Alan McDougall

What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?

Recommended Posts

Worlds Largest collections of strawmen on the interwebs?

 

Strawman arguments are those that attempt to attack a particular position or idea by presenting a false ideaas the real thing. In other words, the opposing position is misrepresented by a weaker and easily defeated Strawman argument.? However it is undeniable fact that the simplest living system far outshines the complexity of for, example the most complex flying machine ever created by man, namely the "Spaceshuttle". Even the "simplest" living cell easily does this. Take a good hard scientific look at a cockroach and you will notice it is almost unimaginably more complex than the Spaceshuttler. How long would it take for a really realitively simple object from atom to molocule, to evolve into a Spaceshuttle, given the same enormous time scale and billions of small steps it supposidly took life to come into existence by blnd chance alone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Argument form personal incredulity is an easily defeated argument, given that it's a fallacy and this not a valid critique. Evolution is not blind chance. That, too, is a straw man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not by "chance alone." Each new generation builds upon the successes of the previous. That greatly increases the odds of success with each passing iteration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? Why can't science figure it out? That's a rather large assumption, deciding a priori that science will never figure out by what mechanism life could have arisen naturally.

 

Yes, that's right. There is one scientist who thinks that way and his name is Hubert Yockey and that's what should be taught in schools and in biology textbooks instead of a made up origins myth of science by the majority of evolutionary biologists. There are no natural chemical processes which uses codes to synthesize products and hence such origin of specificity and meaning cannot actually be measured via scientific methods. The main difference between living and non-living things is that living things have a genome and that's what is special and unique about life and therefore the problem is the origin of genome and there is no natural process for the origin of specificity seen in the genomes of biological systems. Hubert Yockey proved with mathematical rigour using Shanon's theory of communication systems that origin of life is unsolvable with in science and this is what should be taught in schools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's right. There is one scientist who thinks that way and his name is Hubert Yockey and that's what should be taught in schools and in biology textbooks instead of a made up origins myth of science by the majority of evolutionary biologists. There are no natural chemical processes which uses codes to synthesize products and hence such origin of specificity and meaning cannot actually be measured via scientific methods. The main difference between living and non-living things is that living things have a genome and that's what is special and unique about life and therefore the problem is the origin of genome and there is no natural process for the origin of specificity seen in the genomes of biological systems. Hubert Yockey proved with mathematical rigour using Shanon's theory of communication systems that origin of life is unsolvable with in science and this is what should be taught in schools.

 

Hubert Yockey? Really?

 

Hubert Yockey

 

Another scholarly source is Hubert Yockey's article "Self Organization Origin of Life Scenarios and Information Theory" in Journal of Theoretical Biology 91 (1981) pp. 13-31 (this is an extension of work done by him in 1977 in vol. 67 of the same journal). The objective of his paper is not to prove special creation (he actually rejects such theories as useless), but to argue that alien life is so improbable that we ought to shift science to draw talent and funding away from projects like SETI and into "research on the origin of life." In his own abstract, he presents his conclusion as "belief in little green men in outer space is purely religious not scientific." But his assumptions are as faulty as those made by creationists, although his approach is much more sophisticated. But above all, he does not generate any actual estimates of probability.

 

Yockey tries to argue that only 10^5 arrangements of a protein 100 amino acids long, out of a total possible 1.26 x 10^130 arrangements, are of concern to biology, if we assume a 4-bit code. Though he does not state this explicitly, this means the odds against life starting, if it had to start with just such a protein, would be 1 in 10^125. Though this is not his argument, creationists have tried to spin it that way. But this is invalid for two reasons: Yockey assumes exactly and only 20 kinds of amino acids are relevant, but life might be possible with any combination of any number of the hundreds of kinds that can exist in nature. The mere fact that life on our planet got settled on a certain twenty does not entail that this is the only way it can be done [1a]. Yockey also assumes that exactly and only 100-amino-acid chains are relevant, but life could have been begun by any number of possible chains of many different lengths, and Yockey does not sum all the relevant combinations of all the possible naturally-occurring chain lengths which may be self-replicating--he only solves this for the 100-amino-acid chain. The mathematical error this produces is discussed in the Biology & Philosophy article cited at top.

