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NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the from-the-water dept.

NASA 115

William Robinson (875390) writes "A new study from researchers at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed the "water world" theory as the answer to our evolution, which describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis called 'submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life' the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture."

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NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of L (-1, Troll)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | about 3 months ago | (#46784425)

Duplicating all pagan religions. They start with water because Genesis starts with the Holy Spirit hovering over the water. The obvious implication is that this is the point when Lucifer was created and he decided at that point that both he and God came out of that water there. The reason this is ridiculous is that it ignores Crick's, Franklin's, and Watson's work proving the mind-boggling complexity of life that could never be duplicated but by a mind-boggling intelligence. "Random processes"? Any randomly assembled amino acid randomly disassembles as well; even Miller proved that. This is our tax dollars being spent on a national religion.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784489)

And then what mind-boggling intelligence begat the mind-boggling intelligence that begat us? Turtles all the way down, mate.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784523)

Such mind boggling intelligence does not necessarily need to come from something. It can come out of nothing. It's was even on slashdot the other day.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (5, Interesting)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 3 months ago | (#46784675)

Carl Sagan, in Cosmos:

If the general picture, however, of a Big Bang followed by an expanding universe is correct, what happened before that? Was the universe devoid of all matter, and then the matter suddenly, somehow created? How did that happen?

In many cultures, the customary answer is that a "god" or "gods" created the universe out of nothing. But, if we wish to pursue this question courageously, we must of course ask the next question: Where did God come from?

If we decide that this is an unanswerable question, then why not save a step, and conclude that the origin of the universe is an unanswerable question? Or, if we say that God always existed, why not save a step and conclude that the universe always existed? There's no need for a creation—it was always here.

These are not easy questions; cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, with the questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (3, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 months ago | (#46784929)

We can't "save a step and conclude that the universe always existed" because we think the universe had a beginning, the Big Bang. We could have saved that step if we thought the universe was Steady State. Dr. Sagan is asking this as a rhetorical question, yet he himself gave the answer not 20 pages earlier in the same book when he addressed the Steady State/Big Bang controversy in historical physics. That's showing a completely non-scientific bias and committing a logical error, and I really hoped for better from the good doctor. Fortunately, if there Is a real God, I suspect "he"s not going to be that hung up on whether his creations beleived without evidence or not.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785347)

What scientist call the universe and what philosophers call the universe are two different things, for the philosopher the universe means absolutely everything, it can not have a creator because the creator would have to create it's self, if you exclude something from the universe to explain its creation then you are not answering the question of how did their get to be something in the first place. For scientist the universe can have different meaning depending on the context, it can mean the space and time we occupy, it can mean just points in space and time which we are connected to. This is why scientist can talk about multiverses, if they where talking about the philosophers universe this would make no sense. When the god question comes up it in relation to the philosophers universe, but to use this argument for god is cheating because you are excluding something and so no longer talking about everything.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785825)

because we think the universe had a beginning, the Big Bang.

That's not an accurate description - there's no requirement that the Big Bang be the beginning of everything. Something may have existed prior to that point; the Big Bang Theory makes no attempt to describe it.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

Baki (72515) | about 3 months ago | (#46785923)

Fortunately, if there Is a real God, I suspect "he"s not going to be that hung up on whether his creations beleived without evidence or not.

Most religions claim otherwise. I think those religions that "survive" the competition from other religions (like an evolutionary process), are those that "procreate" well into the next generation.

Therefore, successful religions must force people (with the threat of divine punishment) to adopt the theory, like belief in god.
Religions that would not mandate a belief in god, and promise punishment to those that don't, would die out fast.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

towermac (752159) | about 3 months ago | (#46786817)

It is an interesting question, and one that we must ask.

I'll never be convinced the mass of the universe came from nothing. I think that even beyond 4 dimensional manifolds and relativity, whether you're talking Star Trek science, or before the Big Bang; the conservation of mass and energy will always hold. The universe came from something. That assumes the Big Bang theory holds; it always had a pseudo-religious feel to me. I wouldn't be shocked if the steady state universe makes a comeback in our lifetime.

I wouldn't say Sagan gave 'the' answer; he simply posited his thoughts on the matter. If we are going to talk about things that are beyond the state of our science to test and understand; then we can't be afraid to get a little dirty when we are out in the weeds of philosophy.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

do_be_jack (3603697) | about 3 months ago | (#46785179)

Tiamat In Mesopotamian Religion (Sumerian, Assyrian, Akkadian and Babylonian), Tiamat is a chaos monster, a primordial goddess of the ocean, mating with Abzû (the god of fresh water) to produce younger gods. It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is 'creatrix', through a "Sacred marriage" between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785939)

Sounds like pussy cop out.

"Well we don't understand this and probably never will, so we should ignore it." Precluding the idea that just maybe there is something critical that will be missed.

If it WAS created, then what? You are going to look pretty fucking stupid standing before the creator when you die, as smart as you think you are now. The bigger they are etc.....that also includes your EGO.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786033)

My perspective is almost the same conclusion but different reasoning. The reason it is a pussoy cop out is because we keep talking about this bullshit, even acting as it means a single fucking iota of relevance in schools, and in the end your stance means not a damn thing to humanity or society. If you want me to give a shit about creation, make the freaking "live forever" pill first. Life is too damn short to waste on this bullshit.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792779)

Ok, I'll bite. Why do you AC deserve the freaking "live forever" pill especially considering several people on /. have expressed abhorrance to that very concept as well as that of immortality.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (4, Informative)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 3 months ago | (#46786291)

"Well we don't understand this and probably never will, so we should ignore it."

Accepting that you don't understand something isn't the same as ignoring it. In fact making up myths about what might have happened is ignoring the reality that we don't know.

If it WAS created, then what? You are going to look pretty fucking stupid standing before the creator when you die, as smart as you think you are now.

This presupposes a long list of arbitrary ideas about the nature of a being that might have conciously created the universe:

  • When you die you continue to live in some other form
  • The creator of the universe cares what you do
  • After you die the creator of the universe will personally assess your behaviour
  • It matters if you look stupid, or there's some other implied consequence
  • The creator of the universe won't reward you for thinking critically and not mindlessly subscribing to any comforting or manipulative fantasy tossed at you
  • ...thousands of other completely arbitrary assumptions that amount to an almost infinite array of possible mutually contradictory creators that you couldn't hope to appease by guessing what the criteria are for non-punishment.

There's absolutely no reason to believe any of these arbitrary assumptions to be the case, even if for some reason, apropos of no evidence whatsoever, you do decide to presume the universe is the consequence of a concious act.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791653)

All of that could be correct, you are right. Anything is possible. However that does not represent the prevailing attitudes in these waters.

