1. Joined
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    02 Jan '06 22:28
    I think with all the people talking about evolution and abiogenesis, it might be interesting to talk about vitalism.

    Vitalism propounds that organic compounds and organisms contain a vital force that separates them from all other matter.
    We now know that organic compounds can be synthesised in a laboratory (without a vital force). But people still seem to think a cell has some kind of mystic characteristic that prevents scientists from creating one.

    I'd like someone to explain why they might think or not think this.

    Is a cell something more then chemicals?
  2. Meddling with things
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    02 Jan '06 23:54
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    I think with all the people talking about evolution and abiogenesis, it might be interesting to talk about vitalism.

    Vitalism propounds that organic compounds and organisms contain a vital force that separates them from all other matter.
    We now know that organic compounds can be synthesised in a laboratory (without a vital force). But people still seem ...[text shortened]... to explain why they might think or not think this.

    Is a cell something more then chemicals?
    Have you watched Dr Strangelove?
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Jan '06 02:281 edit
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    But people still seem to think a cell has some kind of mystic characteristic that prevents scientists from creating one.

    I'd like someone to explain why they might think or not think this.

    Is a cell something more then chemicals?
    This is a very interesting topic. I have little knowledge of biology and I would be quite interested in an explanation of why we are not able to manufacture living cells. Is it a technological obstacle or a lack of understanding?
  4. Donationkirksey957
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    03 Jan '06 02:44
    "Is a cell more than chemicals?" I am not a scientist, but I think the individual cell has many of hte traits of the human body. It has a membrane. It has an energy source, the mitochondria. It has a system of eliminating waste. It also has a "brain" with it's nucleus that relegates the functions of the cell. What fascinates me is how different the various cells are in the body. Bone cells from neurons. How the hell the cranial nerves are able to translate vibrations to intricate sounds and light into sight is nothing short of miraculuous.

    Who can tell me the mechanism of how we differentiate smells?
  5. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Jan '06 03:38
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    "Is a cell more than chemicals?" I am not a scientist, but I think the individual cell has many of hte traits of the human body. It has a membrane. It has an energy source, the mitochondria. It has a system of eliminating waste. It also has a "brain" with it's nucleus that relegates the functions of the cell. What fascinates me is how different the v ...[text shortened]... ng short of miraculuous.

    Who can tell me the mechanism of how we differentiate smells?
    Basically it's a chemical identification thing. The cells in the mouth / nose don't so much 'smell' it as 'taste' it. In the same way you get cravings for food (your brain can identify the amino acids / sugars etc in foods and remember them - even though you've no clear conscious idea of how nutritious any given food is - then when you've got, lets say a Vit C deficiency your brains says 'I fancy an orange'😉 your nasal cells can analyse the chemicals in these smells, and the information is transmitted to your brain which makes sense of it.
  6. Donationkirksey957
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    03 Jan '06 03:49
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Basically it's a chemical identification thing. The cells in the mouth / nose don't so much 'smell' it as 'taste' it. In the same way you get cravings for food (your brain can identify the amino acids / sugars etc in foods and remember them - even though you've no clear conscious idea of how nutritious any given food is - then when you've got, lets sa ...[text shortened]... hese smells, and the information is transmitted to your brain which makes sense of it.
    With respect to smells, the olfactory receptors at the base of the brain receive the various molecules. However what determines a smell is the order in which these receptors fire. If you could change the order of the firing of these olfactory receptors, you could get a turd to smell like perfume. At least the brain would translate it this way.
  7. Colorado
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    03 Jan '06 05:08
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Basically it's a chemical identification thing. The cells in the mouth / nose don't so much 'smell' it as 'taste' it. In the same way you get cravings for food (your brain can identify the amino acids / sugars etc in foods and remember them - even though you've no clear conscious idea of how nutritious any given food is - then when you've got, lets sa ...[text shortened]... hese smells, and the information is transmitted to your brain which makes sense of it.
    That doesn’t really explain why people almost invariably like the foods that are bad for them. The brain doesn’t decide that the cardiac arteries need to be blocked another 20% for example.
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    03 Jan '06 22:03
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    That doesn’t really explain why people almost invariably like the foods that are bad for them. The brain doesn’t decide that the cardiac arteries need to be blocked another 20% for example.
    Currently in some coffees we are unable to identify all the constituents. This means we dont exactly know whats in them. Which might be the same for all foods. The body also may not be able to detect certain molecules in food. Hence, alot of the stuff we eat, the body isn't aware of. The body might have evolved to prefer a certain chemical in a vegetable but coincidently this chemical is found in something bad for us. When we encounter this bad food, we like it however we because we may not have evolved to discern the other chemicals in it, we dont realise its bad for us.
    So we are not actually attracted to the "bad for us food" but the good thing inside the bad food.

    Also the body may only recognize families of chemicals and might mistake a poison as a nutritious molecule. Some amino acids behave like this, i think.
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    03 Jan '06 22:07
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is it a technological obstacle or a lack of understanding?
    I believe it is both. However if everyone believed this evolution would be accepted as well.

    Intelligent design is just creationism, but what people dont realise is that its antecedent, vitalism was rejected along time ago.

    The question comes down to "do you think a cell requires God to exist."
    Because most people who refute evolution seem to think God is an integral part of the cell and its evolution.
  10. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Jan '06 22:50
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    That doesn’t really explain why people almost invariably like the foods that are bad for them. The brain doesn’t decide that the cardiac arteries need to be blocked another 20% for example.
    To a certain extent it does. No food is inherently 'bad' for us. It only becomes 'bad' when we eat it too much or too often. For a moment, lets think about our antecedents. They lived in an environment where getting sufficient nutrition, specifically calories, was difficult. The brain learned to associate calorific value with specific chemical signatures. Our brain has learned to call those signals 'sweet', and has learned to trigger a dopamine release so that eating sweet things feels good. The problem is that in the last (especially) 50 years sweet things have become common place. Our bodies and brains just have not have time to adapt to this new situation. Our foods are changing quicker than we are, and that's where the problems all start....
  11. Colorado
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    04 Jan '06 04:13
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    To a certain extent it does. No food is inherently 'bad' for us. It only becomes 'bad' when we eat it too much or too often. For a moment, lets think about our antecedents. They lived in an environment where getting sufficient nutrition, specifically calories, was difficult. The brain learned to associate calorific value with specific chemical sign ...[text shortened]... Our foods are changing quicker than we are, and that's where the problems all start....
    I’ll buy this, but for arguments sake I’ll say that trans-fats are inherently bad for us. 🙂
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