 

Yockey also generates another misquoted number. Assuming a particular maximum number of suitable planets and amino-acids, the known age of the universe, and a recombination rate of twice per day (on average), he tells us that 1.61 x 10^60 different 100-amino-acid chains will be produced. This in no way refers to the odds against life, since Yockey does not try to calculate or predict how many of those combinations would be viable self-replicators (certainly it would not be only one), and all the same problems apply here as before. Nevertheless, this number is cited as if it were a statistic by Bradley and Thaxton in The Creation Hypothesis (discussed below)--indeed, they even get it wrong, claiming the number to be 1 x 10^65 (they also get the citation wrong, listing the date of Yockey's 1977 paper as 1981, and printing his actual 1981 article not as vol. 91, but as 191).

 

Of course, even Yockey's other assumptions are questionable. He argues for a 4-bit code. Yet he himself admits that replicating proteins are known that function on a 3-bit code (p. 19), and he admits that, after all is said and done, a replicating protein chain as large as 100,000 amino-acids long could be hit upon in the known age and expanse of the universe, if we assume a 2-bit proto-gene (p. 22). He argues against such a replicating system, however, but unconvincingly. His argument is that such a small code would require longer chains to accomplish the same results, but that is moot. All we need to get life going is anything that replicates, no matter how inefficiently or inaccurately, or how simply, since all the failures will be washed away, no matter how many more there are, while the successes will remain and continue to reproduce. Then natural selection can get to work. And it is easy to imagine how a 2-bit replicator could merge with another through a symbiotic relationship, giving rise to a 4-bit code like our present DNA system. Yockey does not even consider this scenario.

 

Yockey later wrote a book, in which he repeated the same faulty arguments, entitled Information Theory and Molecular Biology (1992). Besides the curious fact that he calls the Big Bang a "hydrogen bomb explosion" which, unless he is being metaphorical, throws his knowledge of science into doubt, he makes bold claims such as "the belief that...any...protein could appear by chance is based on faith" (257), yet this does not seem to be true (for the tetrahymena discovery refutes such a claim, as do recent discoveries of replicating peptide chains), and even if true, the contrary statement, "the belief that any protein could not appear by chance is based on faith," would still be just as true. He also claims that "perhaps 300 to 400 amino acids" are required for the simplest replicator, although he admits that it may be as few as 56, something few creationists are willing to mention.

 

When it comes time to calculate an improbability (254-257), all Yockey does is calculate the improbability of a single protein forming by chance (cytochrome c), and his result is 2 x 10^-44, which is low but not low enough to ensure impossibility, since anything less than 1 in 10^50 could have happened at least once in all of time and space, as we've noted already (Borel). But this calculation is moot, since we need to know the chance of any viable replicating protein arising, not just one specific protein. There is no reason to suppose that every possible biosphere needs cytochrome c. Other biospheres will have protein catalogues completely alien from ours, and just as rare. Hence everything cytochrome c does in our biosphere will be accomplished by a completely different protein in other biospheres, so calculating the improbability of cytochrome c is a useless exercise. His approach is like proving that he is most unlikely to win the lottery and therefore the lottery can never be won, when in fact someone wins the lottery on a regular basis. What we want to know are the odds of some protein (or set of proteins) winning the lottery, not the odds of a specific protein doing so. Thus his number is moot.

 

Even so, Yockey then moves this number down to 2.3 x 10^-75 on the grounds that terrestrial chirality (all-left-handed proteins) must happen by chance, although he acknowledges that it may have arisen deterministically, as is very likely, so this final number is even more irrelevant. For sources on natural causes of chirality, see [2], and a good deal more is said about this [below].

 

Update, November 2006: I have addressed Yockey's new book, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life (2005), on my November Blog. This book contains nothing significantly new: Yockey still generates no actual statistic for the improbability of natural biogenesis (though he generates two numbers that creationists might abuse as such), and commits the same fallacies noted above for his previous work, all in pursuit of the exact same agenda (the destruction of SETI).

 

The odds of how a modern cell or parts of modern cell are meaningless, life started out much simpler and DNA probably didn't come about for quite some time.