People should question everything, even if they believe in a creator. I'm pretty sure this is even covered in the bible.

As for people whom rail against those beliefs, I see a lot of questionable mentality. Almost like they want to be told that it's OK not to believe. They sound like a person seeking justice vs. a murder of a loved one, which doesn't make much sense to me. Why get so bent about it? No one is forcing you to do anything. Though I suspect a lot of this is from the gay community, who obviously have issues extending well beyond the notions of religion.

Another thing I suspect is that the "thirst for knowledge" is like an addiction and doesn't always lead you down a better road. Some people fear the unknown more than others.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792837)

Isn't it interesting that each of the creators has a list of what is required to appease him or join his family. There aren't thousands of other completely arbitrary assumptions that amount to an almost infinite array of possible mutually contradictory creators. There are actually less than 100. Of those there realistically only 10 who have expressed requirements Today 8 still remain (Norse and Greek/Roman while known to have requirements, those don't remain in print) Yahweh and Yeshua, his son. Allah Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) Xenu Yourself Ahura Mazda So there is a1 in 8 chance of being right.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 3 months ago | (#46788571)

Deciding you just get to make up an answer because you don't understand it is the egotistic cop-out.

If there actually is a creator who does those things, I think you're the one who will look stupid, despite your lucky guess.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

nbritton (823086) | about 3 months ago | (#46788235)

Who's to say that we even exist [outside of our universe]? The fact is we assume we exist in absolute terms. However, this reality could be nothing more then some mathematical construct in a sea of infinite probabilities and random chaos. If the universe is 14 billion years old, and the earth is 4.5 billion years, and the human race is 2.5 million years old, then it's probably reasonable to conclude that the realm outside the universe (i.e. unbound probability) has existed for at least 7 trillion years. If that kind of time has elapsed, and I believe it has, the infinite monkey theorem can easily explain how we came about, and further explain that we only exist in relative terms. I don't think the origin of the universe can ever be proven, but we can certainly come up with an answer that conforms with science and logical reasoning.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 3 months ago | (#46788589)

Where are you getting 7 trillion years from?

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792757)

Or, if we say that God always existed, why not save a step and conclude that the universe always existed?

One has nothing to do with the other. Saying a supreme being who exists outside the universe always exists does not suggest that the universe has. Finally, I want God to exist and the bible to be right, just to see the look on all those people's face who denied him and said statements like that above. Why? because there is nothing like the shock when you discover your life is wasted and you don't get the prize.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 3 months ago | (#46784619)

Time is such a universal concept... in that it only applies inside the universe, as far as we know. Furthermore, since undoubtedly something exists, we either have to assume it's possible for something to come out of nothing, or for something to have existed since forever, "just because". So then why not grant this to a theoretical god, too? It's not really logic when you apply it that selectively.

I think even the weirdest god you could dream up would not make reality any weirder, it'd be like a drop in the ocean. Considering that, it's hilarious with how much seriousness we debate what is real or true and who is right when it comes to the final things, and if there is no higher being to see this and have a good chuckle at it, it would have need to be invented.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 3 months ago | (#46785795)

why not grant this to a theoretical god, too?

Because the god adds nothing to the explanation. Hence Occam's razor. Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 3 months ago | (#46786045)

why not grant this to a theoretical god, too?

Because the god adds nothing to the explanation. Hence Occam's razor. Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

More importantly because they're not granting a non-interventionist god with unknowable. People run in circles to try and have god added to the picture, because in the next heartbeat they then want to tell us all about exactly what he's like and how he definitely hates gays or something.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 3 months ago | (#46786327)

People run in circles to try and have god added to the picture

Are you talking to me? Pah. I call out broken logic when I see it, is all. And I also note the hybris of pretending to have any sort of "full picture" that makes any sense at all, defending it from introducing elements which don't. That's some pretty dumb shit, and the strawmen about religious people are expected compensation.

because in the next heartbeat they then want to tell us all about exactly what he's like

Right now, you are telling me how I am like -- take your idiotic projections to someone else, you will have no fun here.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788485)

And the slightest arguable difference in evidentiary or inferential support makes it "necessary".

If there were a record for the highest density of people assured they understand a subject with the lowest density of people who actually do, it would be easily won by Slashdot and Occam's Razor.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (3, Informative)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 3 months ago | (#46788625)

He wasn't using it wrong.

The structure of this thread is:

Premise 1: The Universe exists.
Premise 2: Either something came from nothing, or something always existed.
Hypothesis: That something is God.
Counterargument: The Universe is also an internally consistent "something" to fit the premise. The Universe necessarily exists due to premise 1. God does not necessarily exist given the premises, and does not better fulfill either premise. Therefore the hypothesis is unsupported.

You need to introduce new premises or arguments in order to endow God with extra attributes so that the God hypothesis passes Occam's Razor.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46789659)

And you've clarified by moving to a truly ludicrous usage of Occam's Razor.

Pick one of the Interpretations of QM. Everett, Copenhagen, whichever you like. Apply precisely the same "reasoning" to evaluate them. Tell me which fails to "pass" Occam's Razor, or which is thereby shown "unsupported", both terms being utterly meaningless and unrelated in connection with Occam's Razor.

You clearly have not the slightest understanding of it. Occam's Razor is simply a heuristic to maintain conceptual economy for a given model. All else being equal, one does not multiply entities with out some reason to do so (and literally any reason to do so is a valid reason to do so), because, and -only- because, the resultant model is less conceptually unwieldy, and simpler. It makes no other distinction, "unsupports" or "fails to pass" nothing whatsoever. It never has. Only since the recent vogue to use it in an overextended atheistic argument has the understanding of it become as confused and wrong as yours now is, to the detriment of everyone, including science per se.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46789863)

"Simpler" yet, try running your same sequence on the premise "that book has always existed on that end table, as an internally self-consistent explanation" against your notion of Occam's Razor, and see how scientifically airtight you feel your conclusion is thereby made.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792849)

Or Occam's Razor doesn't apply because he's the creator and therefore outside of it. In my novel universe, Occam's razor doesn't apply to me because I am the creator.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792743)

And then what mind-boggling intelligence begat the mind-boggling intelligence that begat us? Turtles all the way down, mate.

The answer? An even more staggering, self existing, mind-boggling intelligence. Seriously, What exactly is wrong with 'Turtles all the way down'?

