets) to such an extent that it is rationally considered ‘proven’ because the probability of it being false is rationally judged to be vanishingly small because, given those early conditions in the early Earth’s environment, it would have been INEVITABLE that RNA would have spontaneously formed that way.
  6. 16 May '09 10:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…It's not religion of the sole reason that it cannot be proved nor disproved. ..…

    I think you made a misprint there: either you meant “can” from “cannot” above or you meant “It's religion” from “It's not religion” from the above. -either way, I generally agree with what you are saying about what defines religion.[/b]
    You're right. I made a language error.
    But I don't know how to write it properly. Double negations is never easy...
    Thank you for the correction.
  7. 18 May '09 22:20
    Why couldn’t it ever conceivably be proven nor disproved?

    Because short of a time machine, there is no way to see exactly what happened and exactly how it happened. There is only assumption.

    I don't expect you to agree with me. I was just giving my point of view.
  8. 19 May '09 04:42
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]Why couldn’t it ever conceivably be proven nor disproved?

    Because short of a time machine, there is no way to see exactly what happened and exactly how it happened. There is only assumption.

    I don't expect you to agree with me. I was just giving my point of view.[/b]
    It will never be possible what happened exacctly when life started, of course.
    But in a (far) future, when we travel around the galaxy, we will encounter numerous planets with life about to start, life just started, and where evolution starts. From these observations we can deduce how life bagan on Earth.
    This is just a guess, nothing more. The comet perhaps will strike tomorrow.
  9. 19 May '09 10:34 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]Why couldn’t it ever conceivably be proven nor disproved?

    Because short of a time machine, there is no way to see exactly what happened and exactly how it happened. There is only assumption.

    I don't expect you to agree with me. I was just giving my point of view.[/b]
    …Because short of a time machine, there is no way to see EXACTLY what happened and EXACTLY how it happened.
    ..…
    (my emphasis)

    Yes -not infinitely “EXACTLY” in every detail with absolute certainty of each and every detail, but, just like in any other science, that doesn’t stop us getting a pretty good estimate of what happened. Why should this RNA hypothesis be treated any differently from any other scientific hypothesis?

    I have just given two examples in my last post of how the said RNA hypothesis could conceivably be proven or disproved without the involvement of a time machine;
    That would appear to contradict any notion you may have that we cannot conceivably get a pretty good estimate of what happened at least regarding this specific hypothesis.

    We don’t need a time machine to study past ice ages despite there being no historical going that far back -we just look at the evidence that we have in the present day. Why should the study of the beginnings of RNA be fundamentally different in that respect? After all, we can find relevant evidence such as from a physical simulation of the conditions that must have existed back then etc.
  10. 19 May '09 19:54
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]Why couldn’t it ever conceivably be proven nor disproved?

    Because short of a time machine, there is no way to see exactly what happened and exactly how it happened. There is only assumption.

    I don't expect you to agree with me. I was just giving my point of view.[/b]
    Ah, the good ole "were you there"-argument.

    You walk into a house. You see a body with multiple stab wounds. You see someone running away with a knife dripping with blood.

    Can you prove that the person running away stabbed someone? Were you there? No.

    Is it reasonable to assume the person running away stabbed someone? Yes.
  11. 20 May '09 10:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Ah, the good ole "were you there"-argument.

    You walk into a house. You see a body with multiple stab wounds. You see someone running away with a knife dripping with blood.

    Can you prove that the person running away stabbed someone? Were you there? No.

    Is it reasonable to assume the person running away stabbed someone? Yes.
    Yes; it is just a matter of looking at the evidence and whether that evidence is direct or indirect evidence is fundamentally irrelevant.

    I often notice how many people dismiss all indirect but perfectly valid evidence because it gives a conclusion that they don’t like -they just choose to overemphasis its indirectness as if it’s indirectness has something to do with it.

    Nobody has ever direct seen an electron and there is no completely direct evidence of their existence (e.g. by directly seeing one with your own unaided eyes etc) but the indirect evidence is no less valid than any direct evidence and the indirect evidence happens to be strong in this case (e.g. if there where no electrons then computers wouldn’t work etc) so the fact that nobody has directly seeing electrons with their own unaided eyes etc doesn’t in any way diminish the validity of the hypothesis that electrons exist.
  12. 21 May '09 19:36
    Kazet,

    Everything is based on assumptions. If you assume that miracles did not occur, then all you have is physical evidence. Throw in the possibility of a miraculous event and things get a bit more complex.

    As far as this thread goes, I have already made the distinction between science and a religious belief about miracles.
  13. 21 May '09 21:11
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Kazet,

    Everything is based on assumptions. If you assume that miracles did not occur, then all you have is physical evidence. Throw in the possibility of a miraculous event and things get a bit more complex.

    As far as this thread goes, I have already made the distinction between science and a religious belief about miracles.
    I agree. But there are reasonable assumptions and unreasonable ones. Science is about distinguishing the two.
  14. 22 May '09 01:50
    I disagree. I'd say science is the attempt to understand how this universe works. Once you try to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable assumptions about the existance of God, you are dealing with religion. I believe that science and religion are not supposed to mix.
  15. 22 May '09 08:58
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I disagree. I'd say science is the attempt to understand how this universe works. Once you try to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable assumptions about the existance of God, you are dealing with religion. I believe that science and religion are not supposed to mix.
    Well, the existence of a god falls into the "irrelevant assumption" category.