Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Earth"

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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#101  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 8:30 am

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:
rainbow wrote:
Whilst scientists naturally accept that 'joining the dots' between these individual steps is entirely proper, particularly on a body the size of a planet over a 100 million year period, the absence of experiments actively coupling these stages is a matter remaining to be addressed, though such experiments will be ambitious in scope indeed if they are to produce complete working protocells at the end of a long production line starting with a Miller-Urey synthesis.

There is nothing to support the argument that the origin of life would've required an Earth-sized planet, or a 100 million years. Molecules are very small and the Original Replicator could've formed in the tiniest of puddles, or even in a moist crack within a particle of clay on a dried out lake, or a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent.

Are you saying that some random chemical reactions has the same chance of happening in a short time in "the tiniest of puddles, or even in a moist crack within a particle of clay on a dried out lake, or a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", as it has of happening on "a body the size of a planet over a 100 million year period"? If not, would you care to explain your point a bit more?

No. It doesn't matter how long you have, or how big the planet might be, if you don't have conditions conducive to the origin of life. If you do have conditions conducive to the origin of life, they can be there on a micro-scale - and the reactions can take place in a very short period, perhaps hours or days.
We actually don't know how big and how long.

And a big planet couldn't contain several of these of these micro-scale environments, and a 100 million year time span wouldn't allow more "tries" (both of getting these environments and actually getting the "correct" reactions) than an hour?

Can you quote any abiogenesis researcher that states that the reactions that (presumably) led to life took ~100 million of continuous, relevant interactions to happened, of are you happy with chopping down straw men?
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#102  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 9:18 am

Newmark wrote:And a big planet couldn't contain several of these of these micro-scale environments, and a 100 million year time span wouldn't allow more "tries" (both of getting these environments and actually getting the "correct" reactions) than an hour?


Possibly. Why would they be required?
Please detail your reasoning.

Can you quote any abiogenesis researcher that states that the reactions that (presumably) led to life took ~100 million of continuous, relevant interactions to happened, of are you happy with chopping down straw men?

No. I wasn't the one that made the point about the size of Earth and the 100 million years. You might want to ask Cali about the relevance?
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#103  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 9:26 am

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:And a big planet couldn't contain several of these of these micro-scale environments, and a 100 million year time span wouldn't allow more "tries" (both of getting these environments and actually getting the "correct" reactions) than an hour?


Possibly. Why would they be required?
Please detail your reasoning.

I don't say that they are required, I say that several occurrences of an event increases the likelihood of a particular outcome. This is very basic probability theory.

rainbow wrote:
Can you quote any abiogenesis researcher that states that the reactions that (presumably) led to life took ~100 million of continuous, relevant interactions to happened, of are you happy with chopping down straw men?

No. I wasn't the one that made the point about the size of Earth and the 100 million years. You might want to ask Cali about the relevance?

Quote exactly where he said that, or just say that you don't understand Cali's arguments.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#104  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 9:58 am

Newmark wrote:
rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:And a big planet couldn't contain several of these of these micro-scale environments, and a 100 million year time span wouldn't allow more "tries" (both of getting these environments and actually getting the "correct" reactions) than an hour?


Possibly. Why would they be required?
Please detail your reasoning.

I don't say that they are required, I say that several occurrences of an event increases the likelihood of a particular outcome. This is very basic probability theory.

So it is.
All I'm wondering is how you come to the conclusion that many "tries" are required. Do you consider the probability of the chemical reactions to be very low?
If so, how do you conclude this?
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#105  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 10:27 am

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:
rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:And a big planet couldn't contain several of these of these micro-scale environments, and a 100 million year time span wouldn't allow more "tries" (both of getting these environments and actually getting the "correct" reactions) than an hour?


Possibly. Why would they be required?
Please detail your reasoning.

I don't say that they are required, I say that several occurrences of an event increases the likelihood of a particular outcome. This is very basic probability theory.

So it is.
All I'm wondering is how you come to the conclusion that many "tries" are required. Do you consider the probability of the chemical reactions to be very low?
If so, how do you conclude this?

We're talking probability, why do you insist on using "required"? What part of "I don't say that they are required" didn't you get? Only one die roll is required to get a 6, but no amount of die rolls absolutely guarantees a six. What you don't seem to get is that several die rolls amounts to a better probability of at least one 6, or at least one of any other outcome for that matter.

This means that as long as the chance of an event to yield a specific chemical reaction is more than zero, having several events necessarily increases the probability of the specific outcome. This means that comparing a small set of events ("a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", for "a very short period, perhaps hours or days") is rather insignificant if the actual set of events is much larger (a planet's worth of similar environments, for ~100 million years).
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#106  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 10:49 am

Newmark wrote:We're talking probability, why do you insist on using "required"? What part of "I don't say that they are required" didn't you get? Only one die roll is required to get a 6, but no amount of die rolls absolutely guarantees a six. What you don't seem to get is that several die rolls amounts to a better probability of at least one 6, or at least one of any other outcome for that matter.


You're talking probability. From what I can gather you're saying that the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'. I'm just wondering how you get to that conclusion.