Maxwell's Demon (2)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#46784557)

Sounds like NASA finally discovered Maxwell's Demon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 3 months ago | (#46784567)

Random processes

The variation may be random (whatever that really means). The selection is not random.

The whole process, evolution by variation and selection (yes, "abiogenesis" is as specious as the notion of "nonliving" matter), is decidedly not random.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784681)

If complexity must come from more complexity, where does that f**king complex "God" come from? There should be more complex being than "God" exists.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785139)

If complexity must come from more complexity

Good question, and since you're the only one proposing it, I'll await your answer. Theists don't say "must," they say "plausibly."

Yes, I know you added that constraint specifically to fit your argument. Enjoy it, it's yours. But since you'd have no difficulty claiming that a car is designed, but an Engineer isn't designed, I assume you don't have a problem with the notion of some things being designed, and some things not. Even for the viewpoints where among the "not" is a god.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785801)

Theists don't say "must," they say "plausibly."

[laughs]

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 3 months ago | (#46786365)

you added that constraint specifically to fit your argument.

No he didn't, you deleted it to fit yours. He wasn't arguing with your generalised concept of what a "theist" does and doesn't think (Enjoy it, it's yours), he was arguing specifically with the OP, who said:

mind-boggling complexity of life that could never be duplicated but by a mind-boggling intelligence.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785807)

Supergod created god and god's god-verse. And megagod created supergod and supergod's super-verse. And hypergod created megagod and megagod's mega-verse.

AND NOTHING CREATED HYPERGOD. HYPERGOD IS ETERNAL. ALL HAIL HYPERGOD.

[BTW, turtles-all-the-way-down means that our god is the worst god of all. Since he was unable to create a being capable of creating a universe.]

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (2)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 3 months ago | (#46786561)

>

[BTW, turtles-all-the-way-down means that our god is the worst god of all. Since he was unable to create a being capable of creating a universe.]

Unless we someday create a new universe! This could be by starting a new Big Bang in one of the empty spaces of our universe, or by creating a powerful simulation where the life forms inside it think it is reality or really, it would be their reality. Nobody said we have to create the new universe immediately.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792875)

Why in the name of all that is good and pure would we ' create a new Big Bang in one of the empty spaces of OUR universe?' Why not in 12 dimensional space?

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792867)

Supergod created god and god's god-verse. And megagod created supergod and supergod's super-verse. And hypergod created megagod and megagod's mega-verse.

AND NOTHING CREATED HYPERGOD. HYPERGOD IS ETERNAL. ALL HAIL HYPERGOD.

[BTW, turtles-all-the-way-down means that our god is the worst god of all. Since he was unable to create a being capable of creating a universe.]

How do you know we aren't capabl? maybe our way is through our books and literature. What if every piece of created story IS another universe. That would make our God best ebcause he created not just one but millions who created millions more.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792859)

Yep and we are back to Turtles all the way down. I still see nothing wrong with that.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (5, Insightful)

firewrought (36952) | about 3 months ago | (#46784811)

mind-boggling complexity of life that could never be duplicated but by a mind-boggling intelligence

Complexity can arise spontaneously out of simple interactions [wikipedia.org] . We see this over and over and over again [wikipedia.org] . Pretending it requires intelligence just reveals our collective cognitive bias towards personifying the world and ascribing agency to inanimate objects and processes.

This is our tax dollars being spent on a national religion.

No, it's merely a line of scientific questioning that threatens your worldview. A lot of things can threaten a worldview (science, humanities, foreign travel, self-reflection, getting older, etc.), but we should only call them a "religion" if they substantially function like a religion (e.g., providing things like community, life ceremonies, spirituality, moral codes, holy texts, etc.).

Duplicating all pagan religions. They start with water because Genesis starts with the Holy Spirit hovering over the water.

Civilization begins with agriculture, and agriculture begins with water. It was true in lower Mesopotamia (the world's first civilization) and on the banks of the Nile (Egypt, the second civilization). It seems appropriate, then, that many creation myths--including those much older than the Genesis 1:1 account--feature water as prominent (and often chaotic) element.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786247)

It was true in lower Mesopotamia (the world's first civilization) and on the banks of the Nile (Egypt, the second civilization).

I was just discussing this with a buddy earlier. Why would it take humans 100,000 years to realize living in a large group is far easier than living isolated? How do we know these are the first and second civilizations? What if there was a socially advanced civilization, with cities and aquiducts and art, 25K years ago that lasted 1800 years before collapsing, and there is nothing left of it, all evidence that it existed has been wiped away by time. What about 30K years ago? 40K years ago? We don't know. And we also don't know if Mesopotamia was first.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 3 months ago | (#46788819)

The short answer is we don't know for sure "why now?", but we do know that unless humans were generated with seed-technology, they would inevitably ask "why now?" when they reach this point because there's a start to civilization *somewhere*.

But one point is that living in large groups is impractical without scaling agriculture, which at minimal technology is impractical to bootstrap in much of the world. The most low-tech-civilization-friendly places on Earth are the ones where we find the first evidence of civilization, and there's some evidence that some of those places had local climate change coinciding with the dawn of civilization.

Note that we *do* have human remains and artifacts from 30-40k years ago. That's when the first bow & arrows seem to have been produced. The evidence of wild grains being cultivated is more recent.

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792885)

So you going with the Battlestar Galactica theory?

Old Theory (1)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#46789089)

I'm pretty sure you're just describing Maxwell's demon

Heck, that's all this NASA proposal is: Maxwell's demon with a theoretical location.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon

Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784879)

Duplicating all pagan religions. They start with water because Genesis starts with the Holy Spirit hovering over the water. The obvious implication is that this is the point when Lucifer was created and he decided at that point that both he and God came out of that water there. The reason this is ridiculous is that it ignores Crick's, Franklin's, and Watson's work proving the mind-boggling complexity of life that could never be duplicated but by a mind-boggling intelligence. "Random processes"? Any randomly assembled amino acid randomly disassembles as well; even Miller proved that. This is our tax dollars being spent on a national religion.

Why are you so arrogant as to place limits on what is possible?

Entropy can Increase or Decrease Locally (4, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#46785737)

"Random processes"? Any randomly assembled amino acid randomly disassembles as well; even Miller proved that.

The randomly assembled amino acid does randomly disassemble as well, but that is not what it must do. An amino acid may stay the same, disassemble, or it it may form a more complex molecule.