 

http://www.livescience.com/3214-life-created-lab.html

 

The researchers, at the Scripps Research Institute, created molecules that self-replicate and even evolve and compete to win or lose. If that sounds exactly like life, read on to learn the controversial and thin distinction.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109173205.htm

 

How Did Life Begin? RNA That Replicates Itself Indefinitely Developed For First Time

ScienceDaily (Jan. 10, 2009) — One of the most enduring questions is how life could have begun on Earth. Molecules that can make copies of themselves are thought to be crucial to understanding this process as they provide the basis for heritability, a critical characteristic of living systems. New findings could inform biochemical questions about how life began.

 

Currently there are many avenues of how and where life or the parts of it might have formed, personally I think it was a synergy of several different avenues that came together to produce the first life forms but these were much more simple than what we know as life.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

 

Strawman arguments are those that attempt to attack a particular position or idea by presenting a false ideaas the real thing. In other words, the opposing position is misrepresented by a weaker and easily defeated Strawman argument.? However it is undeniable fact that the simplest living system far outshines the complexity of for, example the most complex flying machine ever created by man, namely the "Spaceshuttle". Even the "simplest" living cell easily does this. Take a good hard scientific look at a cockroach and you will notice it is almost unimaginably more complex than the Spaceshuttler. How long would it take for a really realitively simple object from atom to molocule, to evolve into a Spaceshuttle, given the same enormous time scale and billions of small steps it supposidly took life to come into existence by blnd chance alone?

 

 

So you add one more strawman, you know that comparing a biological organism to a man made object is a strawman. Space shuttles can not reproduce or evolve... And so your point would be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hubert Yockey? Really?

 

The critics of Hubert Yockey's paper have misunderstood his arguments, one should allow him to answer his critics.

 

Dr. Hubert Yockey’s answer to FTE amicus brief

 

 

Point Six: Evolution and the origin of life are two separate problems. Darwin’s

theory of evolution is among the most well-established in science. However,

information theory shows that the origin of life is unknowable by scientific methods

and must be accepted as an axiom of biology.

 

 

As I showed in my book, Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life

(Cambridge University Press, 2005), there is no need for an ad hoc “Intelligent Designer”

in the origin of life because the origin of life is unknowable through scientific methods

and must therefore be accepted as an axiom of biology. (An axiom is an elementary fact

that cannot be proved or derived from any other facts and therefore must be taken as a

starting point.)

 

 

The problem is something far more different than we had imagined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The critics of Hubert Yockey's paper have misunderstood his arguments, one should allow him to answer his critics.

 

I covered his arguments in this thread:

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/63509-scientism-and-how-this-worldview-affects-open-discussions-in-the-philosophy-and-religious-forums-threads/page__st__40

 

"It's a misapplication of coalescent theory. http://en.wikipedia....alescent_theory . As anyone who's ever worked in pop gen or phylogenetics will tell you, the assumptions of Bayesian random walk analysis are violated if the locus/loci in question deviate from either Hardy Wienberg Equilibrium or a neutral model of selection. The claim that not enough generations have passed to achieve coalescence is made invalid as soon as a non-neutral model of selection is invoked. As has already been pointed out by others, selective models become applicable even at the inception of the machinery that would become life. In addition, I'd be very interested in how he made an estimation of the generation time of primordial proto-life forms, or replication thereof. To apply the argument in any more than a speculative sense, Yockey would have to support the assertion of neutral selection and give us an iea of how generation times were calculated.

 

...

 

This is why it's not accepted as a serious impediment to mainstream scientific theory. The reason being that we have no idea of the replication rate, generation time and effective population sizes of proto and early life forms, nor any idea of the selective pressure they underwent at the time. It is extremely difficult to evaluate these parameters for extant organisms for which we can directly measure them and inferring them for life forms we know essentially no details of is pretty much pulling them out of the air. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damnation man!! it was not plagiarism , how the heck would I suck that out of my memory, I just overlooked the link and dont like being called a liar by little spiteful men like you!! :angry:

 

Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous boundaries.