This means that as long as the chance of an event to yield a specific chemical reaction is more than zero, having several events necessarily increases the probability of the specific outcome. This means that comparing a small set of events ("a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", for "a very short period, perhaps hours or days") is rather insignificant if the actual set of events is much larger (a planet's worth of similar environments, for ~100 million years).

You've failed to explain why such a large set of events is required.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#107  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 11:45 am

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:We're talking probability, why do you insist on using "required"? What part of "I don't say that they are required" didn't you get? Only one die roll is required to get a 6, but no amount of die rolls absolutely guarantees a six. What you don't seem to get is that several die rolls amounts to a better probability of at least one 6, or at least one of any other outcome for that matter.


You're talking probability. From what I can gather you're saying that the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'. I'm just wondering how you get to that conclusion.

Of course I'm talking probability, we are after all discussing chemistry. I have no idea of how "improbable" they might be. I didn't even say that they are improbable. I'm not getting to that conclusion (I let competent chemist do such calculations). Explain exactly how non-zero outcome equates "improbable".

rainbow wrote:
This means that as long as the chance of an event to yield a specific chemical reaction is more than zero, having several events necessarily increases the probability of the specific outcome. This means that comparing a small set of events ("a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", for "a very short period, perhaps hours or days") is rather insignificant if the actual set of events is much larger (a planet's worth of similar environments, for ~100 million years).

You've failed to explain why such a large set of events is required.

Yet again, what part of "I don't say that they are required" did you fail to comprehend? You have failed to understand that we've got a set of about this size. That's it. We've got a sample space, and it's big. If a big sample space is "required", it is only in required in attaining a higher level of probability, in this case probably to counter idiotic statements made by others, like "there's no new life in this jar of peanut butter" (which is an oh-so-stupid statement on several levels more). Your statements about how small any given sample is rather irrelevant to this (other than that the smaller event, the more events are likely in the space), and only demonstrates that you don't understand Calilassiea's arguments at all.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#108  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 11:57 am

Newmark wrote:Explain exactly how non-zero outcome equates "improbable".


Where did I say this?

rainbow wrote:
This means that as long as the chance of an event to yield a specific chemical reaction is more than zero, having several events necessarily increases the probability of the specific outcome. This means that comparing a small set of events ("a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", for "a very short period, perhaps hours or days") is rather insignificant if the actual set of events is much larger (a planet's worth of similar environments, for ~100 million years).

You've failed to explain why such a large set of events is required.

Yet again, what part of "I don't say that they are required" did you fail to comprehend? You have failed to understand that we've got a set of about this size. That's it. We've got a sample space, and it's big. If a big sample space is "required", it is only in required in attaining a higher level of probability, in this case probably to counter idiotic statements made by others, like "there's no new life in this jar of peanut butter" (which is an oh-so-stupid statement on several levels more). Your statements about how small any given sample is rather irrelevant to this (other than that the smaller event, the more events are likely in the space), and only demonstrates that you don't understand Calilassiea's arguments at all.

OK, so your entire argument is to counter some other argument that someone else made somewhere else.
Not much more to discuss then.
peanut butter :scratch:
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#109  Postby Rumraket » Mar 16, 2010 11:59 am

C'mon.. you must have heard about the peanutbutter argument? :)

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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#110  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Rumraket wrote:C'mon.. you must have heard about the peanutbutter argument? :)


I did have some bean salad that went green, and attempted to escape from the fridge. :shifty:
Does that count? :ask:
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#111  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 12:18 pm

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:Explain exactly how non-zero outcome equates "improbable".


Where did I say this?

I tell you as soon as you shown where I said that "the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'".

rainbow wrote:
rainbow wrote:
This means that as long as the chance of an event to yield a specific chemical reaction is more than zero, having several events necessarily increases the probability of the specific outcome. This means that comparing a small set of events ("a micron-sized pore in a volcanic vent", for "a very short period, perhaps hours or days") is rather insignificant if the actual set of events is much larger (a planet's worth of similar environments, for ~100 million years).

You've failed to explain why such a large set of events is required.

Yet again, what part of "I don't say that they are required" did you fail to comprehend? You have failed to understand that we've got a set of about this size. That's it. We've got a sample space, and it's big. If a big sample space is "required", it is only in required in attaining a higher level of probability, in this case probably to counter idiotic statements made by others, like "there's no new life in this jar of peanut butter" (which is an oh-so-stupid statement on several levels more). Your statements about how small any given sample is rather irrelevant to this (other than that the smaller event, the more events are likely in the space), and only demonstrates that you don't understand Calilassiea's arguments at all.

OK, so your entire argument is to counter some other argument that someone else made somewhere else.
Not much more to discuss then.
peanut butter :scratch:

No, not really. Do try to understand Calilasseia's arguments the next time you try to write a critique on them, though, otherwise we'll be stuck with something like this again.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#112  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 12:30 pm

Newmark wrote:
rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:Explain exactly how non-zero outcome equates "improbable".


Where did I say this?

I tell you as soon as you shown where I said that "the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'".


You didn't. I said:
From what I can gather you're saying that the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'.

...you had every opportunity to say whether I was correct or not, but instead it was evaded.
OK, now answer my question.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#113  Postby Newmark » Mar 16, 2010 1:01 pm

rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:
rainbow wrote:
Newmark wrote:Explain exactly how non-zero outcome equates "improbable".


Where did I say this?

I tell you as soon as you shown where I said that "the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'".


You didn't. I said:
From what I can gather you're saying that the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'.

...you had every opportunity to say whether I was correct or not, but instead it was evaded.
OK, now answer my question.

You didn't say that.

Now, how is my statement "I'm not getting to that conclusion" evading your question:
rainbow wrote:You're talking probability. From what I can gather you're saying that the reactions leading to life on Earth were 'improbable'. I'm just wondering how you get to that conclusion.
This is particularity amusing to hear for someone how routinely answers only half of my post (like here, here, and particularly here).

EDIT: Removed some nonsense (thanks, rainbow)
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#114  Postby rainbow » Mar 16, 2010 1:33 pm

Newmark wrote:You didn't say that, although it .


You'd better edit, your posting is nonsense.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#115  Postby rainbow » Mar 17, 2010 7:14 am

A 'grand synthesis' of this sort in the laboratory is not high on the scientific agenda at the moment, which is more concerned with validating the individual hypothesised steps, but once those steps are accepted as valid in the field, doubtless one day a 'grand synthesis' will be attempted, and the success thereof will establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions.

If this experiment will 'establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions', then it follows that there is serious doubt at present.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#116  Postby rainbow » Mar 17, 2010 9:22 am

Even so, no one conversant with the literature seriously considers any more that magical forces are required to produce life: just as vitalism was refuted by Wöhler's classic experiment, that gave rise to organic chemistry as an empirical science in the first place, so it is likely to be rendered ever more irrelevant in abiogenesis research, as the steps leading to life's blossoming on our planet are traversed and studied in ever greater detail.

The concluding sentence contains a number of logical fallacies, and has a bit of confusion as to the object and subject. If it is to say that 'magical forces are required to produce life', then that strawman appears to be knocked over, but then is miraculously resurrected by saying it is 'likely to be rendered ever more irrelevant'. This suggests that it has some relevance.
This makes the concluding sentence rather ambiguous.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#118  Postby Just A Theory » Mar 18, 2010 10:26 pm

rainbow wrote:
A 'grand synthesis' of this sort in the laboratory is not high on the scientific agenda at the moment, which is more concerned with validating the individual hypothesised steps, but once those steps are accepted as valid in the field, doubtless one day a 'grand synthesis' will be attempted, and the success thereof will establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions.

If this experiment will 'establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions', then it follows that there is serious doubt at present.


You are correct, there is serious doubt at present. However, the serious doubt is somewhat lessened by the weight of research and evidence in the field. I don't mean to declare that the case has been solved, but that there ARE reasons for thinking that the doubts can be resolved by the scientific method.

On the flip side of the argument, there is also serious doubt about the intelligent design/divine creation of life. In this instance however, there is no evidence or research that supports, even partially, the hypothesis of some sort of designer (divine or not).

So, while there are serious doubts about both hyptheses, only one has a modicum of supporting evidence.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#119  Postby rainbow » Mar 19, 2010 9:11 am

Just A Theory wrote:
rainbow wrote:
A 'grand synthesis' of this sort in the laboratory is not high on the scientific agenda at the moment, which is more concerned with validating the individual hypothesised steps, but once those steps are accepted as valid in the field, doubtless one day a 'grand synthesis' will be attempted, and the success thereof will establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions.

If this experiment will 'establish beyond serious doubt that our pale blue dot became our home courtesy of well-defined and testable chemical reactions', then it follows that there is serious doubt at present.


You are correct, there is serious doubt at present. However, the serious doubt is somewhat lessened by the weight of research and evidence in the field. I don't mean to declare that the case has been solved, but that there ARE reasons for thinking that the doubts can be resolved by the scientific method.

On the flip side of the argument, there is also serious doubt about the intelligent design/divine creation of life. In this instance however, there is no evidence or research that supports, even partially, the hypothesis of some sort of designer (divine or not).

So, while there are serious doubts about both hyptheses, only one has a modicum of supporting evidence.


In principle you're correct.
It is however a very weak argument to claim that an alternative has less going for it.
Of the form:
There is no evidence for A, therefore B.
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Re: Critique on Calilasseia's "The Emergence Of Life On Eart

#120  Postby Rumraket » Mar 19, 2010 9:32 am

rainbow wrote:In principle you're correct.
It is however a very weak argument to claim that an alternative has less going for it.
Of the form:
There is no evidence for A, therefore B.


Yes, it would be wrong to do this. But noone is.

What IS actually happening is this:

There is no evidence for [A].
There is evidence for [B], but parts are missing.
There is no evidence for [Not B].

Therefore, let's work on B for the time being. It actually makes perfect sense.
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