Here is a little demonstration of "randomly" assembling complexity in behavior. [vortexcortex.com] I have given each entity the ability to sense the left and rightness and ahead and behindness of 'energy' dots and their nearest peer. They also get a sense of their relative energy vs their peer. The inputs can affect two thrusters which operate like "tank treads". However, their minds are blank. They don't know what to do with the inputs or how they map to the outputs. The genetic program introduces random errors as copies runs of a genome from one parent then the other switching back and forth randomly. The selection pressure simply favors those with the most energy at the end of each generation by granting a higher chance to breed. Use the up/dn keys to change the sim speed, and click the entities to see a visualization of their simple neural network. The top left two neurons sense nearest food distance, the right two sense nearest entity, middle top is the relative energy difference of nearest peer. Note that randomness is constantly introduced, and yet their behaviors do not revert to randomness or inaction, they converge on a better solution for finding energy in their environment.

There is no pre-programed strategy for survival. Mutations occur randomly, and they are selected against, just as in nature. Given the same starting point In different runs / populations different behaviors for survival will emerge. Some may start spinning and steering incrementally towards the food, others may steer more efficiently after first just moving in a straighter path to cover the most ground (they have no visual or movement penalty for backwards, so backwards movement is 50% likely). As their n.net complexity grows their behaviors will change. Movement will tend towards more efficient methods. Some populations may become more careful instead of faster, some employ a hybrid approach by racing forwards then reversing and steering carefully after the energy/food is passed. Some entities will emerge avoidance of each other to conserve energy. Some populations will bump into each other to share energy among like minded (genetically similar) peers. Some will even switch between these strategies depending on their own energy level.

Where do all these complex behaviors come from? I didn't program them, I didn't even program in that more complex behaviors should be more favorable than less complex, and yet they emerged naturally as a product of the environment due to selection pressure upon it. Just because I can set the axon weights manually and program a behavior favorable for n.nets to solve the problem, doesn't mean randomness can't yield solutions as well. Today we can watch evolution happen right on a computer, or in the laboratory. All of this complexity came from a simple simulation of 32 neurons arranged in a simple single hidden layer neural net, with 5 simple scalar sensors and the minimal 2 movement outputs, with a simple single selection pressure. Each time you run the sim it produces different results, but all meeting the same ends, collect energy, reproduce. Just imagine what nature can do with its far more complex simulation and selection pressures... You don't have to imagine, you can look around and see for yourself.

In other more complex simulations I allow the structure of the n.nets and form of sensors to be randomly introduced and selection pressure applied. In larger simulations I allow the breeding and death of generations to occur continuously across wider areas and speciation will occur. Entities will develop specialized adaptations for a given problem space of the environment. I have created simulations where the OP code program instructions themselves are randomized, and seen program replication emerge. If there is replication and entropy (errors added) competition will begin among the entities for resources in the environment.

I have created other simulations for the evolution of chemical life in a simplified environment with particles that attract or repel, and have various bonding properties. These take even more processor cycles to run, but they demonstrate the emergence of complex behaviors too. First linking up of chains of atoms occurs. The entropy introduced and other parameters determines how long the chains can form. As with the Op-Code VM universe requiring certain types of opcodes to produce life, Certain universes of chemical properties are not conducive to life either. The ones that are will emerge life-like processes spontaneously.

The first atom joining interactions will produce small molecules, thus increasing the complexity of the universe -- this is the meaning of life: It is what life is and does. In my opinion, life is not binary but a scalar quality which happens at many different levels; The degree that something is alive is denoted by the complexity of the interaction, IMO. Out of the millions of simplified chemical universes some will be able to produce molecules, and some can yield chains of molecules. The first chain-producing catalytic molecule, or "protein", will begin to fill the sim with long chains of atoms, and then become extinct as no more free atoms are available, or entropy destroys the chain-making interaction "protein". Some universes that can produce atomic interactions can not produce life. I call this "universal crystallization": If not enough entropy in the universe you don't get complex life, only self assembling crystals. With enough entropy to break the chains down over a period of time, but not too much entropy that it limits the chain lengths too much, chain-making interactions can restart and die out many times. Each micro-genesis tends to occur with greater frequency given the more complex environment their predecessors left behind.

Suddenly an evolutionary leap will emerge: Simple Pattern Matching. For no other reason than it being one out of a sea of random outcomes one of the spontaneous chain making catalyst will produce TWO chains instead of one. Often this happens because of entropy attaching two chain making catalyst interaction "proteins". Because of the propagation of attraction / repulsion, etc. properties in the "protein" molecule the atoms added to one chain will have an immediate effect on the atom or molecule that can be added to the other chain. An interlock is formed, and the complexity of the simulated universe essentially doubles in a small period of time. Sometimes three chains can be produced as well, this may even yield ladder like chains, which are very durable; Though frequently the ladders do not emerge and are not absolutely required for the next phase of complexity to emerge. During the pattern matching phase copying can occur. A chain of molecules may enter one side of a pattern forming "protein", and produce the mate chain. Depending on the chemistry, that mate chain may have one or more additional mate pairs before reproduction of the initial chain Thus the first copy of information is born, and is key to future increases in complexity. Not all chains can make copies, if any input on one side has two or more equally likely pairs it will almost certainly prevent exact copies; Thus molecular pairs instead of atoms are more likely to form life's chemical Op-Code. Depending randomly on the time it takes for the next evolutionary jump to happen it may occur via manufacture of simple or very complex molecular chains.

Some catalytic interactions have an interesting property. Instead of being formed of a chance collection of complex molecules the catalyst will be formed of a chain themselves. Beginning as a molecule chain themselves they may be able to exist in two states: Relaxed or Kinked up. The interaction with a few common atoms or molecules at one or more "active" sites can cause the somewhat relaxed chain to transform in a cascade of kinks into the catalytic protein shape whereby it can manufacture molecular chains. The pattern of the folding is programmed into the molecular chain itself, charge interaction propagates along itself such that stages of the folding action occur in a predictable way (this is still a mysterious mechanism we're trying to solve in real-world biology). Shortly after the emergence of the first such transforming molecular chain, an explosion of evolutionary advances occurs. When the relaxed form of a dual chain-maker kinking "protein" is fed into another dual chain-maker its intermediary form is output. Rarely is this mate-pair form also a transforming kinking protein. It may take one or more additional passes through a duplex pattern matcher to yield the first copy of a copying machine, or it may take a secondary kinking protein that performs the reverse process. "Protein" synthesis is a huge evolutionary leap because immediately thereafter the copy machines reproduce exponentially and begin competing by reproducing the array of slowly mutating intermediary forms. /p>

Mutations to the copy machine or its intermediary form(s) can cause new varied forms of itself to be created. Most of the mutations are fatal, some do no harm by merely adding expense via inert additions, some additions are useful. This is where I see the evolutionary leap due to competition: Armaments and defenses. The inert additions can serve as a shield to prevent vulnerable "protein" machinery from breaking down by preventing a stray atom or molecule from joining or gumming up the works. Some copy-machines will emerge weapons: Long (expensive) tails that detach on contact to clog the gears of other copiers, short barbed kinks with active elements at the tips to break away and attach to competitors. Some may produce reactive molecules that they are immune to, essentially an acid to digest others via. Soon activity is everywhere, the sim will be full of ever more complex interactions. Thus the complexity of the copier universe grows by amazing evolutionary leaps and bounds.

