I need advice on "chance" research

jread
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I need advice on "chance" research

Good early morning R.R.S. I have successfully stayed up all night. Along with posting random topics I have been finishing a book that I currently reading called Human Destiny.

The reason for this post is that I need to ask for help. I would like advice on what books I can read, preferably modern, which can give me a further avenue to understand how the origin of life was not a product of chance. "Chance" is my main goal which I want to research. I need to know more about it.

 [Disclaimer: I am not wanting to argue about chance here. No discussions of chance will proceed from my fingertips as a product of brain activity in this thread.] 

If you have any books which stand out in your mind, please let me know. I currently am reading Vital Dust by Christian Duve so you can leave that book off of your list. Oh and just one last thing, when you recommend, put the book you think will help the most at the topmost position. Thanks again.

 

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote:Good early

jread wrote:

Good early morning R.R.S. I have successfully stayed up all night. Along with posting random topics I have been finishing a book that I currently reading called Human Destiny.

The reason for this post is that I need to ask for help. I would like advice on what books I can read, preferably modern, which can give me a further avenue to understand how the origin of life was not a product of chance. "Chance" is my main goal which I want to research. I need to know more about it.

 [Disclaimer: I am not wanting to argue about chance here. No discussions of chance will proceed from my fingertips as a product of brain activity in this thread.] 

If you have any books which stand out in your mind, please let me know. I currently am reading Vital Dust by Christian Duve so you can leave that book off of your list. Oh and just one last thing, when you recommend, put the book you think will help the most at the topmost position. Thanks again.

Well, technically speaking, it was a product of chance - anything that could or could not is.

I'm not as beefed up on abiogenesis as I should be, but here's a few things to get you going:

Here's an overview of the contention:

"Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations": http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

Links there will point you to additional sources.

Here's a related book that I loved, but deals more with multicellular formation than abiogenesis (though the relations are evident): "First Signals" http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7106.html

If you can find it, "The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview" by Iris Fry will lay out all of the theories of such from slashing sponteneous generation to RNA clays. A good run down of current theories but a bit light for my tastes.

Anything else I'd have to offer would be in scientific journals, and probably not readily available to you unless you had access to a University library.

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Im actually a student at

Im actually a student at California State University Long Beach. Let me know what I would need access to and I'll check if I have access as a student.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Sure, let me dig through my

Sure, let me dig through my old journals and notes and pick out a dozen or so for you. If your university is anything like mine was, all you'll need is a student ID. If they don't have the journals in house, they should be able to access them readily online or have them delievered.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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jread
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Sweet.

Sweet.


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I know Yellow #5 has this,

I know Yellow #5 has this, but I would like to drop one or two papers in here. I'm not at my computer currently but I did post one of the most recent improvements in the understanding of the RNA World hypothesis. I read that you should have access to it, but if you can't then just let me know and I will be happy to email as well.

There is this other paper that I'm trying to remember...I will look around but I may have to wait till I get home.

This snip-out of the post can be found on page 16 of that huge thread on the debate.

Here is the abstract of my second favorite paper a couple months ago(my text is in italics):

Quote:
The hypothesized RNA-based world would have required the presence of a protected environment in which RNA, or an RNA-like molecule, could originate and express its biological activity.

Recent studies have indicated that RNA molecules adsorbed/bound on clay minerals are able to persist in the presence of degrading agents, to interact with surrounding molecules, and to transmit the information contained in their nucleotide sequences.

In this study, we assessed the ability of RNA molecules with catalytic activity to perform a specific reaction in a mineral environment. For this purpose, we investigated the self-cleavage reaction of the hammerhead ribozyme of the Avocado Sun Blotch Viroid (ASBVd), both in the monomeric and in dimeric forms. The monomeric transcript was tightly bound on the clay mineral montmorillonite to form a stable complex, while the behaviour of the dimeric transcript was studied in the presence of the clay particles in the reaction mixture. (montmorillonite is all over the sea floor in vast quantities)

The results indicated that the hammerhead ribozyme was still active when the monomeric transcript was adsorbed on the clay surface, even though its efficiency was reduced to about 20% of that in solution. Moreover, the self-cleavage of clay-adsorbed molecule was significantly enhanced (~ four times) by the presence of the 5′ reaction product. (So, like in organic chemistry, if you develop some of the desired product then it helps speed up the reaction times, like what Textom was pointing to)

The self-cleavage reaction of the dimeric transcript in the presence of montmorillonite indicated that the mineral particles protected the RNA molecules against aspecific degradation and increased the rate of cleavage kinetics by about one order of magnitude. (So in the terms of increasing one order of magnitude, you start making cars at 10 an hour but then it's increased to 100 an hour.)