 

Copying and pasting the work of another without credit to them is plagiarism by definition. "I forgot" does not change that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I covered his arguments in this thread:

http://www.sciencefo...ds/page__st__40

 

"It's a misapplication of coalescent theory. http://en.wikipedia....alescent_theory . As anyone who's ever worked in pop gen or phylogenetics will tell you, the assumptions of Bayesian random walk analysis are violated if the locus/loci in question deviate from either Hardy Wienberg Equilibrium or a neutral model of selection. The claim that not enough generations have passed to achieve coalescence is made invalid as soon as a non-neutral model of selection is invoked. As has already been pointed out by others, selective models become applicable even at the inception of the machinery that would become life. In addition, I'd be very interested in how he made an estimation of the generation time of primordial proto-life forms, or replication thereof. To apply the argument in any more than a speculative sense, Yockey would have to support the assertion of neutral selection and give us an iea of how generation times were calculated.

 

...

 

This is why it's not accepted as a serious impediment to mainstream scientific theory. The reason being that we have no idea of the replication rate, generation time and effective population sizes of proto and early life forms, nor any idea of the selective pressure they underwent at the time. It is extremely difficult to evaluate these parameters for extant organisms for which we can directly measure them and inferring them for life forms we know essentially no details of is pretty much pulling them out of the air. "

 

Yes, that was philosophy. I just implemented Yockey's point #6 into the mainstream science.

 

Hardy Wienberg law and population genetics operates only on a large sexually reproducing population and determining the alteration of equillibruim observing the population with the expected value of the Hardy Wienberg formula is irrelevant to Yockey's argument. He has no problem with population genetics or with the Hardy Wienberg equillibruim, his argument is far more fundamental and prior to the origin of life.

 

I am arguing about Yockey's argument of the sequence hypothesis. The argument is actually about is the building blocks and all the known laws of physics and chemistry sufficient enough to account for the origin of life in a natural way.

 

 

What I was saying, in a sarcastic way, was that life cannot originate just from its building blocks and all the laws of physics and chemistry any more than all messages in a chosen language can originate from a knowledge of all its letters and rules.

 

- Hubert Yockey

 

 

Yockey makes it very clear that the distinction between non-life and life is the very presence of messages with instructions to do specific tasks. The transformation from chemical evolution <=> biological evolution is not simple. Stanley miller's experiment just showed that the building blocks for life like HCN, fatty acids, amino acids, urea etc prevailed in the prebiotic conditions but the problem is if these building blocks are not linked in a precise fashion to do specific tasks then there cannot be life and it requires instructions or meaningful messages to interpret what specific tasks should be performed or what specific chemical reactions should be carried out which is missing in non-living systems and hence the problem is the origin of such instructions to interpret a message or a sequence of building blocks. Such instructions cannot originate in a natural way and there is no natural mechanism for it and yet the building blocks of life are linked in a way to have specificity. The machinery for life originated via specific meaningful instructions which cannot be quantified or measured. Such a mechanism is forever unknown for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such instructions cannot originate in a natural way and there is no natural mechanism for it and yet the building blocks of life are linked in a way to have specificity. The machinery for life originated via specific meaningful instructions which cannot be quantified or measured. Such a mechanism is forever unknown for us.

 

Immortal, this is simply not a known factor, there are several proposed pathways that life could have developed from non life in a natural way and the idea that life contains information that cannot have come about through natural selection is simply not true. And yes, all the letters of the English language could indeed result in real knowledge even if the process was completely random if the ones that worked were conserved and the ones that didn't discarded...

 

A good hypothesis...

 

 

 

Life by chance?

 

Edited by Moontanman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Argument form personal incredulity is an easily defeated argument, given that it's a fallacy and this not a valid critique. Evolution is not blind chance. That, too, is a straw man.