New forms of protein folding emerge which may yield reversible kinking instead of one-way transformations. Sometimes folding is lost and life can go extinct by relying on existing catalytic molecules (given enough time it may form again). Very rarely, instead of long chains self assembling catalysts are formed which manufacture the various smaller parts that then self assemble. However, I have never seen self assembly in this way yield much more complex things without resorting to duplicating molecular chains. The "genetic program" is a powerful evolutionary advantage which seems to be almost a mandatory necessity for complex life. If the chemistry is right sometimes naturally occurring or previously mass produced mated molecule pairs will form chains that begin copying by zipping and unzipping free amino acids given some slight oscillating energy to break apart the chain pairs.

Without any tweaking of parameters, I'll sit back and watch as the simulated universe emerges more and more complexity through competition. Some designs seem naturally more favorable than others. Having only a single intermediary stage instead of two or more is the most common. I think this may be why RNA replicates by a pair strand, and DNA has a double ladder chain to ensure the op-code interlock functions, and yield structural stability. Program hoops seem very advantageous -- A dual chain producing protein may be fed a its intermediary chain that is linked with its unkinked self. The protein will races along the hoop feverishly outputting an unkinked chain copier and a long curved intermediary copy, which can self assemble into more hoops, and kink up to do more copying. The hoop is advantageous to copying random chains since a new copy can begin immediately instead of waiting for a chance strand to happen by (which may not be a competitor's genome). I see the emergence of start and stop signals among the chains so that long intermediary chains or hoops may produce several different molecules of varying complexities.

Many symbioses occur. For the first time a chain destroyer is advantageous to have in one's molecular program to split up chains and/or atomize molecules for re-use. It's optimal for some copiers to use the shorter chains laying around than to create everything from individual atoms, so they may survive only as long as the smaller and simpler / cheaper chain producers also do. Sometimes the intermediary form of two or more complimentary copiers will join and thus carry with it the information for copying all essential copiers and assemblers of an environment. Thus an energy store and release mechanism is heralded by the local increase and decrease in entropy in the making and unmaking of molecular chains, corresponding to heating and cooling the environment which can act as a switch for kinking or relaxing and drive even more complex interactions.

Something like speciation occurs by having various areas of the universe separated by seas of caustic agents or walls of think chain soup, and leaving ecosystems unable to interact. Something like viruses occurs whereby one subsection of the environment replicating various chains will be infected by a drifting intermediary form chain that produces incompatible copiers and/or catalysts that are very destructive and take over the ecosystem. I haven't got the CPU power or time available to run these simplified simulations for billions of years, but there is no doubt in my mind that if I did some would produce more complex creatures by continuing the process of encoding ever more better methods of survival within their self replicating copies.

I have seen simulated life emerge in my computers. For the life of me, I can't figure out how it is any different than organic life. Both require energy and an environment conducive to their survival in order to exist. Thus my definition of life includes cybernetic beings, and my ethics revolves around preserving and increasing the complexity of the universe. I know of more efficient ways to produce intelligence than waiting billions of years in billions of universes with billions of different parameters for emergent intelligences to appear. I can apply the tools of nature directly to the complexity of information itself within the problem spaces I need solved, but just because I can intelligently design a solution doesn't mean that nature could not do the same with her countless dice and enormous trial and error periods.

Emergence of life in water would seem likely given the chemical properties of water and usefulness as both a medium of interaction as well as a source of energy. Water is one of the most abundant molecules (made of hydrogen and oxygen, both very abundant atoms); For the same reason that certain op-codes are required for self-copying programs to form, carbon is a likely atomic building block for life. We know how to create hydrogen atoms from pure energy using very powerful lasers. We know hydrogen fuses into helium in our sun. We may not have been there at the big bang to watch it happen, but all evidence points to its occurrence, and subsequent hydrogen production, and supernovae stars from this to increase the chemical complexity of the universe to include all the atoms we find here on Earth, and which life is made of. We've seen self assembling lipids and amino acids, and it's not a very large leap to consider the latter may take refuge in the former given enough pulses of a the local entropy increase and decrease cycle and a bit of selection pressure.

I am not a god to my cybernetic creations. I am merely a being in a higher reality to them. I see no evidence that indicates a god is required for life to have formed. Complexity emerges as entropy decreases locally, and this universe is expanding. However, even if we met miraculous beings tomorrow with technology far beyond our own and they had powers that seemed as magic, they would be merely aliens, not gods. Even if the universe were a simulation and the administrator logged in having full god-like command of my reality I would not worship them a god: Should Neo worship the Machines of the Matrix? No, worshiping aliens for having more technology is cargo cultism. If reality itself were a thinking entity we would call it a massive alien intelligence and study it with cybernetics, not worship it as a god. The god of a cargo cult does exist, but it is not a god.

The philosophical concept of a much higher intelligence should not be conflated with the term "god". To do so lends the reverence you hold for ancient traditions and their folkloric figures to powerful alien minds. You are espousing enslavement to Stargate Aliens by saying a mind-boggling god created life. Science has made magic into technology. The term "god" is deprecated, and can no longer apply. God is dead. I will not worship aliens, even if they do exist.

These are facts due to thermodynamics verifiable through the mathematics of information theory: Complexity can emerge from simpler states; Complexity can beget more or less complexity, but complexity is not first required to produce complexity. The lack of all complexity would be a hot dense singularity.

Re:Entropy can Increase or Decrease Locally (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about 3 months ago | (#46786805)

This is very well done. I am always fascinated by the mini-evolution simulations and this a particularly appealing one.

Re:Entropy can Increase or Decrease Locally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787091)

Very interesting thanks.

Not Evolution (5, Informative)

Wook Man (79498) | about 3 months ago | (#46784443)

This is the theory of abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution is how life changes, not how it got started.

Re:Not Evolution (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#46784513)

This is the theory of abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution is how life changes, not how it got started.

But life probably cannot start until evolution helps it along. Something that was half-alive probably had to be shaped further by evolution to become true life.