These findings corroborate the hypothesis that clay-rich environments would have been a good habitat in which RNA or RNA-like molecules could originate, accumulate and undergo Darwinian evolutionary processes, leading to the first living cells on Earth.

Gene, Volume 389, Issue 1 , 1 March 2007, Pages 10-18


So, while it has already been said a multiple of ways: I wouldn't act like it's a "code/information" and is "just for us" but rather it looks to of been more in the terms of various molecular species developing. Down the road of developing greater stability and survivability we are results thereof, so certainly not "it is, because of us."

RNA thermodynamics are very interesting since they take on secondary structures which have their own names aside from protein secondary structure. These secondary fomations can have their own unique catalytic functions. Like a processed mRNA transcript isn't just a loose strand but rather has (ie) hairpin formations for ribosomal docking detection. Also for the sidenote, the proteinaceous portion of ribosomes are not the actual catalytic portion, rather, it's only RNA doing the translation.

 

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Theory guides, Experiment decides...bitch.


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Well found the one I was

Well found the one I was looking for on Science Direct, it's a year older than the first one I posted.

 

From:  The Evolution of Catalytic Function  Physics of Life Reviews Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2006, Pages 56-64

Intro:

The origin of the main organic catalysts that contributed to the emergence of the earliest biochemical pathways is a major problem in the study of the appearance of life [1] and [2]. Before enzymes, inorganic mineral surfaces seem to have played an important role in the early stages of the origin of life [3], and clay has been considered as the most likely surface on which small molecules could adsorb and thus concentrate leading in turn to their polymerization. There are two reasons for this assumption. First, primitive bioorganic reactions are unlikely to have happened in dilute aqueous solutions. The “prebiotic soup” of Oparin [4] and [5] and Haldane [6] would have been in fact a dilute solution, containing less than 10−4 M carbon, [7], [8], [9], [10] and [11]. It seems easier to assume that relatively high concentrations of organic substances were reached in systems isolated from the ocean, such as lagoons, moist soil, etc. Second, several minerals are known to possess catalytic properties and furthermore they can play a protecting role against photolysis of organic molecules [12] and [13].

As outlined previously by Koshland [14] there is little doubt that primitive enzymes were rigid, template-like structures capable of adsorbing the reactants, thus decreasing the entropy factor of the chemical reaction. It is considered that primordial enzyme molecules should behave in a way similar to clay particles in adsorbing, and therefore positioning, one reactant molecule with respect to the other.

In this article after reviewing briefly some of the current views related to the emergence of primitive biocatalysts, in particular regarding the RNA world hypothesis, we discuss two hypotheses in enzyme evolution. First, what is the origin of the symmetry displayed by most oligomeric enzymes. One may therefore wonder about the origin of this symmetry. Second, enzymes in today's living cells are not free. They are associated with other proteins and with various cell structures. It appears very likely that the same situation occurred in prebiotic systems. Hence, one can raise the question of a possible relationship between the evolution of enzyme function and the occurrence of mutations in their immediate microenvironment.

 

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. "
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Theory guides, Experiment decides...bitch.


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another great place for

another great place for articles is PUBMED

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez 

If your school has an account with the various journals you can acces any journal free. 

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Althought this deals with

Althought this deals with the redefining life's orginins from a root to a circle...so to speak, I think it's worth a peek.
Nature 2004 Sep 9;431(7005):152-5.

 Article

Here is the abstract:

Genomes hold within them the record of the evolution of life on Earth. But genome fusions and horizontal gene transfer seem to have obscured sufficiently the gene sequence record such that it is difficult to reconstruct the phylogenetic tree of life. Here we determine the general outline of the tree using complete genome data from representative prokaryotes and eukaryotes and a new genome analysis method that makes it possible to reconstruct ancient genome fusions and phylogenetic trees. Our analyses indicate that the eukaryotic genome resulted from a fusion of two diverse prokaryotic genomes, and therefore at the deepest levels linking prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the tree of life is actually a ring of life. One fusion partner branches from deep within an ancient photosynthetic clade, and the other is related to the archaeal prokaryotes. The eubacterial organism is either a proteobacterium, or a member of a larger photosynthetic clade that includes the Cyanobacteria and the Proteobacteria.

