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Featured A positive argument against abiogenesis

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by leroy, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Metabolising sulphate is not being a "predator", any more than a plant is a predator for absorbing phosphates. Forget terminology from the animal kingdom. That is not what we are talking about here.

    It is far from easy to imagine a warm little pond in which readily available nutrients in these simple reproducing chemical systems would not be taken up by some group of bacteria.

    And then there is the great oxygenation event of course, as I see others have mentioned, which would almost certainly destroy a simple replicating chemical system that had arisen in a reducing environment.

    So there plenty of good reasons not to expect simple chemical systems from that era to survive to this day. It's just ridiculous to maintain they should have done so.
     
  2. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    No. Once you have competition, you get into an arms race. Very few of these arms races are won by removing features. Simplification is only a strategy for organisms retreating to a niche that few others occupy.
     
    #122 exchemist, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  3. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Then here you go:

    Circular RNAs: relics of precellular evolution?

    Exploring Life's Origins: Ribozymes & the RNA World
     
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  4. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Correct. They found niches that had no oxygen. That does not mean that they remained the same. Please pay attention to the following:

    Mutations and other alternations of the genome, such as horizontal gene transfer, exist. You cannot stop that. Hiding in a niche does not make those go away. Resources will eventually be limited in any niche. Life will reproduce until Dr. Malthus comes to call. That is when natural selection kicks in. Over billions of years the genome will change. It is not a matter of "going extinct". The original forms will simply not exist any longer. What will happen is that the variations that are better suited to that particular environment will outperform those that are not as well adapted. Due to the changes that amass over the billions of years anything that you see today will be quite different from the "original form".

    Oxygen would have been a very strong selection agent. It would cause the various species to evolve. Change or die is the rule quite often in nature.

    Once again you are ignoring the fact that life WILL evolve. More efficient forms will out perform less efficient forms. The various complex structures did not arise because they are pretty.


    Not wanting to understand will always keep one form understanding.
     
  5. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    As I said and you have heard in the PBS Eons episode, there were no such things as disconnected niches on Earth 2 billion years ago. And as you know from fluid dynamics, fluids of similar composition (water with oxygen and water without oxygen) mix very well so that oxygen got everywhere. And Oxygen is a very small molecule, it even dissipated through rock. But I grant that it is possible though not probable that there may be small pockets where Oxygen didn't reach.
    But that may have nothing to do with your documentary. The way you said it, it doesn't say that oxygen didn't reach the anaerobic bacteria, it says that those bacteria don't use oxygen - but may have (or their ancestors may have had) mechanism to protect against oxygen.
    Oxygen is, as I said, a chemical radical. It breaks chemical bonds. There are multiple ways to deal with that. Eukaryots hide their DNA in the nucleus, there are substances, like vitamin C, that capture radicals and some cells have complex DNA repair mechanisms (which not only helps against oxygen). But all these methods require more complexity, not less. A cell has to protect its DNA against oxygen.
    The GOE is an example of how a lower boundary for complexity can be established, and one that is well documented. There could be hundreds of other events with the same result but they are more speculative. We don't know the exact composition of the early Earth's oceans but each sustained change in the environment is a potential sustained change in the lower bound for complexity.
    As I wrote in the answer to @Clara Tea, comets could have given earth a rich environment of amino acids but after they were depleted, cells would have had to have an inner digestion to produce them themselves.
    I don't say that it must have been as I have hypothesised, just that it is a possible, if not probable, explanation. We just don't know - yet.
     
  6. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    Strawman,(in red letters) I have corrected you multiple times and you keep repeating the same mistake
     
  7. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    LOL! Leroy, you do not know what a strawman is.


    And once again I need to remind you that just because you do not understand a refutation does not mean that you have not been refuted. We can explain to you why you are wrong. We cannot force you to understand why you are wrong.
     
  8. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    A strawman is when you misrepresent your opponents view, ………. I even painted in red letters the particular claims that you are strawmaning and you refuse to modify your refutation.
     
  9. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    So it was not a strawman then The red parts are simply the information that you refuse to understand. You keep using a bogus argument. You ignore the fact that life would evolve.

    Perhaps it would help if you ask better questions. You should be asking why complexity arises.
     
  10. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    @leroy never said that evolution doesn't happen. He just says, supported by the Wikipedia article, that evolution is not only towards more complexity. Sometimes species evolve to become less complex. And that the directions are more or less equally probable.
    Under that scenario we must explain why there seemingly is a lower bound of complexity under which modern species don't drop.
    (And I think we all agree that the least complex extant microbe is way more complex than first life.)
     
  11. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Yes, the problem is that he keeps trying to say that extremely simple life would still exist. He ignores why life got more complex. Simple is great, if efficiency is into lost. The earliest life probably did not even need to go searching for resources. Since there was no competition resources would have likely come to it. But once motion exists those without the ability Positive traits are very rarely lost. They are only lost when the environment changes so that the positive trait is no longer of any use. Such as eyes in cave fish.

    First life would have been very simple. Without any traits for motion, predation, seeing, feeling, the list of what it would lack is endless. Including defensive structures. That is why it would not be able to compete with its cousins that developed new traits.
     