For example, an early molecule that was perhaps either too poor a replicator (sloppy & broken) or too accurate a replicator (exact clones) would have reached a dead end if evolution didn't start pruning the copies to find the Goldilocks range of imperfection level (mutation) in the replication process necessary for continuing life.

Re:Not Evolution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785011)

Hypothesis: the origin of life in a hydrogel environment
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826671

Re:Not Evolution (3, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 months ago | (#46785077)

But how does Evolution prune the repication mechanism itself? If an early replicator was very sloppy and mutation prone, then any possible advantages occuring by random mutation would have little chance to be tested before other random mutations overwrote them or other mutations killed off the organisms carrying that mutation. Working backwards, let's start with modern DNA, in cases where there are many additional mechanisms to cut the mutation rate so the non-random part of Evolution has more time to work. Putting DNA inside a walled cell, and making that cell nucleated, both reduce the exposure of the DNA to chemicals that can mutate copies. Multicellularity further shields the DNA from some more mutagens, and lets Evolution prune cells with bad copies by apoptosis, which can't be used by single celled organisms. Right there, we have a trend in Evolution - Nature seems to be trying to reduce error rates to target, as you put it, the Goldilocks range. "Advanced" organisms, such as us, or mosquitos or oak trees, have many features that make the selection rate occur at an optimum, where Nature gets enough time for selection processes to occur. In fact, sexual selection is probably just another form of targeting that Goldilocks range, and I'm sure a professional biologist can think of may more examples than the four I've mentioned. Some more minor steps in this pattern might include the evolution of Alcohol Dehydrogenase enzymes and others, but that's getting beyond my depth.
        But if we extrapolate a historical trend from that, the mutation rate must have been higher for 'primative' DNA based life, but the selection pressure must have been lower. Mutation must have been still higher if RNA was once the core molecule of heredity, which seems pretty solidly established. And if there's several more primative replicators, selection pressure must have moved glacially compared to the modern era. So how did selection have time even in 3 billion years to evolve DNA itself? If the earliest replicators were something like crystaline clays that were subject to a very modest amount of selection by erosion, as some biologists have speculated, how do we get the time for these to evolve through many stages to RNA and then DNA and eventually all the extra trimmings of today? Given that we've been in a DNA based biosphere for close to 1.5 billion years, that's about half the time since Earth cooled enough to support organic compounds,, and we're trying to cram probably at least 5 or 6 earlier replicators into less than half the time, knowing that each one was subject to less selection pressure than it's successor probably by orders of magnetude.

Re:Not Evolution (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#46785201)

Time. Billions of years is a long time to try various and sundry things. Although it probably didn't happen this way (likely there were multiple attempts at 'life'), it just takes once....

Life finds a way.

Re:Not Evolution (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 3 months ago | (#46786057)

This seems longwinded for a question you ask and answer in the first sentence:

If an early replicator was very sloppy and mutation prone, then any possible advantages occuring by random mutation would have little chance to be tested before other random mutations overwrote them or other mutations killed off the organisms carrying that mutation.

That's the answer. Mechanisms which have too short of a half-life, or too long of one, are out-competed by randomly occurring ones with different half-lives.

indeed. nor why (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#46784517)

+1

Evolution doesn't try to explain how life began.
It is therefore funny to me thatsome people think there's a contradiction between evolution and ancient stories about how it began. Even more odd, some people assume the HOW is incompatible with ideas about WHY life exists. Those are three separate questions.
   

Re:indeed. nor why (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 3 months ago | (#46785705)

Considering that a sizeable percentage of americans seem to count geology and cosmology and god knows what else under "evolution" (thanks to inbred creationist hicks calling the big bang an "evolution" theory, etc) , calling biogenesis evolution is probably a forgivable mistake to make

Re:indeed. nor why (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 3 months ago | (#46786255)

Although evolution isn't an explanation of how life began, it does introduce some constrictions on what that explanation can include. For instance, all life on earth today is descended from a single common ancestor. Plants, animals and humans were not created apart from each other, one at a time. Humans are descended from Apes. Without explaining how that process began, the evolutionary evidence about this constraint is emphatic and undeniable. This flies in the face of one obvious prominent creation myth.

How so? What creates that constraint? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#46787287)

> Although evolution isn't an explanation of how life began, it does introduce some constrictions on what that explanation can include.
> For instance, all life on earth today is descended from a single common ancestor. Plants, animals and humans were not created apart from each other, one at a time.

We know that the iPhone "evolved" from early cell phones via natural selection aka market selection.
We know that the latest cars similarly "evolved" via a process analogous to biological evolution.
We also know that cars and phones don't share a common ancestor - they evolved separately.
We know that one type of bird evolves into another, while on the other side of the planet one type of rodent evolves into another, separately.

How does biological evolution introduce the constraint that there must be a single common ancestor?
I see you have the belief that there may have been a single common ancestor, but I don't see how that's required for evolution to occur.

> Humans are descended from Apes. Without explaining how that process began,
> the evolutionary evidence about this constraint is emphatic and undeniable.
> This flies in the face of one obvious prominent creation myth.

One very narrow interpretation, perhaps, one that few people hold. Most people, I think, realize that the ancient wisdom in Genesis says things happened in this order:

0. There was nothing - the universe was without form.
1. Space (the stars and the heavens)
2. Earth.
3. Oceans and land masses
4. Sea life
5. Animals of the land and air
6. Lastly, humans

For hundreds of years, scientists said that was wrong. Today, we know that Genesis has the sequence correct, and has been correct for thousands of years. Yeah, if you assume that the "yom" between land animals and humans was 24 hours, that's not consistent with evolution. That's not the only meaning of yom, though.

Re:How so? What creates that constraint? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792909)

Seriously?

We know that the iPhone "evolved" from early cell phones via natural selection aka market selection

Damn that kool-aid is sweet? IPhones DIDN'T EVOLVE. There are individual phones that were built (created) for specific functions. All still exist even though their functions aren't prevalent anymore. None are extinct. The last was the brick cellular phone. Then computers were miniaturized enough to allow for a phone to become an simple program on that computer. It was named IPhone because people wouldn't buy pocket computer to call each other. Evolution is at beast a biologically process. When applying it to market driven created products you don't silly, you look like an f***ing idiot.

Re:indeed. nor why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788187)

Evolution doesn't try to explain how life began.

It is therefore funny to me thatsome people think there's a contradiction between evolution and ancient stories about how it began.

