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BlueSpike

[Debate] Can peopIe SpontaneousIy Combust?

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''Mutations are not magic. They do not allow cells suddenly to overcome biochemical limitations nor can they override biology ''

 

elaborate please?

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After ~14 billion years of "evolution," I think we're pretty magical. Historically, for what I've known about spontaneous combustion, there has been some external ignition that caused an individual to combust. If there was spontaneous combustion in a person, then I could only assume it was some kind of gas build up with an electrical discharge to set it off; combined with the wick effect, the person would burn up. A lot of this reminds me about how we don't really understand how reality works and yet all of the air molecules in the room could go to one corner of the room in an instant, thus suffocating a person. Although, I've never heard, read, nor seen that in nature, it's alleged to be some kind of random possibility of an indeterministic universe. My theory, if SHC truly occurs, is that there is a gas (possibly intestinal) that is being set off by electrical discharge.

 

If humans are burning up from the inside, I'm thinking gas and electrical discharge. But then, I don't think there have ever been reports of mice in science labs undergoing spontaneous combustion. If it's some evolutionary aspect, how come there aren't reports of other animals undergoing spontaneous combustion? Is God smiting people?

 

In relation to the water issue, there is blood; and one might think that the amount of blood in the circulatory system would put out a fire as it attempts to surface. There is water in the body. Rather than a person undergoing SHC, if there were gas and ignition in the body, I instead see immediate or soon death caused by internal organ damage: I wouldn't perceive actual fire reaching the surface of the skin.

 

Again, there is a serious lack of evidence in relation to this event. Also, the lack of animal models makes me question the validity of SHC as a possibility. Generally, if something happens in a human (and it doesn't have to do with psychology or some "state of mind"), then we ought to be able to make an animal model.

Edited by Genecks

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Water in the body and its purpose is not sufficient or specific to prevent combustion, claims of water being a barrier to combustion is unrealistic.

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Water in the body and its purpose is not sufficient or specific to prevent combustion, claims of water being a barrier to combustion is unrealistic.

So a large barrier in the form of moisture is more unrealistic to you than combustion with no ignition source?

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There would be an ignition source - for example, a rapid accumulation of phosphine, or an oxidizing metabolite such as hydrogen peroxide. Oxidizers can cause things to spontaneously burn...even underwater

Edited by BlueSpike

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There would be an ignition source - for example, a rapid accumulation of phosphine,

Why are you still saying that?

I already pointed out that it's impossible.

Do you not read people's replies- or is it that you didn't understand it?

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I have read replies they are not good. because it is possible for the enzymes and the substrates to be completely separated between organelles because substrates and enzymes cannot pass the cell membrane passively.

so if those organelles are broken down then the substrates will flood out and the enzymes will flood out and the enzymes and the substrates can go and react.

 

think of a spaceship engine - they design 2 containers - one container contains an oxidizer, the other an easily-oxidized substance that violently reacts with the oxidizer. there's a vent in the spaceship with allows the contents of these two containers to mix. which powers the spacecraft. the biological situation is similar to the one with the spaceship.


I just drew a picture to help you guys visualize what I am talking about.

 

2iw0tl.jpg

Edited by BlueSpike

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CharonY and John Cuthber, the tone and provocativeness is quite clear, it is as if you do not want questions to be asked.

I am certain that you will attempt to penalise / belittle me for this comment, so go ahead, this forum is not for me.

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Blue Spike,

A sort of similar system exists and is useful- ask anyone who cuts up onions. (as far as I can tell that sort of thing is much more common in plants than in animals)

 

However, as far as it happening in humans is concerned...

 

Congratulations. You have rediscovered the concept of a lethal mutation.

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Lethal_mutation

 

They don't last long.

 

There's also no selective pressure to produce that enzyme, nor is there anything from which it could reasonably arise.

 

AdvRoboticsE529

it's not that we don't want the question asked.

It's that we (Well, I: i can't speak for everyone) don't want it asked repeatedly, even after it has been answered, and in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that the question is worth asking.

 

If there were cases of SHC then it would be valid to ask who and why.

Since there is no evidence for them, it's not worth asking the question.

It's certainly not worth asking it twice.

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Phosphine production would be lethal but what I am saying is that it would lead to SHC. It doesn't matter if the mutation would be bad in the long run or that it wouldn't last long. That isn't the point.

I advise you look at the diagram I drew, I don't think any of you are understanding this fully.

 

Just because SHC has not happened in front of someone at a lab, does not mean it has not or cannot happen.

There is too much circumstantial evidence to just dismiss SHC entirely and remain open-minded.

Edited by BlueSpike

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I think that you are not understanding that it would be fatal in the short run- cells get damaged so the two components would mix.

The cells and those around them would die.

The mutation would wipe itself out, and it would do so long before there was enough PH3 to do anything more than smell funny.

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It doesn't matter if the cell dies. That isn't the point.

 

The enzymes would STILL mix with the substrate and produce phosphine regardless of if the cell is alive!

Also, I'll copy/paste what I JUST said: It doesn't matter if the mutation would be bad in the long run or that it wouldn't last long. That isn't the point. You might as well be concerned for the long-term effects of passengers on a plane whose wing has just broken off. It wouldn't matter because they'd be a fireball pretty quickly. All it would take is one mutation to produce this enzyme. It wouldn't need to be passed on to other cells. It would only need to mix with its substrate to produce phosphine and if the cell were close to the skin the phosphine would seep out the skin and trigger an igniting spark because phosphine spontaneously combusts on contact with air.