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  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    No, he doesn't. But you do, at least you don't recognize the full problem at hand.
    We still have archaea, we still have bacteria, we have seen bacteria lose functions (and thus complexity). There are two questions here: when archaea survived, why not some even simpler life and if bacteria can lose complexity, why can't they lose more complexity to become more like earlier life.
    And that is the answer you should have given @leroy, not accuse him of misrepresentation when he didn't.
    That's about what I presume. But most of it is still under research, so no evidence for that hypothesis yet.
    Craig Venter and his team are at it and they are trying to break the lower barrier by cutting genes out. Interesting stuff:
    The Mystery of the Minimal Cell, Craig Venter's New Synthetic Life Form
     
  13. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    The oxidation event is just one of MANY obstacles organisms have to deal with.
    Another is extreme competition.

    It is simply not reasonable to think that life would stay as simple as first life for 4 billion years.
    Not a single scientist working in relevant fields expects it to be the case. Why do you?
     
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  14. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    I grant the red stuff, I grant that life would evolve, we dont disagree......

    Because sometimes an increase of complexity is selectively positive.
     
  15. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    Which would be good in some environments.

    Not having all those traits implies that you dont have to waste energy (food) in keeping those traits........ In some environments this would be an advantage.
     
  16. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Yes. Sometimes it is. That does not help you.
     
  17. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    That is perhaps true today, where a high level of complexity already exists.
    As the fossil record clearly shows, it wasn't true in the past, as there we see life becoming increasingly complex over time.

    Most likely, it will, as it is the population that evolves.
    Like in the Lenski experiment in the population that evolved new metabolic pathways to grow on citrate. This trait quickly spread to the entire population, as they seriously and quickly outcompeted those who couldn't do it.

    Their evolved counterparts apparently do better.
    What do you think happens then to those who don't have that "more complex trait"?

    Your source does not support your point.

    Your source says that there is no bias in the process itself towards complexity. As in, it is not an active factor. It also explains how there is a passive factor that leads to more complexity.

    Because as species evolve, eco-systems themselves becomes more complex and the inhabitants of said environments have more and more threats to be dealt with. And THAT triggers rises in complexity, as organisms need more complex defense mechanisms for the simple fact that the threats become more complex.

    It gives the example of a parasite which has 10% of its genome dedicated to different strategies to fool complex immune systems.

    The article also flat out states the opposite of your premise:

    Genome complexity has generally increased since the beginning of the life on Earth.[17][18]


    Seems like you just read the first few lines where it says that it's a misunderstanding that the process of evolution includes an active factor towards increase of complexity and then didn't bother to read on. The article doesn't say what you seem to think it is saying.............
     
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  18. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Not written like that, no. You're omitting a whole bunch of stuff and thereby misrepresenting it.
    The last part "in some environments..." is also misleading, because it gives the impression that dropping any organism in such an environment would lead to a decrease of its complexity, which off course is simply not true.

    What it actually means by saying that it favors simplicity over complexity, is more something like favoring efficiency.

    For example, suppose some organism over time evolved complex defense mechanism X to deal with threat A.
    As long as A is an active threat, natural selection will favor the presence of X, or improvement thereof.
    Now imagine A goes away for whatever reason. Now, there no longer is a pressure to keep X working and intact. Instead, it will turn around and it will favor removing it entirely. It no longer gives the host an advantage and instead it just sucks away energy and resources for a system that no longer serves a survival purpose.

    Another example is for example moles. They used to live above ground. Eyes are important there.
    Now they live underground. Eyes no longer matter. Eyes have even become a hazard, as dirt can get in (especially underground) and cause infections, which might end up being lethal.

    So the eyes are now hidden behind a thick layer of skin. Eyelids on steroids that are grown shut and can't be opened anymore. The eyes themselves also no longer work. So even cutting the skin open, wouldn't result in a mole with sight. One can imagine them eyeballs completely evolving away over time, as they no longer serve a purpose and instead just suck up energy and resources for nothing.



    The point is, that evolution doesn't look for "complex solutions". Evolution rather looks of efficiency / efficient solutions. So at all times, it will always try and go for the simplest solution. The simplest solution, can still be a rise in complexity. There simply is no internal drive towards complexity. There is an internal drive towards simplicity. But there is an external drive towards complexity... The very nature of the problems, especially with life forms that already are simple, will almost always demand solutions that will end up in more complexity.

    If you have NO defense against oxygen, acquiring such a defense will require a rise in complexity.
    The need for defense mechanisms against an increasing variation of threats from competing populations, or environmental conditions, will also require a rise in complexity to evolve all those various defense mechanisms.

    First life had NO defense mechanisms.
    It is utterly unreasonable that life with simplicity on par with first life, would survive and thrive for 4 billion years.
     
    #138 TagliatelliMonster, Jan 15, 2021
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  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Again. So what?
     
  20. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    The wiki article doesn't actually support his argument.

    What actually says that eventhough a rise in complexity is no intrinsic part of evolution and that evolution as a process will even favor simplicity (barring all other factors), the trend towards more complex nevertheless occur(s)(ed).

    This, because the environment gets more complex. As other species evolve, and as environments change, any given population needs to "update" its defenses to deal with new threats all the time, threat's that themselves also evolve into more complex threats, which in turn then need more complex defenses.

    So it's not evolution itself that trends towards complexity.... it's the environment that does.

    Evolution, by itself, will favor simplicity as it favors efficiency over unnecessary complexity.
    But, like in the example of the article, if you are a parasite and need to deal with a complex immune system that you need to fool in order to be able to infect a host.... then you'ld better have complex mechanisms capable of fooling said complex immune system.


    In a very superficial read of just the first few lines, the article seems to support his argument. But really, it doesn't. In fact, it even explicitly contradicts his argument near the end, where it flat out acknowledges that it is simply a fact that complexity in general has risen by quite a lot since the origins of life......
     
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