Evolution doesn't explain how life began, but evolution is based on "evidencism" (a.k.a. science). It's pretty much impossible to accept evolution, without accepting that studying evidence reveals truth. (i.e. If you think evidence is worthless, the you're probably not going to favor evolution as an explanation for anything.) If you allow people adopt this way of finding out things, they're going to develop an evidencist bias in parallel with their learning.

And that is a problem, because evidencism does contradict ancient stories in certain ways, such as how humanity began, or whether or not all life migrated from a single boat-landing site not very long ago. Evidencists know the stories have obvious errors, and therefore were either generated out of ignorance or dishonesty (take your pick). And then that undermines the legitimacy of whoever is telling you the story, other things within the same collection of stories, and so on. If your agenda is to persuade people that the stories are true and that the tellers of the stories have special insight which ought to be rewarded, then you need to combat evidencism.

TL;DNR: If people can see though your bullshit, then you need to do something about people having the capacity to see.

Attacking evolution is a reasonable part of a larger strategy to maximize that value. The error was that the attack is so narrow; they really need to attack all of science, and the basis of science itself. If people know about gravity, light, etc, and see how evidencist thinking keeps getting things right, then that will undermine the strategy.

I think the agenda of trying to get back to a partial dark age, is totally unachievable. You need to go all the way, or else just give up on trying to keep people down. Mysticism can have a future, but we're going to have to learn to live without a cell phone, medicine, food, car, etc. The next time some actress says vaccines cause autism, support her! Don't get caught up in little details like whether or not your own children die. Combating evidicism is going to take a broad, united effort by people with enough conviction to be willing to make real sacrifices. So many supernaturalists out themselves as half-assed pussies, and that undermines the goal. I don't understand why they tolerate such dissent; you'd think it'd be a killing offense.

Re:Not Evolution (2)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 3 months ago | (#46784535)

I reject your notion that evolution is unrelated.

Both variation and selection are still at work, even on "inanimate" objects.

Re:Not Evolution (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 3 months ago | (#46792921)

I reject your notion that evolution is unrelated.

Both variation and selection are still at work, even on "inanimate" objects.

I moved to a place where my favorite convenience store isn't available. I still use there selection of cups. However, I don't expect them to one day 'upgrade' to the cup of the gas station across the street. Outside of biology, variation and selection are static. They can and are eliminated in communist societies as ills.

Re:Not Evolution (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 3 months ago | (#46786703)

Abiogenesis [youtube.com]

It's alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784461)

It is well understood that electrical energy is important in the process of imbuing inanimate matter with life.

Re:It's alive (5, Interesting)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 3 months ago | (#46784611)

inanimate matter

What does ‘inanimate’ mean? The problem is that people are always making this bizarre differentiation between ‘animate’ and ‘inanimate’, when really there is just matter interacting with matter; some sets of interactions are more complex and organized (or, shall we say, repetitive and sustained) than other sets of interactions. Indeed, sometimes that complexity and organization is so great that we call it ‘life’ and even ‘intelligent life’, but it’s all one and the same:

Matter interacting with matter.

When you eat some metal such as calcium, that calcium may become incorporated in your bones. Is that calcium all of a sudden ‘animated’ and ‘living’? Is the water that you drink somehow ‘animated’ because it flows through your brain cells?

A child is a continuation of that complex interaction between matter that we call the parent.

Re:It's alive (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 3 months ago | (#46784639)

A few times a week, I realize that everything is everything, any further claims are likely to be false. What we consider objects or individuals is just an aspect of everything, indivisible from the rest. It's just that this would leave me with nothing to do, so I shake it off quickly ^^

Re:It's alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785089)

A few times a week, I realize that everything is everything

I'm three percent dinosaur poop!

RAWR!

Thank you Dr. Manhattan (1)

painandgreed (692585) | about 3 months ago | (#46788395)

Matter interacting with matter.

When you eat some metal such as calcium, that calcium may become incorporated in your bones. Is that calcium all of a sudden ‘animated’ and ‘living’? Is the water that you drink somehow ‘animated’ because it flows through your brain cells?

"A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally there's no discernible difference."

Re:It's alive (1)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 3 months ago | (#46789253)

So kissing a beautiful woman is the same thing as kissing a slab of concrete then?

That's a bland way to live. But then are empiro-naturalists really living or merely converting O2 to CO2?

Re:It's alive (2)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 3 months ago | (#46784701)

Is that you Dr. Frankenstein ?

April Fools? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784485)

lol @ NASA it must be April Fools Day there every day since we all know evolution is the biggest joke since the Earth is flat.

does the bullshit never end? (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 3 months ago | (#46784593)

when will we decide life came from a comet fart?? next week?? o yeah...FUCK BETA

Was the lead author Dr. Kevin Costner? (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#46784609)

I'm just sayin'...

NASA trying to find something to do (0)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 3 months ago | (#46784613)

until the UFO aliens reveal themselves.

Rubbish! (3)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46784633)

Everyone knows that life was started when inanimate matter was touched by His Noodly Appendage [wikipedia.org] .

So the Origin of Life is a shitty movie ??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784645)

Nice !

Water World origin of life? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784821)

I saw that movie.

Kevin Costner was dead in it.

(plusd one In7ormative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784913)

guests. Some people can be like sse. ThE number ransom for their irc.secsup.org or Apple too. No, as it is licensed

Nah. It was God. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46784951)

Life appearing from nothing isn't logical or scientific. Anything appearing from nothing isn't logical or scientific. I used to be all Atheist, before I realized that the only logical thing to be is Agnostic. (Meaning you realize that you cannot know either way, whereas Atheism is the stupid religion of thinking that you "know" that there is no God, which is the opposite of scientific reasoning.)

Re:Nah. It was God. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785281)

Life appearing from nothing isn't logical or scientific. Anything appearing from nothing isn't logical or scientific. I used to be all Atheist, before I realized that the only logical thing to be is Agnostic. (Meaning you realize that you cannot know either way, whereas Atheism is the stupid religion of thinking that you "know" that there is no God, which is the opposite of scientific reasoning.)

Wut?!?!

That's all over the place logically. First, "It was God". OK, but you later say "the only logical thing to be is Agnostic". But you weren't. You claimed "It was God."

And what does, "Life appearing from nothing isn't logical or scientific" even mean? No one claims "life appear[ed] from nothing." There have been numerous experiments that created "building blocks" for living creatures from simple elements and compounds known to exist in quantity on the early Earth. Just because we have yet to determine which if any of those possible "beginnings of life" actually happened, and which one(s) (including ones we haven't even thought of yet) lead to paths that could have created life as we know it today doesn't mean the only logical conclusion is "It was God."

That even contradicts your claim "that you cannot know either way."