THe journal is from Maria Rivera...she's a new faculty member at my university and I find her work extremely importan and interesting.

(Edited link) 

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Thanks for the posts guys. I

Thanks for the posts guys. I am currently still reading Vital Dust and once I finish I will take up these new online journal readings. I will post up any questions I have about the articles.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Not to be disagreeable, but

Not to be disagreeable, but I do not view evolution as a "random process".

In some interviews I've seen on the tube with Richard Dawkins and debates that Dawkins has had with other individuals, it would seem to me that Dawkins would agree with me.

Laura Sheahen wrote:
You said in a recent speech that design was not the only alternative to chance. A lot of people think that evolution is all about random chance.

Richard Dawkins wrote:

That's ludicrous. That's ridiculous. Mutation is random in the sense that it's not anticipatory of what's needed. Natural selection is anything but random. Natural selection is a guided process, guided not by any higher power, but simply by which genes survive and which genes don't survive. That's a non-random process. The animals that are best at whatever they do-hunting, flying, fishing, swimming, digging-whatever the species does, the individuals that are best at it are the ones that pass on the genes. It's because of this non-random process that lions are so good at hunting, antelopes so good at running away from lions, and fish are so good at swimming.

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/178/story_17889.html

In other words, mutations are definitely random, but the mutations that are conserved and are successful are selected by the environment in a deterministic way that is completely NON-random.

--DoctorO (Bachelor of Arts in Biology, University of Kansas)

 


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I wanted to further touch

I wanted to further touch on the issue of abiogenesis, and the initial formation of single celled organisms on the planet.

I have several points.

I.  I just read recently in an astronomy magazine that hydrocarbons have been found in the universe using spectroscopy.  Spectrophotometers are able to separate light into different wavelengths and determine the chemical composition of the light source.  This is how we know the sun is made of hydrogen.

Astronomy Magazine June 2007 wrote:
  Complex hydrocarbons represent the buidling blocks of life in this illustration.  NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected hydrocarbon chains 10 billion years back in time, suggesting life may have started early in the universe.

Hydrocarbons are simple organic molecules.  Carbon is the building block for life on earth.   It is conceivable that life may be based on silicon or other elements on different planets in the universe, but this is speculation.

In our limited sphere of observation on Earth, we assume that we are special and that somehow organic life is something extremely improbable in the universe.  Based on modern observations and statistical probability, it seems highly probable that life exists elsewhere in the universe, and it is only slightly less probable that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.

 The fact that hydrocarbons and organic molecules are ubiquitous in the universe suggests that the essential building blocks for life exist in other places besides Earth.

II.  To my knowledge, the best experiments relating to abiogenesis were done by Miller-Urey.  This is found in virtually all modern college level biology and organic chemistry textbooks.  In my own college biology textbook, there is a great chapter on abiogenesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment 

In websearches using keywords of the following individuals who conducted such experiments might be a good place to start in your research:

1.  A.I. Oparin

2.  Stanley Miller

3.  JBS Haldane

4.  Harold Urey

 My biology textbook offers the following citations for further reading:

1.  Aldhous, P.  "New Ingredient for the Primeval Soup."  New Scientist.  February 25, 1995.  One of the abiotically produced organic molecules may have been a versatile catalyst.

2.  Cohen, J.  "Getting All Turned Around OVer the Origins of Life on Earth."  Science.  March 3, 1995.  Geven that many organic monomers occur in "left- and right-handed" forms, why did life generally become locked into specific isomeric forms?

3.  Day, S.  "Hot Bacteria and Other Ancestors."  New Scientist.  April 9, 1994.  The study of certain microorganisms is helping biologists understand the origin and early diversification of life.

4.  Orgel, LE.  "The Origin of Life on Earth."  Scientific American.  October 1994.  Emphasizes the origin of genetic information.

5.  Travis, J.  "Hints of First Amino Acid Outside Solar System."  Science.  June 17, 1994.  Abiotic synthesis of organic compounds may not be rare in the Milky Way. 