 

 

Even a reasonable rational argument for the remotest of possiblities that some sort of intelligence underpins the evolution of life, is always dismissed as "Starman" instead of coming up with a reasonable ration argument for the existence of life by chance alone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a reasonable rational argument for the remotest of possiblities that some sort of intelligence underpins the evolution of life, is always dismissed as "Starman" instead of coming up with a reasonable ration argument for the existence of life by chance alone

 

That is a strawman, evolution works by cumulative selection and not by chance alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a reasonable rational argument for the remotest of possiblities that some sort of intelligence underpins the evolution of life, is always dismissed as "Starman" instead of coming up with a reasonable ration argument for the existence of life by chance alone

 

ID is not a strawman, it is not falsifiable and therefore not scientific. When people accuse you of using a strawman it is referring to your repeated attempts at saying that evolution, or abiogenesis, happens due to only random factors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a reasonable rational argument for the remotest of possiblities that some sort of intelligence underpins the evolution of life, is always dismissed as "Starman" instead of coming up with a reasonable ration argument for the existence of life by chance alone

 

Though I suspect there's a crucial typo here, whether you meant "strawman" instead of "starman" is immaterial. If the answer to the question of how life originated is that "some sort of intelligence underpins it", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, you still haven't answered the question. Worse, you've now added an additional layer of questions. From whence did this "some sort of intelligence" originate? Since you can offer no evidence that this "some sort of intelligence" even exists, it seems to me to be pointless to pursue its origin.

 

As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "When we ask how does a lightbulb give light, answering, 'Edison wanted it that way' is not an explanation by any measure you care to come up with."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Immortal, this is simply not a known factor, there are several proposed pathways that life could have developed from non life in a natural way and the idea that life contains information that cannot have come about through natural selection is simply not true. And yes, all the letters of the English language could indeed result in real knowledge even if the process was completely random if the ones that worked were conserved and the ones that didn't discarded...

 

A good hypothesis...

 

 

Life by chance?

 

 

Potholer64 seems to have missed a point, even if we take account of the laws of physico-chemistry and other laws of electrochemistry it cannot account for the origin of biological information. The origin of machinery for life should solely rely on random chance and on chemical evolution prior to life

 

 

"the problem of the origin of life is clearly basically equivalent to the problem of the origin of biological information."

 

- B. O. Küppers

 

 

 

The probem of origin of life is more of a problem which computer scientists have to deal with rather than biologists or the chemists and they are the ones who are better suited to understand this problem.

 

The problem is that the chemical and physical properties of nucleic acids or any other molecule do not determine the sequence of the nucleic acid polymer and B. O. Kuppers says all combinatorial nucelotide sequences are equivally possible and yet amazingly the nucelotide sequences in biological systems or the bio-machinary which constitutes as life have a high degree of specificty (instructions/meaningful information) something which no known physico-chemical process can account for and with no selection pressure and with no natural selection life has to solely rely on random chance to originate the machinary for life which is highly improbable according to the laws of information theory.

 

So as Yockey says we have to rule out both chance and Self organisation and just accept the origin of life as an axiom as it is unsolvable with in science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Potholer64 seems to have missed a point, even if we take account of the laws of physico-chemistry and other laws of electrochemistry it cannot account for the origin of biological information. The origin of machinery for life should solely rely on random chance and on chemical evolution prior to life

 

 

 

 

The probem of origin of life is more of a problem which computer scientists have to deal with rather than biologists or the chemists and they are the ones who are better suited to understand this problem.

 

The problem is that the chemical and physical properties of nucleic acids or any other molecule do not determine the sequence of the nucleic acid polymer and B. O. Kuppers says all combinatorial nucelotide sequences are equivally possible and yet amazingly the nucelotide sequences in biological systems or the bio-machinary which constitutes as life have a high degree of specificty (instructions/meaningful information) something which no known physico-chemical process can account for and with no selection pressure and with no natural selection life has to solely rely on random chance to originate the machinary for life which is highly improbable according to the laws of information theory.

 

So as Yockey says we have to rule out both chance and Self organisation and just accept the origin of life as an axiom as it is unsolvable with in science.

 

It seems you are arguing that natural systems don't have a way to self organize through known natural means. This just isn't true, stars are natural machinery that constantly make more organized atoms from less organized atoms. There is no reason to assume more complex reactions cannot occur through natural means just because we don't know what they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems you are arguing that natural systems don't have a way to self organize through known natural means. This just isn't true, stars are natural machinery that constantly make more organized atoms from less organized atoms. There is no reason to assume more complex reactions cannot occur through natural means just because we don't know what they are.

