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#3805 - 09/15/09 03:45 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
No benefit? Who says so? AFAIK, scientists haven't derived any equations for love either... so what do they know? smirk


They do, however, have evidence to suggest that love exists.

Not all models are mathematical. There are many things that no equations exist for, yet we still have evidence of.

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Put all the geniuses on the planet into a [sterile] building and supply them with barrels containing every element in the universe, plus an unlimited amount of every type of energy. With all that, they couldn't even create a cockroach.


Not yet, anyway. They can put together individual living cells from scratch, but not a cockroach.

Yet.

That's just an engineering challenge, though. We know that it is possible to make living things from non-living things, and at this point even someone in a reasonably well-equipped college molecular biology lab can do it as his thesis project. The rest is just tailoring the cells and assembling them in the right order. It'll happen.

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Life and love are supposed to remain mysterious wonders.


"Supposed" to? Why? I for one find the universe wondrous enough as it is without believing in Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. I've never met a working scientist who is not filled, every day, with joy and wonder and awe at the physical universe.

Originally Posted By: macnerd10
I also disagree. Many physics and chemistry predictions of the last century were based upon some theoretical calculations and conclusions but not on any evidence. When the new particles are discovered in physics, chances are that they have been predicted but no real evidence existed.


True. And without the evidence, these hypothesis may be considered interesting, but they are not believed.

Einstein's general theory of relativity was published decades before any evidence existed to support it--and it was considered a curiosity, an interesting idea, until the evidence came along. It wasn't until that evidence came along that it was believed, and moved into being one of the cornerstones of our understanding of nature.

Today, string theory is considered an interesting idea, but people don't believe it, except insofar as there are people who find it plausible. Nobody will really believe it until and unless evidence presents itself.

Originally Posted By: macnerd10
We are not talking about star or planet discoveries because in many cases the orbits of the neighboring bodies were not as they should have been should no star/planet be present there. You may be right about benefits because they are hard to define, but this is definitely not a fundamental axiom of science. Suspicions and abstract mathematical predictions cannot generally be classified as evidence.


Yep, and without that evidence, things are considered possibilities, nothing more.

But I'm actually talking about something a little different. When i talk about faith, I'm talking about things that are not supported by evidence and for which no evidence can ever exist. If you talk to ten people who give you ten completely different, utterly incompatible faith-based beliefs (there is a single invisible man in the sky who created everything; no, there are hundreds of invisible entities who created the universe; no, there are three all-powerful invisible entities who made the world happen; no, the world was created by an animistic, self-aware force that exists in everything; and so on, and so on), which do you believe?

All of them? That's not possible; they contradict each other. The one you were told to believe when you were a child? If so, what separates them from belief in Santa Claus? What benefit do you get from believing any of them?
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#3822 - 09/15/09 08:11 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Not all models are mathematical. There are many things that no equations exist for, yet we still have evidence of.

Evidence is in the eye of the beholder. Some folks can look at a tree or a puppy and see that as sufficient evidence of a Supreme Being. For me, the fact that i (or you) can *think* about and intelligently discuss (speculate on?) these existential matters is "evidence" enough that there's a lot more going on here than just random atoms and subatomic particles converging after some Big Bang.


Originally Posted By: tacit
They can put together individual living cells from scratch, but not a cockroach. Yet. That's just an engineering challenge, though. We know that it is possible to make living things from non-living things,

Actually , that's news to me. Gotta link?


Originally Posted By: tacit
and at this point even someone in a reasonably well-equipped college molecular biology lab can do it as his thesis project. The rest is just tailoring the cells and assembling them in the right order. It'll happen.

Seems to me if they're starting with a cell, then "someone" ELSE has already done the magical part. Heck, give me a mustard seed and i'll turn it into a tree in a few years. MAGIC! [that's why i sterilized the building and only furnished raw elements and energy.]


Originally Posted By: tacit
But I'm actually talking about something a little different. When i talk about faith, I'm talking about things that are not supported by evidence and for which no evidence can ever exist. If you talk to ten people who give you ten completely different, utterly incompatible faith-based beliefs (there is a single invisible man in the sky who created everything; no, there are hundreds of invisible entities who created the universe; no, there are three all-powerful invisible entities who made the world happen; no, the world was created by an animistic, self-aware force that exists in everything; and so on, and so on), which do you believe?

As i said one post back: believe whatever you want... after all, this is the land of the free here. If you enjoy living a faithless life then enjoy. [so long as it doesn't harm the other visitors on this planet.]