 

I will not repeat myself again. Clearly you paid no attention to my diagram.

Edited by BlueSpike

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There has been reported instances of this happening. However people always seem skeptical on how this occurs. If a baby suddenly catches on fire and is rushed to the hospital people might blame it on the parents and believe it was child abuse. I have found some articles and reports of such cases. As well as something called the "Wick effect" which supposedly gives a logical explanation for this mysterious phenomenon.

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The ''Wick effect'' does not cause one to burn from the inside-out.

The Wick effect causes burns that go from the outside in.

 

Frank Baker and Jack Angel survived SHC to tell you they burnt from the inside out -- as their doctors had concluded.

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There would be an ignition source - for example, a rapid accumulation of phosphine, or an oxidizing metabolite such as hydrogen peroxide. Oxidizers can cause things to spontaneously burn...even underwater

If you can't give a reasonable mutation of an already known enzyme that could do that as well as an explanation of how the cell would survive to produce enough become a danger then we can say there isn't an ignition source.

 

The enzymes would STILL mix with the substrate and produce phosphine regardless of if the cell is alive!

The enzyme would have to be produced in massive quantities for it to make enough phosphine for combustion. Which means a single cell that dies after making a couple of the enzymes wouldn't be enough because the phosphine would diffuse before there is a high enough concentration. Not to mention how the enzyme is remains active with no regulation inside or outside of the is another factor you would need to explain in more detail.

 

Frank Baker and Jack Angel

Frank Baker said his doctor said he burnt from the inside out, without a doctor's report or even a method on how he found this out this means absolutely nothing other than people can say whatever they want.

 

Jack Angel is a liar, either he lies about the SHC or he lied to the courts about being burnt by hot water. You can probably figure out which one is more likely to be the lie.

 

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/not-so-spontaneous_human_combustion/

Edited by Ringer

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It doesn't matter if the cell dies. That isn't the point.

 

The enzymes would STILL mix with the substrate and produce phosphine regardless of if the cell is alive!

Also, I'll copy/paste what I JUST said: It doesn't matter if the mutation would be bad in the long run or that it wouldn't last long. That isn't the point. You might as well be concerned for the long-term effects of passengers on a plane whose wing has just broken off. It wouldn't matter because they'd be a fireball pretty quickly. All it would take is one mutation to produce this enzyme. It wouldn't need to be passed on to other cells. It would only need to mix with its substrate to produce phosphine and if the cell were close to the skin the phosphine would seep out the skin and trigger an igniting spark because phosphine spontaneously combusts on contact with air.

 

I will not repeat myself again. Clearly you paid no attention to my diagram.

I'm pleased that you have stopped repeating yourself.

I'm just going to repeat this once more

I think that you are not understanding that it would be fatal in the short run

 

When you say

"You might as well be concerned for the long-term effects of passengers on a plane whose wing has just broken off."

you are assuming that those people grew up to be old enough to get onto the plane.

A cell with that mutation probably wouldn't last as long as it takes to walk up the steps from the departure hall.

 

You also say "All it would take is one mutation to produce this enzyme.".

OK, from what current enzyme could you get a "phosphine producing enzyme" in just one step?

Do you have an answer to that, or were you making stuff up?

 

Re

"It wouldn't need to be passed on to other cells."

Do you have any idea how small a cell is?

If you turned the whole of a cell into phosphine there wouldn't be enough to start a fire.

 

"cell were close to the skin the phosphine would seep out the skin"

Nope, it would get trapped by hemoglobin on the way.

 

 

"trigger an igniting spark"

Nope,

There's not going to be enough from one cell to make a spark.

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I have read replies they are not good

 

That's because they don't say what you want them to.

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That's because they don't say what you want them to.

 

WORD!

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Since this is the speculations forum, and as there is currently another active thread on the use of art to convey topics in science, here is an image I created that could be interpreted as depicting spontaneous human combustion.

I've seen pictures made during the testing of atomic bombs that show models meant to represent people very close to the blast site suddenly bursting into flames.

post-30591-0-96450800-1396473625_thumb.jpg

Edited by Bill Angel

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Human combustion is like your significant other: They always claim to be spontaneous, but when it comes down to it they rarely take the initiative, and if you want anything to actually happen, you have to light a fire under their ass.

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BlueSpike, don't lock up on phosphine and mutation in genes. It's unlikely source. Your mind have to be open.

 

To ignite we need three things: fuel, oxygen and spark or other source of energy.

Air oxygen is bad source, even harder to get inside of body.

Much better would be oxygen inside of chemical substance that can be rapidly released.

In gunpowder such role has KNO3 (it's used to conserve food, but it's unlikely that somebody eat it too much. Maybe by mistake? It looks like sugar. I have just tasted it - quite neutral, a bit like soap on tongue)

 

In article

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

in 3rd paragraph there is:

"the victims are chronic alcoholics;"

(it's note from 1823)

 

I can no problem drink 0.5 L of vodka.

So I guess so chronic alcoholics should handle 1 L.

40% is giving 400 grams of ethanol in stomach and body.

In pure moonshine it can go even up to 98-99%

 

When we have potential source of fuel, we just need to find steady source of oxygen in liquid or solid form that we eat, that is not toxic, and could have end up in stomach together with large amount of flammable alcohol.

Edited by Sensei

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