III.  Research methods.

1.  I suggest finding some books in your college library on abiogenesis, OR borrowing some general college level biology textbooks.

2.  Find the citations at the end of the abiogenesis chapters.

3.  The citations will be from small articles dealing most likely with very NARROW topics.  This is how science works.  Scientific peer-reviewed journals contains specific articles dealing with scientific data, and then either literature reviews within these journals or generalized books deal with combining all the information into comprehensive theories that encompass all of the data.

4.  Hence, as suggested, Medline, which can be found using a keyword search of "Pubmed" in google, will give you a valuable resource for finding good articles.

5.  You may have to ask a librarian for help in finding these journals, and then I would usually copy the articles in the library or find them online (although rarely are they found online). 

IV.  Come what may, I still would not call the origin of life a random process.  In that chemical reactions are deterministic, I would conclude that with the right building blocks of organic chemistry in place, evolution into complex species would be a deterministic process that did not come into being by blind chance, but rather the inevitability that some chemical reactions would create the proper chemicals for life and thereby initiate the NON-random process of natural selection.

V.  Absence of a perfect naturalistic understanding is NEVER justification for supplying supernatural explanations, because supernatural explanations are never testable, and supernatural explanations have never REPLACED natural explanations.  It is a unidirectional process whereby supernatural explanations for natural phenomena are often replaced by natural ones, but never vice verse.  SUN GOD --> sphere of hydrogen gas.  STARS=ANCIENT ANCESTORS -->  STARS = balls of hydrogen gas.  GOD MAKES LIGHTNING AND EARTHQUAKES -->  both naturally occur.  Hence, if I place my faith in anything, it is in naturalism, not supernaturalism; for the unidirectional flow of explaining natural phenomena.  Even if I were to concede something as bizarre as aliens planting life on this planet, I would still be stuck with abiogenesis of the aliens.  Abiogenesis most likely DID occur. 


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I second the vote for "The

I second the vote for "The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview" by Iris Fry. It gives you a good historical background on the subject and philosophical perspectives in addition to a rough outline of the chemistry.

The general answer to your question is that it was not chance in that intrinsic properties of the universe made the process occur. The reactants and conditions that were present on the early earth all but guaranteed the rise of life. Strictly speaking, all chemistry is chance


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Dude, I love your south park

Dude, I love your south park inspired name.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote: Dude, I

deludedgod wrote:
Dude, I love your south park inspired name.

That was a hilarious episode. 


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Thanks. I thought it

Thanks. I thought it appropriate on a site where I am likely to engage theists with about that level of understanding of the theory of evolution.


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Thanks a bunch guys for the

Thanks a bunch guys for the further recommendations. I just wanted to clarify myself real quick concerning chance and the origin of life.

I used the term chance to describe the formation of early life on Earth because some books (evolutionist) used the word "chance" to describe the process's initial catalyst. (I may be wording this explanation wrong.)  

So my goal, in researching the origin of life, is now to focus on either why the origin of life is based on chance at a fundamental level or why it is not based on chance.

I am trying to discover if it is based on chance...I haven't learned enough about the different theories to decide for myself which view I want to take. Chance? or not Chance?

So I don't want you to think I've deduced that chance is the magic recipe. I want to learn more so I can make an educated decision.

Thanks again guys Eye-wink 

Keep the recommends coming!

Since I got two recommends for that book by Iris Fry, it's looking like that will be my next book to read and attempt to digest.  

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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The roll of chance is rarely

The roll of chance is rarely used in current hypotheses as an explanation for the formation of the first self replicating biopolymers (be it oligopeptides or oligonucleotides). The reason for this is the infinitesimal chances of one specific of even a large subset of self replicating strands forming on pure chance (self assembly in the open ocean containing monomers).


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I think the term 'chance'

I think the term 'chance' in the way that you are using it needs to be defined, because it may be vague enough to trigger misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

Suppose we define 'chance' as natural reasons for occurrences as opposed to "guided" occurrences that are the result of the intention of an intelligent, sentient being.

If, by 'chance', you are creating a demarcation between a supernatural biogenesis and a natural biogenesis, then I would certainly agree that life evolved by "chance".