Furthermore, none of what we know precludes, "It was God." Even if you could unequivocally prove that life started on Earth via one of those paths I mentioned above, and even if you could unequivocally prove that evolution of some form shapes life - including humanity - to this very day, you still haven't precluded, "It was God."

Why? Because an omniscient and omnipotent God could very well have used those processes to create life, and then used evolution to shape life. After all, He's God and can do any thing He damn well pleases - including creating man in His image via evolution.

If you believe that God created man in His image, tell me why He could not have used evolution over billions of years to do it.

Re:Nah. It was God. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785383)

As an Atheist I don't know anything about the existence of god, I just don't believe anybody else does either. If someone claims we are surrounded by invisible unicorns, I am not going to believe they know any such thing, and yet I no information about the existence of invisible unicorns either. Either the universe popped into existence from nothing or it is eternal, people who believe in an eternal god believe in an eternal universe (the universe means everything), the idea that anybody could have access to that kind knowledge is ridiculous. An eternal universe makes more sense to me, but I have trouble understanding that as well. Science can never explain the existence of everything it can only explain where one thing come from something else, the big bang at best doesn't explain where the laws of physic came from to allow a big bank to occur, in fact the big bang only explains the expansion of the universe form something the size of a proton, the laws of physic we have are not capable of going back any further.

Re:Nah. It was God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787429)

If we're not surrounded by invisible unicorns, then how do you explain where all the missing socks go?

Re:Nah. It was God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785971)

It is hilarious this is marked flamebait. I guess you really got to them. Truth really does hurt, at least for some people.

Why no cells in the lab yet? (3, Interesting)

Mr.CRC (2330444) | about 3 months ago | (#46785741)

One thing which bugs me is that, after all the years since the first experiments took place which synthesized amino acids by putting CH4, NH3, etc. in a flask and passing electrical discharges through it, why hasn't anyone managed to synthesize at least a self-replicating, metabolizing, proto-cell or something "alive" in the lab? I mean, given that we should be able to simulate the optimal conditions and energy inputs, it's just a bit strange that we haven't produced this result. If such a simulation could yield a living cell or even a molecule blob that clearly has the characteristics of life (energy in, copies of itself out), yet some fundamental chemistry differences that make it clearly "alien" then Ohhh what a big deal that would be...

It's a rare occurrence (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46785831)

The earth had a billion years and the entire surface to a depth of some hundreds of metres.

That's a lot replicates for an experimental team limited to 500 ml flasks in a lab.

Re:Why no cells in the lab yet? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 3 months ago | (#46786065)

The sheer scale of the chemistry involved is staggering. The Earth was concentrating the heat and energy of a star into itself, and churning billions of tons of material in millions of different chemical and pressure environments.

At the current scale of things, we're not sure what the early conditions were like - were things mostly concentrated, or was their natural processes which were separating out reaction products to give a domain of purer precursors? And would anyone be happy if we assumed as such before starting such an experiment as a means of reducing the scale of the process?

Anaximander was right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787149)

Spontaneous generation is now a trendy science meme!

You just have to wait a bit. (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 3 months ago | (#46786167)

I mean, the earth had a lab in the scale of hundreds of millions of square kilometers, performing concurrent "experiments" over millions of years in order to produce life. Do you think a random creation experiment can give results in a human lab in just a few years?

Re:Why no cells in the lab yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786467)

If someone were successful to create life in a lab like this would only prove that an intelligent being created life.

Re:Why no cells in the lab yet? (1)

FrozenToothbrush (3466403) | about 3 months ago | (#46787913)

Perhaps it was the intention of the Universe itself that brought the first cells into being...

Re:Why no cells in the lab yet? (1)

nbritton (823086) | about 3 months ago | (#46788543)

Because proteins are incredibly more complex then base amino acids. The Ribonuclease protein is the simplest protein that we know of, and can be considered the most basic building block of a cell. It is made from 124 amino acids, the first one in the strand being Lysine, and there are 17 different amino acids in this protein. The only process we know of that can produce proteins are proteins, i.e. RNA and DNA transcription. We haven't yet figured out how to bootstrap this process, much less produce synthetic proteins that can transcribe proteins from biological code. This is akin to a compiler, and we're nowhere near this level of complexity or understanding.

This from NASA JPL... Guess they have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786905)

time on their hands now that no longer have to bother with having a Space Launch System.
What does N.A.S.A. stand for again?

Re:This from NASA JPL... Guess they have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786965)

Look, we've sent people in space. What's the point now? We know space is mostly empty, with a few dead rocks here and there. We have nothing even remotely close to anything that would allow us to do more than what has happened already. So what? Let it go. Space, as conceived in the 1960s propaganda, is dead. Get over it.

Re:This from NASA JPL... Guess they have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787055)

Good point. Can we have our money back now?
If only we had another agency or.. foundation ... like a National... Science Foundation. Yeah, if we had one of those, they could do work like this.
Wny NASA? Because of that powerful 1960 propaganda, everything that is published with "NASA SAYS SO" is accepted as gospel.

Re:This from NASA JPL... Guess they have (1)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 3 months ago | (#46789277)

+1. I'd like a refund please.

Further discussion (2)

Kythe (4779) | about 3 months ago | (#46786937)

Dr. Nick Lane has a more extended discussion on the possibility of life originating due to naturally-occurring proton imbalances in his book "Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life".

As he points out, proton imbalances (across membranes) are actually the way all bacteria generate energy, and the way all life likely did before a phenomenal accident gave us mitochondria (in the case of most eukaryotes, it's proton imbalances across mitochondria within our cells, giving us far more energy for a given cell volume and quite possibly the thing that made multicellular life possible). He also calls the "primordial soup" life precursor picture into serious question, as fermentation is actually more complex, from an enzyme standpoint, than respiration.

Really interesting stuff.

http://www.nick-lane.net/ [nick-lane.net]

This research is in direct conflict with NASA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46786941)

NASA's PRIME DIRECTIVE! Obama told the director that Improving Muslim relations is NASA's top priority!!! Think this anti-Allah is going to help move that priority forward?!? Someone is going to get in trouble with the Boss. I know, it was only intended to piss off Republican Evangelicals, but the collateral damage is too high. If Muslims are willing to attack our Consulate office and murder four Americans including our Ambassador over a year old Youtube video, just imagine the hell this little gem will bring down on us.

Nothing new here (1)

ryanmc1 (682957) | about 3 months ago | (#46788623)

The bible has been preaching a similar theory for thousands of years, why is this news today? Here are some verses from the book of Genesis chapter 1

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

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