Originally Posted By: tacit
All of them? That's not possible; they contradict each other. The one you were told to believe when you were a child? If so, what separates them from belief in Santa Claus? What benefit do you get from believing any of them?

Who knows? There may be roughly 12 billion *different* answers to that question too. None of which will (necessarily) do you (or me) any good. The real answer to that is whatever you (or i) decide for ourselves.

Look: if there is a Supreme Being, and you were him... would you go around to everyone announcing yourself and answering all their questions? No way. Folks would be scared $#!+less. Free will would fall prey to (involuntary) subservience. We'd all be robots. Mysteries are far more interesting (in this case), and a better test of one's true character.

God wins.


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/15/09 08:15 PM)

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#3870 - 09/16/09 02:27 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
They can put together individual living cells from scratch, but not a cockroach.

I guess, not yet. Too many components in there...
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#3886 - 09/16/09 03:37 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Evidence is in the eye of the beholder. Some folks can look at a tree or a puppy and see that as sufficient evidence of a Supreme Being.


They see validation of that notion, but not evidence. "Evidence" has a very specific meaning.

Indeed, the more you examine the natural world closely, and see things like the human retina (which is inside-out), the fact that living organisms share traits and even DNA with other organisms, and so on, the more you see evidence that there is not a master plan or architect.

There are several problems that get in the way of our ability to understand the physical world--problems which a person must carefully guard against if he or she is to be able to understand what 'evidence' really is.

The first and by far the biggest is confirmation bias--the natural tendency of human beings to see only what confirms their own ideas and conceptions, and not see things which tend not to confirm those ideas.

The second is hyperactive pattern matching. Human brains are extraordinarily good at finding patterns; it's what they're optimized for. We are so good at finding patterns that we tend to see patterns even where none exist at all.

The third is in misunderstanding correlation. Correlation does not demonstrate a cause and effect relationship, but our brains are extremely well optimized for believing that it does, because it has kept our ancestors alive. If I eat a food and then I get sick, that is NOT evidence that the food made me sick; but my ancestors who believed that it was tended not to eat food after they felt sick, so they were more likely to survive--and pass on genes for brains that see correlation as proof of causation.

The fourth is promiscuous teleology]--the tendency of human beings to look for "purpose" in things. Small children will believe things like "rocks have sharp edges so that animals can scratch their backs on them;" as adults, we make the same error in more subtle ways.

The fifth is the human tendency to propose an idea, and then search for evidence to support the idea. We are storytelling animals; we tell ourselves little stories all the time, all day long, to help explain the world to us. Those stories can become like Rulyard Kipling's 'just so' stories--"the dog brought fire to man by stealing it from the gods in his mouth, and that's why dogs can't talk. Their mouths were burned by the fire." So the observation that dogs can't talk becomes seen as 'evidence' that man got fire when our faithful companion the dog stole it from the gods and brought it to us. Creationists, particularly Young Earth Creationists, are especially prone to seeing this sort of 'evidence'.

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
For me, the fact that i (or you) can *think* about and intelligently discuss (speculate on?) these existential matters is "evidence" enough that there's a lot more going on here than just random atoms and subatomic particles converging after some Big Bang.


Of course, there is a lot of front-loading on that statement. There idea that there must be more going on is promiscuous teleology; the idea that it's random is a misunderstanding of selective adaptation (the initial processes of the first and most primitive forms of life may have been random, but natural selection is an inherently nonrandom process).

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: tacit
They can put together individual living cells from scratch, but not a cockroach. Yet. That's just an engineering challenge, though. We know that it is possible to make living things from non-living things,

Actually , that's news to me. Gotta link?


Many. There's an entire field associated with it; it's called synthetic biology. The most interesting part of synthetic biology, to me, is engineering synthetic biology, which is the process of creating living organisms from scratch. MIT has an entire synthetic biology program, and there are [url= http://syntheticbiology.org/]trade organizations[/url] dedicated to it. Dr. Craig Ventnor, the biologist responsible for spearheading the sequencing of the human genome, was the first person to use synthetic biology to create a complete bacterium from scratch starting with only the component chemicals; other synthetic biologists start with living cells, or parts of living cells, and then reprogram them by hand-coding pieces of DNA that instruct the cells (or parts of the cells) to act as counters or other circuits.


Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: tacit
and at this point even someone in a reasonably well-equipped college molecular biology lab can do it as his thesis project. The rest is just tailoring the cells and assembling them in the right order. It'll happen.