----

I think where my confusion comes in is that you may be defining chance as RANDOM as opposed to DETERMINED.

I mean something specific with the word 'determined,' and I imply nothing about fate. I simply mean that one cause initiates an effect that leads to a chain reaction that ultimately leads to further causes and effects.

In other words, there is a neverending chain of cause and effect. Once certain effects are set in motion, other effects happen in response to those effects.

I think that there are many events in nature that happen as a result of deterministic processes that are devoid of intelligent guidance. There are certainly some aspects of the chain of cause and effect that have random probabilities, based on quantum improbability, but for the most part, everything up to the emergence of humanity has been unintentional and the product of cause and effect.

I would argue that one can have a part of a system that is RANDOM that still proceeds in a determined fashion. If I have an equation with variables, such as 2 x = y, IN NATURE, x and y have degrees of freedom and limits. In that natural phenomena have limits to possibility, the progression of effects yields a finite amount of possible universes. In that way, there is randomness in a system that has finite possibilities. The universe and the origin of life is determined in a finite realm of possibility.

Imagine a glass full of water. There are a very large number of molecules of water in the glass. If I am to shake the glass up and then suck up some water in a dropper, and then put one drop out on my hand, we could ask the question, "Which of the molecules from the original configuration of molecules are in the drop on my hand?"

There are a vast number of possibilities of combinations of molecules of water in the initial glass that made their way into the drop on my hand after the shaking up ritual.

BUT; several things are certain with 100% probability.

1: Molecules of water from the glass will be on my hand.

2: Many molecules of water will still be in the glass.

I would argue that we here on earth are like the drop of water on this person's hand. I would argue that there is an extremely high probability that intelligent life would evolve SOMEWHERE in the universe given the potentiality for creation of life given the right building blocks. The whole process happened over billions of years.

We often think that we are somehow special in the universe. We think that since there is a low probability that life would exist in our corner of the universe, then we must be the only ones, there are no others, and that the process couldn't be the product of a natural occurrence.

We forget, though, that the probability of life existing somewhere in the universe is HIGHLY probable. Just like we knew for certain SOME molecules of water would find their way onto my hand, we know that it is probably pretty likely that life would evolve somewhere.

We simply have the virtue of being intelligent and able to contemplate our own existence and origin, while the drop of water does not. If the drop of water were intelligent, would it think its place on my hand were something miraculous and amazing? Probably not. While the composition of molecules within that droplet were random, the fact that there would be a drop of water on my hand is completely certain.

For this reason, I argue that our existence is not miraculous. There is a low probability that intelligent life would be in THIS part of space if you rewound things back to the big bang and looked at this piece of space back then... But the fact is that life would probably emerge somewhere.

EVEN IF there is a low probability that something will happen, there is virtual certainty that low probability events will occur if given enough TIME and MAGNITUDE.

It is extremely low probability that you will win the lottery if you buy a lottery ticket, but it is certain that someone is going to win given enough time and money even if its not you.

People think it is ordinary that they lose the lottery and extraordinary or miraculous when they win.

NO. It is pure probability.

The origin of life on earth in this location of space is highly improbable, HOWEVER, the fact that life would exist somewhere in the universe is highly probable.

My last analogy.

Suppose I have an olympic sized swimming pool and I tell you that I am going to through a marble into the pool. I ask you to tell me where it will be before I throw it. You scratch your head and say, "Hell, I don't know, the marble could land anywhere. I don't know how hard you will throw it or what vector you will choose." This is the problem for the creationist. Creationists look at the probability of life occuring from the perspective of a diver who has found the marble after careful searching, concluding that someone must have placed it in that specific spot. Naturalists look at the probability of life occurring from the perspective of the friend who learns that the marble is going to be thrown somewhere, but realizes, it's going to be anyone's guess as to where it lands.


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BTW, apologies in the delay

BTW, apologies in the delay in the articles I promised, I'll get back to you in the next day or two, I've been quite busy hammering out the details and move involved in a new job as of late.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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doctoro wrote: Not to be

doctoro wrote:

Not to be disagreeable, but I do not view evolution as a "random process".

 Nor do I, and I don't think many biologists worth their salt do. Chemistry and biological interactions are anything but random, however, for evolution to begin as a process, said process must have the abilitiy to randomize to a degree - IOW, mutate.