 

 

The problem is something different as shown below.

 

 

Chemical bonds explain how atoms bind together to form various molecules. It is possible to take the common elements H, C, N, O, stir them together with some heat and electric sparks, and obtain molecules of life such as water, methane, ammonia, sugars, amino acids, nucleotide bases, and so on. These molecules exist even in the interstellar clouds. It is also not difficult to arrange these molecules in an orderly manner as in a crystal, or jumble them up in a random ensemble as in a gas. But living organisms are neither ordered crystals nor random mixtures of their building blocks.

 

- Apoorva Patel, Department of High energy physics and supercomputers, Indian Institute of Science, bangalore. (He argues for a quantum basis for genetic information processing which is irrelevant here but what is relevant is how computer scientists treat biological systems is the key and this is accepted widely by different scientists working in the field of abiogenesis)

 

 

Living organisms are not ordered crystals because they lack complexity means the correlations between the parts are not removed to make the messages more efficient and carry more information instead of repetitive structures as seen in ordered crystals and they are not random mixtures of their building blocks because they lack specificity. It is these two main factors complexity and specificity which distinguish bio-molecules from ordinary chemical molecules and the problem is how such specificity or meaningful instructions have originated for the origin of the machinary for life.

 

If just the physico-chemical properties of the molecules could account for the specificty seen in bio-polymers then we could expect that just Self organisation sufficiently explains the origin of life on earth but the physico-chemical properties or Self organisation through the known laws of physics and chemistry cannot account for the specificity and we are left with random chance and that seems to be highly improbable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a reasonable rational argument for the remotest of possiblities that some sort of intelligence underpins the evolution of life, is always dismissed as "Starman" instead of coming up with a reasonable ration argument for the existence of life by chance alone

 

Straw man/false dichotomy. As I stated earlier, the outcomes of chemistry are not random.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I suspect there's a crucial typo here, whether you meant "strawman" instead of "starman" is immaterial. If the answer to the question of how life originated is that "some sort of intelligence underpins it", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, you still haven't answered the question. Worse, you've now added an additional layer of questions. From whence did this "some sort of intelligence" originate? Since you can offer no evidence that this "some sort of intelligence" even exists, it seems to me to be pointless to pursue its origin.

 

As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "When we ask how does a lightbulb give light, answering, 'Edison wanted it that way' is not an explanation by any measure you care to come up with."

 

 

Yes my mistake a meant "Strawman" This "Intelligence" I refer to in my opinion is not a god of religion, but Existence itself having a sort of connsiousness of its own and continually creating and sustaining reality. Existence is and must be both Infinite and Eternal so to try and tell you how, where, why, what about its origin is beyond my puny brain as is it yours and every other entity in the universe.

 

Life is about "Information" such as real Code, DNA for example the universe, likewise has cosmic laws that have no reason for being what they are other than they are what they are. Information and coding usually originates from a thinking mind , A scientist I think James something quoted "The universe is less like a great well oiled machine and more like a "Great Thought" the more often he looked at it. (I will come back with the actual source of that quote later!)

 

Straw man/false dichotomy. As I stated earlier, the outcomes of chemistry are not random.

 

 

If chemistry outside the lab, is not random, and in nature iteslf how does it order itself from within and without to create living organisms?

Edited by Alan McDougall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If chemistry outside the lab, is not random, and in nature iteslf how does it order itself from within and without to create living organisms?

 

That's the result of the laws we have discovered. Systems tend to minimize their energy. Some configurations, for example, have lower energy than others. Those configurations are preferred, thus the outcomes are not random.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hardy Wienberg law and population genetics operates only on a large sexually reproducing population and determining the alteration of equillibruim observing the population with the expected value of the Hardy Wienberg formula is irrelevant to Yockey's argument. He has no problem with population genetics or with the Hardy Wienberg equillibruim, his argument is far more fundamental and prior to the origin of life.