Seems to me if they're starting with a cell, then "someone" ELSE has already done the magical part. Heck, give me a mustard seed and i'll turn it into a tree in a few years. MAGIC! [that's why i sterilized the building and only furnished raw elements and energy.]


Dr. Ventnor started with a handful of chemicals--simple amino acids, a collection of proteins, and hand-coded DNA. Does that count?

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: tacit
But I'm actually talking about something a little different. When i talk about faith, I'm talking about things that are not supported by evidence and for which no evidence can ever exist. If you talk to ten people who give you ten completely different, utterly incompatible faith-based beliefs (there is a single invisible man in the sky who created everything; no, there are hundreds of invisible entities who created the universe; no, there are three all-powerful invisible entities who made the world happen; no, the world was created by an animistic, self-aware force that exists in everything; and so on, and so on), which do you believe?

As i said one post back: believe whatever you want... after all, this is the land of the free here. If you enjoy living a faithless life then enjoy. [so long as it doesn't harm the other visitors on this planet.]


The problem with subscribing to faith-based cosmological systems without evidence is that they lead, when they come into competition, to all sorts of reprehensible acts of atrocity.

There is no way for them not to, in fact. If you propagate a belief system which says "this belief system is inspired directly by the creator of the universe; the creator of the universe writes books; and the creator of the universe has specified one right way to live," then it is absolutely inevitable that some people who accept that belief system will commit acts of atrocity against people who do not.

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: tacit
All of them? That's not possible; they contradict each other. The one you were told to believe when you were a child? If so, what separates them from belief in Santa Claus? What benefit do you get from believing any of them?

Who knows? There may be roughly 12 billion *different* answers to that question too. None of which will (necessarily) do you (or me) any good. The real answer to that is whatever you (or i) decide for ourselves.


I say the "real" answer is the one that most closely matches the physical world. I also say that the physical world is not subject to belief; if you believe that there is a leprechaun in the garden, but there is not, your belief won't cause one to be there.

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Look: if there is a Supreme Being, and you were him... would you go around to everyone announcing yourself and answering all their questions? No way. Folks would be scared $#!+less. Free will would fall prey to (involuntary) subservience. We'd all be robots. Mysteries are far more interesting (in this case), and a better test of one's true character.

God wins.


If I were a supreme being, and I wanted people to believe in me, and I planned to torture people who did not believe in me for all eternity, then I'd be a pretty crappy divine being if I didn't announce myself! Only a reprehensible being of appalling evil would do such a thing.
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#3909 - 09/16/09 07:59 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Of course, there is a lot of front-loading on that statement. There idea that there must be more going on is promiscuous teleology; the idea that it's random is a misunderstanding of selective adaptation (the initial processes of the first and most primitive forms of life may have been random, but natural selection is an inherently nonrandom process).

You mutter such objects of equine delight that the mind's ability to sew slices of mordant ivory becomes tamed with visions of Tamils in Constantinople.


Originally Posted By: tacit
Does that count?

No... and I think you sense the difference.
From "I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer":

Originally Posted By: guardian.co.uk
It is then transplanted into a living bacterial cell and in the final stage of the process it is expected to take control of the cell and in effect become a new life form.

A new life form perhaps... but it required an already existing life form to come into "being".
Sorry but... that just sounds like Dr. Frankenstein, working at a molecular level.
[edit: and perhaps a little H. P. Lovecraft for good measure. wink ]

--

Most of your post there is very clever indeed (intricately so), but less honest (imho) than purported. I might (again) turn your own arguments on themselves and accuse you of practicing a highly skilled (yet transparently cloaked) form of "promiscuous teleology". Of course you'll disagree... so, on that part we should simply agree that our *opinions* probably differ. [not much more to say about that... as we seem to have reached the point of diminishing returns.]


But then there's the remaining political/religious arguments (delivered in the form of sarcastic slurs)... which i have no idea why those are being directed in a reply to me. I am *not* in favor of "organized" religion(s) and/or persecution of non-believers, etc. Re-read my first post to see that we already agree about that aspect of this topic.

Faithfully yours, cool

-HI-


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/16/09 09:31 PM)
Edit Reason: added "Re-Animator" reference

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#3919 - 09/16/09 11:19 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Sorry, Tacit, this Venter story does not cut it. He only made a "synthetic chromosome"; Khorana got the Nobel prize for a synthetic gene many years ago. He just wanted to put it into a bacterial cell and "create a new species" in the sensationalist journalist lingo. This is not the same as making a synthetic cell. Venter has been notorious for ambitious announcements. Contrary to popular belief, and his and Clinton's assertions, the human genome has not been fully sequenced yet.