Mutation is random, albeit in a deterministic sense if we're to get technicle, but SELECTION is anything but.

As always viewed the process of selection as sort of a filter - the filter allows some things through, and not others. The filter has no voilition or purpose or goal, it's simply a barrier. 

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doctoro wrote:Not to be

double post

 


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My initial conception of

My initial conception of 'chance' was equatable to 'random.' Although, once I began my reading and discussing with people here about the origin of life, I began to understand a difference present between chance and random.

I'm essentially, now that you've made me consider further my goals, trying to discover that subtle difference between how chance is not random. I want to understand how chance is more of a selection beyond randomness.

Although, at this point I will elucidate the progress of my understanding up to this point. Throughout our dicussions concerning the origin of life here on the forums, I've been reminded of a great example a philosophy professor presented concerning dice rolls. The example would go something like the following:

If, five 5's rolled in a row, what are the chances of the next roll being a 5?

If you say higher, you're wrong.

If you say lower, you're wrong.

Why?

Because the dice roll is completely random. Just because a number hasn't rolled in a while, it doesn't mean that that number is "due" for a roll and sbusequently will roll shortly.

 

This example has been playing out in my head as a disinction between random chance and selective chance. Random chance is the dice roll example, blind and 100% un-predictable. Selective chance is (correct me if I'm wrong) not blind, but building, and over a long enough period of time, semi predictable, and results in the beginning of organization through a compilation of selective results.

How's that? Let me know what you think.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


Yellow_Number_Five
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jread wrote: Random chance

jread wrote:

Random chance is the dice roll example, blind and 100% un-predictable. Selective chance is (correct me if I'm wrong) not blind, but building, and over a long enough period of time, semi predictable, and results in the beginning of organization through a compilation of selective results.

How's that? Let me know what you think.

That's a decent way to look at it.

A better analogy would involve loaded dice.

Mutation is random, but it is random based upon what it has to work with. Evolution works in small steps, and can only work with the available material - thus we see all kinds of convoluted and inefficient ways of doing things; pretty much the antithesis of ID. Evolutionary theory can explain why mammals only have one entrance and exit to the heart on each side (ie - it began as a simple blood vessle surrounded by muscle) - a proper engineer would have designed fail safes and alternate routes.

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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How about this probability

How about this probability problem:

 You have a roulette wheel with 38 numbers.  What is the probability that the number 38 will be hit at least once in 38 spins?

This is similar to the probability that life would exist SOMEWHERE in the universe...

And we should never think we are special just because we exist in this spot in the universe.  Low probability, yes, but given enough years and magnitude, the probability that life would exist somewhere is much higher. 


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Or maybe think of this

Or maybe think of this analogy:

If you're drawing five cards from a deck of cards, what are the odds that you'll get a royal flush with one draw?

1 in 649740. Random chance, huge odds, doesn't happen very often.  You can try for years without it happening, and even after thousands of draws there's no guarantee.

Even if you drew successive five card hands, throwing out each hand and drawing again until you went through the whole deck, the odds against getting a royal flush are astronomical. This is random chance, successive trials.

Now if you're drawing successive hands of 5 cards from a deck, throwing out the cards that aren't part of a royal flush (as in draw poker), and replacing them with fresh cards from the deck, what are the odds of drawing a royal flush?

100%. Using this method you will always draw a royal flush by the time you get through the deck--it's inevitable. Because you *select* the good cards and throw out the ones that don't fit, you completely negate the effects of chance. You can even draw a specific royal flush (spades, hearts, etc) with 100% certainty every time.

This is how selection overcomes chance.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: Or maybe

Textom wrote:

Or maybe think of this analogy:

If you're drawing five cards from a deck of cards, what are the odds that you'll get a royal flush with one draw?

1 in 649740. Random chance, huge odds, doesn't happen very often. You can try for years without it happening, and even after thousands of draws there's no guarantee.

Even if you drew successive five card hands, throwing out each hand and drawing again until you went through the whole deck, the odds against getting a royal flush are astronomical. This is random chance, successive trials.

Now if you're drawing successive hands of 5 cards from a deck, throwing out the cards that aren't part of a royal flush (as in draw poker), and replacing them with fresh cards from the deck, what are the odds of drawing a royal flush?

