Posted: Apr 13, 2010 9:08 am
by Darwinsbulldog
rainbow wrote:

OK, lets stop here for a moment.
Up to the point where the Replicator was formed, there could not have been any selection. Please describe this Replicator.
What was it made of?

To be honest, I am not sure. Some precursor of RNA perhaps. :ask: Chemicals self-select themselves all the time. Some abiotic reactions are auto-catalytic. In titration, suddenly the buffer solution can no longer hold back the change, and a tipping point is arrived at. The colour changes. My point is that there are all sorts of selectors and filters in nature that do not need life to happen.

How can pure water happen naturally? Evaporation! So light/heat from the sun makes water evaporate. When it evaporates from the salty sea, the salt is left behind, and it falls as pure [well almost] rain. The are natural catalysts that overcome the activation energy to make reactions occur at lower temperatures than they would normally. Nature is FULL of naturally selective filters. Why does a snowflake grow?

A human can make a solar still, and so can nature, as I explained with the rain. Nature abounds with information and filters. Nature has variations. Gradients of temperature, pressure, concentrations.

Of course, some natural algorithms are useless for life, but others are not.

So my point is all you need is variation and some natural selector. And time. Time for all the massively parallel, complex natural computations to occur.

It is the same in physics. Cosmologists say that the universe is uniform on the large scale. That is true. What matters is the natural "clumpyness" locally. A little higher local density in a gas cloud, and contraction. More contraction. And if there is enough gas eventually, a star.

If you have a star then you have a local energy/mass gradient. Some bits of gas and dust in the proto-star gas cloud formed planets. Ah an energy/mass gradiant! What is that? A local variation. Now you have a system which can "defy" the Second Law of Thermodynamics! [Of course it doesn't, as the input of sunlight on Earth is external to the earth System, while the star and the universe in general is running down].

So at every level, there is good cause to think that local variations can be acted upon by natural selectors of some sort. In fact, in the absence of a creator-god, then all these processes I have suggested, would have to arise naturally.