Edited by macnerd10 (09/17/09 12:53 PM)
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#3938 - 09/17/09 09:47 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
Sorry, Tacit, this Venter story does not cut it. He only made a "synthetic chromosome", which Khorana got the Nobel prize for many years ago. He just wanted to put it into a bacterial cell and "create a new species" in the sensationalist journalist lingo. This is not the same as making a synthetic cell. Venter has been notorious for ambitious announcements. Contrary to popular belief, and his and Clinton's assertions, the human genome has not been fully sequenced yet.

Ironically we have religious fanatics on one hand... and now "scientists" trying to play god on the other.

Extremists either way you slice it.

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#3944 - 09/17/09 12:39 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis

Ironically we have religious fanatics on one hand... and now "scientists" trying to play god on the other.

Extremists either way you slice it.


Religious people have been accusing others of "playing god" for thousands of years. As near as I can tell, the definition of "playing god" means "trying to understand parts of the physical world that I personally do not understand but think should be blocked off from human comprehension and marked with a sign reading 'god is here'."

One of the most interesting things we see from history is the way god retreats as our understanding of the physical world advances. Religions have always tried to fill in gaps in our understanding by saying "if there's something we don't understand, god did it," but the more we learn, the less space is left for god.

There is nothing particularly magical about life; we're closing in on the ability to create a living organism entirely from scratch, and if you don't accept that Dr. Ventnor has done that yet, the question will become academic soon. The more our knowledge of the physical world advances, the more we realize that things we used to think of as magic are simply the operation of natural law.

And that's a good thing, just for the record.

If you start with the premise that we are fallen from grace, created perfect by a perfect divinity and then corrupted, then we are doomed to being nothing more than we are right now. If you accept the premise that we are the wonderful, amazing, awe-inspiring result of the natural workings of the physical world, then there is no limit, save for those imposed by the laws of physics themselves, to the altitude we can soar.

Some people find that frightening, and want to put limits on how high we can fly. Those limits are almost invariably called 'god'. I don't buy it history shows us too many examples of how these cries of 'playing god' have been false.
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#3946 - 09/17/09 12:59 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
...if you don't accept that Dr. Ventnor has done that yet, the question will become academic soon. The more our knowledge of the physical world advances, the more we realize that things we used to think of as magic are simply the operation of natural law.

I agree that it will become academic one day but Venter has NOT done it yet. Your reference is from 2007 and in 2009 people are still only TALKING about it. It will take way longer, especially for cells that are more advanced than the bacterial ones. The caveat not that visible for the general public is that we can recreate a lot of biochemical reactions in a test tube but the cell is an autoregulatory and self-procreating machine, which is for now way beyond our abilities. I am also looking forward to seeing something like this happening in my lifetime, but suspect it would take a long time.
P.S. My old mentor always cautioned me about following scientific advances in the mass media. He is a cancer researcher and used to say "If we believe everything that is written in the newspapers about cancer treatment, I fail to understand why this disease is still around".


Edited by macnerd10 (09/17/09 01:03 PM)
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#3947 - 09/17/09 01:19 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Religious people have been accusing others of "playing god" for thousands of years. As near as I can tell, the definition of "playing god" means "trying to understand parts of the physical world that I personally do not understand but think should be blocked off from human comprehension and marked with a sign reading 'god is here'."

Yeah but i haven't been around for a thousand years... so i didn't use that phrase in those cases. [and i don't subscribe to the definition you gave either.] We're strictly talking about 'creating' life in this sub-thread/tangent.

Originally Posted By: tacit
There is nothing particularly magical about life;

What happened to all that "awe" then? wink

Originally Posted By: tacit
we're closing in on the ability to create a living organism entirely from scratch,

You have more faith than you realize. grin

Originally Posted By: tacit
and if you don't accept that Dr. Ventnor has done that yet, the question will become academic soon.

I seriously doubt that creating "life" from scratch [i.e., in my sterilized building, with nothing but elements and energy] is possible. They will always need to tinker with something that's already alive (or parts of something that was). No more magical than breeding a dog with a pig. Hey look... it's a new life form!!! Eureka, etc.

The scientist in me wants to see the proof.


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/17/09 01:31 PM)

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#3976 - 09/18/09 04:16 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
No more magical than breeding a dog with a pig.


I think I owned that dog when I was a kid growing up on the prairies. Of course, you could substitute "pig" with "any being that stands still long enough". grin

ryck


Edited by ryck (09/18/09 09:50 AM)
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#4014 - 09/18/09 09:37 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
I seriously doubt that creating "life" from scratch [i.e., in my sterilized building, with nothing but elements and energy] is possible.


On what do you base that belief? Do you believe that life is magical--that there is something in a living organism beyond the molecules that make it up?
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#4018 - 09/18/09 10:51 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
I seriously doubt that creating "life" from scratch [i.e., in my sterilized building, with nothing but elements and energy] is possible.


On what do you base that belief? Do you believe that life is magical--that there is something in a living organism beyond the molecules that make it up?

Organism? Animal or vegetable?
Can it think... sense fear, or joy?
Any grey matter in the anatomy?
Define all the parameters here.

Anyway, perhaps the boarding school i attended in the early 70's was too close to that hippie commune. It was called 'Spirit In The Flesh' (the commune, not the school. smile ). Um, yeah... i suppose you could call it a belief. Not that i'm willing to fight to the death over it... and, not that i have any proofs worked out or anything.

So okay... maybe an apple has life (without a "soul") -- and maybe your doctor Mengele Spock can (eventually) synthesize apples... allowing future astronauts to travel light years into the cosmos, and not go hungry. That's fine. (beam me up already, Scotty)

But i still have doubts (unless they borrow a little bacteria... or caviar... or something with an inner "life" force) that scientists will be able to develop any 'creatures'. I.e., using only jars of elements and energy transference, etc.


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#4033 - 09/19/09 08:55 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
flmiller Offline


Registered: 08/30/09
Interesting thread. I am a long-time MacFixIt reader who has always enjoyed the 'adult' demeanor and intelligent responses proffered, and am very glad FineTunedMac has 'arisen from the ashes' so to speak.

Perhaps that's not a good analogy for this thread, but whatever. I was following this thread's discussion with interest, as I have always had the tendency (much to my mother's chagrin) of questioning 'faith-based' convictions, especially when they conflicted with the beliefs of other, 'faithful' people. I find myself, now pushing retirement age, more attuned to Tacit's view of the 'universe'. However, I appreciate a respectful exchange of ideas, which this thread seemed to be, until now. Hal Itosis' reference to 'Mengle' was unwarranted and disrespectful, IMHO, and represents and all-to-common slide into the emotional morass we seem to find in discourse today involving controversial issues. I'm saddened and disappointed.

Frank

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#4034 - 09/19/09 10:44 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: flmiller]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I suppose it is a fact of human nature that faith is inevitably highly individualistic. James Fowler proposed his Stages of Faith derived at least in part on Jean Piaget's Theory of cognitive development and perhaps more directly on Kohlberg's stages of moral development. While Fowler's work focused on Christian faith development a careful reading reveals his work is equally valid not only for spiritual faith development, but any faith development. Whether that faith is lodged in political viewpoints, scientific theory or in spirituality there is little, if any, significant difference.

There is reason to believe an examination of the distribution of the population would find the mean somewhere in the third stage which is characterized by conformity. Conformity implies rejection of any other faith that differs from your own. Therefore we arrive at what you describe as
Originally Posted By: flmiller
...and [sic.] all-to-common slide into the emotional morass we seem to find in discourse today involving controversial issues
I share your sadness and disappointment but as a person of faith (Calvinist) and a person of scientific bent, I can only view it as an artifact of the human condition.
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#4038 - 09/19/09 12:03 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Now, a little defense for Tacit! His term "from scratch" should not be taken at face value. We cannot make proteins by a synthetic process because of their complexity. But we can make them in a test tube using isolated cell's protein synthesis machinery. This should be legitimate within "from scratch". If we knew what and how to mix in order to create a living cell, we could possibly make one that would be really "alive". It does not mean that we have to make all the molecules from basic bricks - this would be counterproductive and extremely expensive. Further, I do not believe that life entails some magic "ether" that has to be added to the cell components in order to bring cell into full gear with autoregulation and ability to divide. I was just saying that we are rather far from this goal despite assurances of sensationalist biologists-entrepreneurs. And let us not mix awful and rather stupid experiments by Mengele, especially the twin "studies" with a noble cause of creating "new forms of life" for the betterment of mankind and for agricultural and industrial purposes. But the major caveat would be a global regulation of such activities. We would not like to see some new form of life eating up the rest of the planet grin
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#4045 - 09/19/09 01:28 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
Now, a little defense for Tacit! His term "from scratch" should not be taken at face value. We cannot make proteins by a synthetic process because of their complexity. But we can make them in a test tube using isolated cell's protein synthesis machinery. This should be legitimate within "from scratch".

Then there's where we disagree. Disassembling a living 'organism' and borrowing its parts is *not* starting from scratch.


Re: "Mengele"

Okay, well, over the top maybe... but so was some of the reactions. Let's assume then that Venter has good intentions. Why his big rush to glory then? Didn't you [macnerd10] point out that the claim was a bit overstated? Anyway, power of that kind can easily end up running amok. Perhaps one of his less successful experiments winds up in a landfill, and then morphs into some new kind of moss or algae which turns out to be fatal to fish or something. [and unlike an ordinary chemical spill... this living mess keeps on growing.]

You know, even good old Einstein wasn't exactly "thrilled" about the A-Bomb.
And -- unless i'm mistaken -- Einstein made many a reference to God as well.

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#4046 - 09/19/09 01:40 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: flmiller]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: flmiller
However, I appreciate a respectful exchange of ideas, which this thread seemed to be, until now. Hal Itosis' reference to 'Mengle' was unwarranted and disrespectful, IMHO, and represents and all-to-common slide into the emotional morass we seem to find in discourse today involving controversial issues. I'm saddened and disappointed.

Hey, sorry you slid into emotional sadness and disappointment... but the name "Mengle" [sp.?] wasn't directed at anyone here... least of all you (unless you're the doctor conducting these creepy experiments).

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#4048 - 09/19/09 02:09 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: joemikeb]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I suppose it is a fact of human nature that faith is inevitably highly individualistic.

And the reason is quite simple...

   "I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die."
-- James Marshall Hendrix

   "In the end there is one dance you'll do alone."
-- Clyde Jackson Browne

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#4049 - 09/19/09 02:16 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
"It's not that I'm afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens." Woody Allen

"Die, my dear? Why that's the last thing I'll do." Groucho Marx


Edited by jchuzi (09/19/09 05:40 PM)
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.2, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#4051 - 09/19/09 03:39 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
flmiller Offline


Registered: 08/30/09
I apologize for the misspelling of 'Mengele'- the fingers sometimes outrun the brain these days. And no, I haven't been conducting any 'creepy' experiments lately - unless trying to get my printer to work with Snow Leopard counts. And while Einstein made many references to 'God', I'm not sure to whose God, of all those in play today, he was referring.

Frank

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#4056 - 09/19/09 07:54 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: flmiller]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: flmiller
And while Einstein made many references to 'God', I'm not sure to whose God, of all those in play today, he was referring.

I think i might know which one. wink  But -- for purposes of this thread -- it doesn't really matter "whose God". It was just an example of a great scientific mind who had some sort of faith in a higher power. [Perhaps he may have asked himself: 'what actually *caused* the Big Bang?' -- idunno.]

Also, he didn't seek to cook up artificial 'organisms' (synthetic bacteria?) with the [alleged] attitude that "there's nothing magical about life." [Or so has been the astute representation in this thread thus far.] Let's just hope that Venter et. al. have slightly more enlightened viewpoints than that. (Hmm, born in Salt Lake City? What are the odds he's an atheist then? smirk ).

Finally, i want to thank you for not holding me accountable for the Crusades. grin


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/19/09 11:28 PM)
Edit Reason: eh?

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#4066 - 09/20/09 01:04 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Death is the only frontier that pretty near all of us will ever cross; I look forward to discovering what's really on the other side (as opposed to what I envision) but not too soon, mind you. grin
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#4067 - 09/20/09 01:25 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Einstein was a professional and would never have ventured into "seeking to cook up artificial organisms", which is the realm of molecular and cell biology, quite far from his theoretical physics. Besides, his faith story may be complicated, as much as Darwin's. It is amazing for me that nowadays there are quite a few prominent biologists who are true believers. Since religion occupies an important place in many people's minds, an element of faith is definitely present even in the scientific community. And it is so hard to completely brush off the Aristotle's principle of teleology...
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

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#4068 - 09/20/09 01:26 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: artie505]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Don't rush it please; none of these discoveries was ever published...
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

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