100%. Using this method you will always draw a royal flush by the time you get through the deck--it's inevitable. Because you *select* the good cards and throw out the ones that don't fit, you completely negate the effects of chance. You can even draw a specific royal flush (spades, hearts, etc) with 100% certainty every time.

This is how selection overcomes chance.

 

THANK YOU.  Very good analogy. 


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I actually tried to solve

I actually tried to solve my own problem with the roulette wheel and did poorly because of the large numbers.

So let me change to the roll of a die.

What are the odds that rolling a die one time that you will get a 6? Answer: 1/6

What are the odds that rolling a die two times that you will get a 6 at LEAST once? Answer: 11/36

What are the odds that rolling a die three times that you will get a 6 at LEAST once? Answer: 91/216

What are the odds that rolling a die four times that you will get a 6 at LEAST once? Answer: 671/1296

Formula: (Number of outcomes ^ Number of rolls) - [(Number of outcomes -1) ^ Number of Rolls] = Getting the desired number at least once out of the number of combinations

Number of outcomes = 6 always with a die

Number of rolls = 4

(6^4)-(5^4) = 671 out of 1296 possible rolls

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Now imagine an almost infinite number of rolls for an extremely improbable event. Sure, if you only roll a few times, the chance of getting your desired event is very low. But the more times you roll, the more likely you are to obtain the desired outcome.

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Now consider if we roll the die 10 times. What is the probability of rolling a 6 at least once? Answer: 84 PERCENT!

How about 100 times? Answer: 99.999 PERCENT!

That's right, it would take only 39 rolls to acheive 99.9% probability of rolling a 6 at LEAST once!

It would take only 12 flips of a coin to achieve 99.9% probability of flipping heads at least once!  Can you imagine flipping a coin 12 times without getting heads at least once?

The point is we have a few important variables in assessing the existence of life in the universe.  How many years has the universe existed?  How much matter and space is in the universe?  The probability of some of that matter becoming a planet suitable for intelligent life is low, but given the size of the universe and how long its been around, you're talking a low number of possibilities for an extremely high amont of time....  Low possibilities with a high number of die rolls or coin flips.

 As long as the number of "flips" is several degrees of magnitude higher than the number of possible outcomes, than the probability of getting your desired outcome in one of those "flips" is extraordinarily high -- approaching 100%.  If you play the lottery 10^100 times, you will probably win.

-----------------

Now consider the possibility of intelligent life existing SOMEWHERE in the universe!

This is an extremely improbable event. There are about 200-400 billion stars in the milky way and 125 billion galaxies in the universe. Then consider the number of planets per star, the chance of life on a planet, and then the chance of intelligent life.

http://www.celebratingsagan.com/2006/12/drake-equation.html

See the Drake equation as explained by Carl Sagan.

The Drake equation only determines the probability of intelligent life in the MILKY WAY! You have to multiply that probability by the number of galaxies in the universe (125 billion) to determine the probability of intelligent life in the UNIVERSE! And there will be many planets beyond our galaxy that we will have NO chance of learning about because they are over 100 light years away! We could only pick up transmissions from those civilizations that existed long enough ago in time to transmit signals that would reach our planet by now.

The probability that intelligent life would exist somewhere in the universe is probably astronomically high, nearing but not reaching 100% probability. Thus, to think our existence is amazing or improbable is not only false; but it is just the opposite! Our existence, that is, the existence of intelligent life on some planet, is virtually a certain event to happen.

Thinking that intelligent life would not evolve somewhere in the universe is lunacy. The odds are probably better that you will win the lottery tomorrow than the odds that there is not intelligent life in the universe.


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Textom wrote: Or maybe

Textom wrote:

Or maybe think of this analogy:

If you're drawing five cards from a deck of cards, what are the odds that you'll get a royal flush with one draw?

1 in 649740. Random chance, huge odds, doesn't happen very often. You can try for years without it happening, and even after thousands of draws there's no guarantee.

What are the odds that in the history of poker, no one has ever obtained a royal flush?

Well, we know people have!

 How many royal flushes have been obtained in the history of poker?  Probably quite a few!

Given enough hands, the probability for acheiving the unlikely event at least once approaches incredibly high probability.


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Thanks, doctoro--I'll add

Thanks, doctoro--I'll add that (excellent) point to my poker analogy in the future if that's okay.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert