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WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-14-2009 22:04 Edit Quote

how the building blocks of RNA, called nucleotides, could have spontaneously assembled themselves in the conditions of the primitive earth.

Wow.

Been waiting for this to come along for quite awhile - if proven correct, it is the stunner.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-14-2009 23:02 Edit Quote

Sweeet.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-14-2009 23:50 Edit Quote

Genesis Project here we come.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 05-16-2009 15:50 Edit Quote

That's great stuff. I'm not sure it's entirely unexpected; if a way exists, it will always be found given time and patience. I'll be looking to read more about their achievement.

binary
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Under the Bridge
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 07:09 Edit Quote

...honestly...i still thnk it hasnt been cracked yet....a few years back DNA was thought to be the key...then RNA.....in a few years we will be having PNA ...it all depends with the measuring tools we use...

~Sig coming soon~

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 09:30 Edit Quote

Note that I say "cracks" instead of "cracked" - see the difference?

In other words, a breakthrough, but not yet the final one, that explains everything.

It has the possibility of doing so, yes. But it has not been scientifically proven or verified yet.

It has taken Science 20 years to crack this particular hurdle - if it is indeed accurate. That there will be more work needed, I think is self-explanatory.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

binary
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Under the Bridge
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 11:25 Edit Quote
quote:

WebShaman said: Note that I say "cracks" instead of "cracked" - see the difference?



Definitions of cracks on the Web:

•crack - become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; "The glass cracked when it was heated"
•crack - make a very sharp explosive sound; "His gun cracked"
•crack - snap: make a sharp sound; "his fingers snapped"
•crack - hit forcefully; deal a hard blow, making a cracking noise; "The teacher cracked him across the face with a ruler"
•crack - a long narrow opening
•crack - break through: pass through (a barrier); "Registrations cracked through the 30,000 mark in the county"
•crack - gap: a narrow opening; "he opened the window a crack"
•crack - break partially but keep its integrity; "The glass cracked"
•crack - snap: break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension; "The pipe snapped"
•crack - a sudden sharp noise; "the crack of a whip"; "he heard the cracking of the ice"; "he can hear the snap of a twig"
•crack - gain unauthorized access computers with malicious intentions; "she cracked my password"; "crack a safe"
•crack - shot: a chance to do something; "he wanted a shot at the champion"
•crack up: suffer a nervous breakdown
•crack - wisecrack: witty remark
•crack - tell spontaneously; "crack a joke"

Definitions of cracked on the Web:

•chapped: used of skin roughened as a result of cold or exposure; "chapped lips"
•alligatored: of paint or varnish; having the appearance of alligator hide
•balmy: informal or slang terms for mentally irregular; "it used to drive my husband balmy"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

•Cracked is a Scottish comedy drama, which was broadcast on STV. Created and written by Clare Hemphill and Kate Donnelly, the drama series is set in a Scottish countryside residential rehab clinic, a place where people with various mental and emotional problems check themselves in for some ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracked_(TV_series)

•Cracked is a discontinued American humor magazine. Founded in 1958, Cracked proved to be the most durable imitator of the popular Mad Magazine. Cracked shamelessly aped Mad's layouts and subject matter, and even featured a dumb, wide-jowled mascot named Sylvester P. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracked

•Broken so that cracks appear on, or under, the surface; Broken into coarse pieces; Harsh or dissonant; Crazy; crackpot
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cracked

•crack - become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; "The glass cracked when it was heated"
•crack - make a very sharp explosive sound; "His gun cracked"
•crack - snap: make a sharp sound; "his fingers snapped"
•crack - hit forcefully; deal a hard blow, making a cracking noise; "The teacher cracked him across the face with a ruler"
•crack - a long narrow opening
•crack - break through: pass through (a barrier); "Registrations cracked through the 30,000 mark in the county"
•crack - gap: a narrow opening; "he opened the window a crack"
•crack - break partially but keep its integrity; "The glass cracked"
•crack - snap: break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension; "The pipe snapped



~Sig coming soon~

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 11:42 Edit Quote

Are you on crack

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 14:58 Edit Quote

Yes, I am beginning to think the same question.

I think cracks is pretty self-explanatory, really.

Cracked would mean that the Origin of Life was solved (re: cracked wide open) - and this is not what I meant, and certainly not what the article goes on to mention.

Binary, you did read the article, right?

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

binary
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Under the Bridge
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 16:12 Edit Quote

...aaahhhh...okeeey ....thats what u meant....my natural language is Latin...thats why

Poi: wonna get cracking with some crack....so as to be able to crack WebShaman..cracking article abt putting a crack on the origin of life before cracking it until it was cracked...

~Sig coming soon~

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 05-18-2009 17:34 Edit Quote

~Tao wanders in searching the floor, tables and cupboards~
Anyone seen my cheesy crackers anywhere?

Nice link WS

Gideon2
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: May 2009

IP logged posted posted 05-29-2009 21:53 Edit Quote

I love how the article said that they kinda sorta found a way that might possibly have an effect on the origins of a molecule which might have been (but might also not have been) the first building block of life. I love the qualifiers in science!

I see the same things in medicine. The more docs I follow around the more "mostly", "should", and "possibly" I hear. I love it.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-29-2009 22:01 Edit Quote

Gideon2?!

By all that is holy!

What ever happened to Gideon1?

Anyway, I think you are not quite understanding what has been done here - it is a breakthrough, a big one. It is not Teh Breakthrough of course, but then in Science, it is often one small piece after another that leads up to it that counts most, IMHO.

This bit of work gets us one important step closer...one that was frustrating those working on this for quite awhile (over 20 years). This breakthrough allows work to continue - and that is important.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Gideon2
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: May 2009

IP logged posted posted 05-29-2009 22:10 Edit Quote

(Gideon1 forgot his password and was too lazy to get it back...so he decided to create a whole new account. Wait...I think my laziness failed me.)

I know it is a breakthrough. I just liked the wording. :-)

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-29-2009 22:35 Edit Quote

Well, Science often contains such wording as steps are being built in the staircase that leads to understanding a Process.

This is because, obviously, we do not completely understand the structure of that staircase - how can we, when we are in the process of building it?

Thus, unlike Religion (re: Belief), Science allows for the possibility of error, mistake, misunderstanding. For what use is a flawed structure? It only leads to a flawed understanding, and that is not what one is aiming for, with Science.

Thus, one tends to keep other possibilities open.

This would be akin to Religion saying "well, there may be a God, we are not sure"

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-29-2009 23:40 Edit Quote

Gid - any time you hear people talking in absolutes, you should be scared.

That is PRECISELY why religion is such a harmful and dangerous thing...

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-01-2009 15:04 Edit Quote

Actually, WS, that was possibly one of the more succinct Science-vs.-Religion arguments I've seen, and one I most profoundly and unhesitatingly agree with.

Of course, the overlap is a scientist who confuses accepted theory for established fact, and disregards what doesn't fit the formula. I would bet my lower jaw that this isn't uncommon.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-01-2009 15:56 Edit Quote
quote:
Of course, the overlap is a scientist who confuses accepted theory for established fact, and disregards what doesn't fit the formula. I would bet my lower jaw that this isn't uncommon.



Well, we are talking about humans here...

Luckily, Science allows for this with peer review, and by requiring the results to be reproducible.

But no doubt about it, Scientists are human, with all their flaws and egocentricities.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Gideon2
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: May 2009

IP logged posted posted 06-02-2009 23:06 Edit Quote

I like how you took my giggling about silling wording of a news article of a scientific experiment and shifted the topic to religion. Sounds to me like someone has a vendetta...lol.

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 04:01 Edit Quote

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 10:22 Edit Quote

I wondered at that, but dismissed it quickly as inevitable in a thread with 'origin of life' in the title.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 11:04 Edit Quote
quote:
I like how you took my giggling about silling wording of a news article of a scientific experiment and shifted the topic to religion.



Glad you liked it

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 20:17 Edit Quote
quote:

WebShaman said:

Scientists are human



In the ancient asylumite tradition of steering completely off topic ... I wonder about this expression. Being only human ... as opposed to what? And why is it that being human has become synonymous with imperfection and fallibility? I don't mean it's not true.

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 20:28 Edit Quote
quote:

Arthurio said:

In the ancient asylumite tradition of steering completely off topic .


I think you may find this answers your question.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-03-2009 21:10 Edit Quote
quote:
Being only human ... as opposed to what?



Not human?

quote:
And why is it that being human has become synonymous with imperfection and fallibility?



Because it is true?

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2009 01:11 Edit Quote

"only human" as opposed to the more perfect beings that we tend to expect other people to be...

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2009 08:56 Edit Quote
quote:

DL-44 said:

more perfect beings that we tend to expect other people to be...


Good answer DL

quote:

WebShaman said:

Not human?


You missed my point. I meant what more perfect being(s) are there that this expression seems to hint at? My guess would be that it must have roots in both religion and sci-fi. Both of which are fictional. What is perfection anyway? Is perfection something beautiful, organic, chaotic or is perfection infallibility, absolute efficiency and order? Wouldn't the latter be rather undesirable? And if it's not the latter then what's wrong with how the mankind is now?

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2009 16:42 Edit Quote

A thing is perfect if it does its job properly... until someone points out that it could do it better.

Nothing is perfect according absolute definition, as nothing is entirely infallible, eternal, infinite, flawless, or incorruptible. A perfect line would have no end; a perfect crystal would have no boundaries; a perfect tool would do anything and never break or blunt; a perfect soldier would never eat, sleep, miss what they're aiming at, or die. Forsaking grey scales, nothing could ever be perfect, but if it is 'just right', it is as near as perfect as makes no odds, and fits the definition in context.

Perfect conforms absolutely to an ideal (according to the dictionary) - but the constraints of any ideal are defined by standards that are movable, so is 'perfect' ever truly absolute? Lower failure rates, maintenance and fuel requirements, and greater productivity define ideal machines or humans, but absolute, simple perfection is impossible.

Humans are remarkably resilient, intelligent, and adaptable, but prone to inefficiencies and unpredictability. To fit the ideal of a perfect human we only need pick what sort of human we wish to be, then successfully fulfill the requirements of the defined role. Perfect humans strive for an ideal, accept limitations with humility and a will to improve, and aim for a realistic level of achievement - they can be ideally fit for purpose despite imperfection.

Simple perfection is unyielding and unrealistic. Our lives are a constant battle of balances, compromises, lessons learned, failures, triumphs, and personal evolution. In fact, imperfection gives us purpose. What purpose would we have if we needed and desired nothing, faced no challenges, and could not possibly improve?

To be perfect is inhuman, so humans are imperfect.

Gideon2
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: May 2009

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2009 18:42 Edit Quote
quote:

White Hawk said:

but the constraints of any ideal are defined by standards that are movable, so
is 'perfect' ever truly absolute?


Good question.

So, the perfect cheesburger would change depending upon the person and that person's tastes at the time. If the person like lots of meat, a burger closer to perfect would have more meat on it. But if the person was a vegetarian, meat on a cheesburger would not make it a perfect burger.

Very interesting...

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2009 21:45 Edit Quote

Could have saved myself a lot of typing with your example.

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-05-2009 00:01 Edit Quote

Great answers WH and Gideon, I agree ... mostly. However some could say that the cheese in the cheeseburger could also make it somewhat undesirable for a vegetarian. And then how can something be perfect that's called a cheeseburger yet has no meat or cheese in it?

Going back to being only human. This expression interests me because I don't think a more perfect being than a human exists. At least to our knowledge. And yet being human is somehow a negative thing. An expression that is used for making excuses and justifying mistakes or shortcomings. And if I'm wrong then my understanding of the word 'perfect' has to be wrong. Of course mathematicians would argue that the most perfect thing is a point or a sphere - it looks the same from any angle and has no features whatsoever, or perhaps the absolute void.

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-05-2009 02:40 Edit Quote
quote:

Arthurio said:

I don't think a more perfect being than a human exists. At least to our knowledge.


Let's come back to that in a moment

quote:

Arthurio said:

And if I'm wrong then my understanding of the word 'perfect' has to be wrong.



I'm not sure of what your understanding of the word perfect is Arthurio. This for the purpose of this discussion, is mine.
I think you are right to highlight the word "Perfect". Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. A "perfect" circle in a one dimensional world would be a line to us, and a "point" would exist only in our minds, in theory.

Humans are far, far, (it was worthy of repetition) from perfection by any standards I can readily think of. Let's consider the history of our planet and the successful longevity of the living creatures that inhabit it as indicators of the level of "perfection" achieved. In this analysis the Horseshoe Crab would be the nearest to perfection.

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 06-05-2009 03:24 Edit Quote
quote:

Tao said:

only in our minds


Ah! There's the rub.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-05-2009 13:54 Edit Quote
quote:
quote:
WebShaman said:

Not human?


You missed my point. I meant what more perfect being(s) are there that this expression seems to hint at? My guess would be that it must have roots in both religion and sci-fi. Both of which are fictional. What is perfection anyway? Is perfection something beautiful, organic, chaotic or is perfection infallibility, absolute efficiency and order? Wouldn't the latter be rather undesirable? And if it's not the latter then what's wrong with how the mankind is now?



No, I did not miss the point. You are not understanding what I am saying or referring to, I think.

We KNOW that humans are not perfect, because we have this thing called memory in which we can recall the past - and it proves that humans are not perfect in many different regards. In fact, "to err is human" pretty much sums this up - someone who actually does manage to do something near to perfect (or even perfectly, depending on how one is defining the word), we tend to hold in a form of awe and wonder. It is something we consider to be inhuman, the effort, whatever. This is because we as humans know that we are fallible. Every human eventually learns this, btw, normally through self-example. Your first failure was proof that you are indeed not perfect, as was mine.

Since inventing things like machines, which can do tasks much better than humans can, I think that is a pretty valid comparator here.

One does expect machines to do things better re: "perfectly"

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 06-16-2009 11:07 Edit Quote

More cracks.

Wooohooo!

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 06-17-2009 20:23 Edit Quote

They seem close to finding plausible first-steps from primordial soup to viable life. There must be countless more steps to uncover, as well as further puzzles to resolve, but as with so much in science, it only takes a few enterprising years for humanity to 'run with the ball' before massive advances in understanding or application are made (or benefits seen).

quote:
Margulis (1996):
To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to that bacterium.



I found that quote on the page I linked above, which got me reading about Lynn Margulis. I found a couple of other quotes of hers which made me think you two would have a great conversation, WS. I never realised that Sagan had such an interesting first wife, though it comes as no surprise.

I seem to recall an ID-related thread around here somewhere with mention of flagellum which I found particularly interesting. I'm still unresolved when it comes to current theories, and I find discussions like that one interesting (once I've filtered out all the religious nonsense) because they reflect my own mix of credulity or incredulity when it comes to the various approaches.
_____

I've never been very good at staying on topic, and this thread has got me on a reading buzz about man-made and artificial cells. Between advances in cellular biology/chemistry and advances in artificial / man-made tissues and cells, not to mention stem cell research and genetic science, I can only wonder at what might come of it all over the next century.

Makes me wanna' write sci-fi!



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