 

The high school textbook equation applies to sexually reproducing, diploid organisms, sure. HWE as an assumption in the coalescent process is simply that, given proportional abundance, each allele in a population has equal probability of being inherited by the proceeding generation. Once a gene comes under selection, this assumption is violated. Hence, applying a coalescent model to populations and genes under selection is a violation of assumptions and thus not a valid procedure.

In addition to violating the assumption of neutral selection, applying a calibrated, coalescent model in order to estimate time to coalescence makes a number of other assumptions e.g.

1) Mutations accumulate in a clock-like manner.

2) Generation time is known

3) Ne is constant, or if it fluctuates, the fluctuations are accounted for.

4) Calibrations are accurately timed and phylogenetically placed

etc.

 

Given there is absolutely no way of accounting for, or validating these assumptions for proto and early life, any hypothesis regarding the coalescent process and how it operated at these incredibly deep timescales is inherently, extremely speculative. It's hard enough to untangle the signal and processes from extant groups of organisms. E.g.

http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/2/117.short

http://www.springerlink.com/content/q6u1624w652w6185/#section=1045901&page=1

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01097.x/full

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01097.x/full

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The OP premise relies on a logical fallacy that completely overlooks observation effects. Lets rephrase using the same probability assumptions:

 

If there existed [math]10^{40000}[/math] universes, and each universe had a [math]10^{-40000}[/math] probability of evolving life, what is the probability that we'd observe our universe containing life?

 

The answer, of course, is near 1, or almost certain. Since we are life forms making this observation, we can't observe a universe that doesn't contain life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is something different as shown below.

 

 

 

 

Living organisms are not ordered crystals because they lack complexity means the correlations between the parts are not removed to make the messages more efficient and carry more information instead of repetitive structures as seen in ordered crystals and they are not random mixtures of their building blocks because they lack specificity. It is these two main factors complexity and specificity which distinguish bio-molecules from ordinary chemical molecules and the problem is how such specificity or meaningful instructions have originated for the origin of the machinary for life.

 

If just the physico-chemical properties of the molecules could account for the specificty seen in bio-polymers then we could expect that just Self organisation sufficiently explains the origin of life on earth but the physico-chemical properties or Self organisation through the known laws of physics and chemistry cannot account for the specificity and we are left with random chance and that seems to be highly improbable.

 

How things are and how things were are not equivalent. Chemical bonds are not random mixtures nor do they lack specificity either. If those sugars maintained a stable structure, such as an aromatic structure, with decently reactive side chains and a decent Km it could function as a basic replication machine due to the side chains attracting or having an aversion to certain kinds of other molecule. Although it seems incredible, I don't find it any less believable that something like this could happen just because I find it amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How things are and how things were are not equivalent. Chemical bonds are not random mixtures nor do they lack specificity either. If those sugars maintained a stable structure, such as an aromatic structure, with decently reactive side chains and a decent Km it could function as a basic replication machine due to the side chains attracting or having an aversion to certain kinds of other molecule. Although it seems incredible, I don't find it any less believable that something like this could happen just because I find it amazing.

 

I could accept that life evolved by chance alone if the universe were infiniteand eternal, the problem with that idea is how did we reach this moment intime, if time had no beginning and stretched back into past eternity? In such auniverse anything that could happen, will happen, including life not cominginto existence or vanishing and coming into existence countless times over inan everlasting cycle.

 

Most scientific minds now accept the Big Bang theory as the most likely way ouruniverse came into existence, thus in my opinion the time scale since its birthsome 14.5 billion years ago is to small for life to evolve by chance.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could accept that life evolved by chance alone if the universe were infiniteand eternal, the problem with that idea is how did we reach this moment intime, if time had no beginning and stretched back into past eternity? In such auniverse anything that could happen, will happen, including life not cominginto existence or vanishing and coming into existence countless times over inan everlasting cycle.

 

Most scientific minds now accept the Big Bang theory as the most likely way ouruniverse came into existence, thus in my opinion the time scale since its birthsome 14.5 billion years ago is to small for life to evolve by chance.

 

 

 

Alan, when are you going to stop with the strawman, life did not evolve by chance, you have been given several examples of this, to keep saying it over and over is obnoxious and will never make life had to evolve by change a real description of reality....

Edited by Moontanman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now