Does life really exist?
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28-04-2017, 06:02 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
(27-04-2017 11:34 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Yeah, and that is how our "combination" of non life acts though, a rock does not produce fusion, but a star does, but a star can make a rock. They are just different combinations of the same elements. Death doesn't exist, it is just the end of one state of that combination of atoms as it transitions over to another state.

I don't understand what is contradictory about saying that something is life and it is a certain combination of elements. What is your point in mentioning something we all know? And you can't claim death doesn't exist, but then claim that death is a state of matter that does exist. Which is it?

Quote:In fact, we are not even a set of individual atoms, but the combination there of, our bodies flush them all out each year with a copy of another just exactly like it. Just waking up in the morning basically means someone new has woken up in your place with some of your memories. Sure, what we call life acts differently than what non life does, but the same thing can be said about anything that is made up of a different combination of stuff. X thing out there cannot do Y, and Y things do not have Z traits like Z does.

Life must have cells. It's that simple.

Quote:So, how can we really be sure if we are anything more than a different combination of non life stuff?

We are a combination of non-life. We're not more than that. Who's claiming we are more? More what? Please elaborate.
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28-04-2017, 06:09 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
Life hasn't published monthly since 2000.....



I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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28-04-2017, 06:09 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2017 07:47 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Does life really exist?
Some people claim viruses are life. They are not "cells". But they do replicate.
Rocks and stars don't "replicate" (make very specific copies) of themselves. Stars have accretion discs, and eventually blow up. Blowing up is not replication. Astronomy class.
But in general "cells" works. Cells have boundaries (cell walls) which let in some things, and keep in what they need, selectively, and keep out what they don't want, selectively.
We are a set of complex systems, evolved to replicate itself. The individual building blocks of the systems are non-life.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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28-04-2017, 07:17 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
Yeah, I'm still recovering from a vicious migraine to really get into such mental mastrubation (no offence), but the immensely lovely Jim Al-Khalili has a nice little lecture, I found interesting (of course, I find pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth interesting Blush )

"Erwin Schrödinger, of Schrödinger's Cat fame, was an Austrian physicist. He was one of the founders of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. In 1944, he wrote a book called "What is Life?" It was tremendously influential. It influenced Francis Crick and James Watson, the discoverers of the double-helix structure of DNA. To paraphrase a description in the book, he says: At the molecular level, living organisms have a certain order, a structure to them that's very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity."

Well, it was discovered that one of the tricks that enzymes have evolved to make use of, is by transferring subatomic particles, like electrons and indeed protons, from one part of a molecule to another via quantum tunneling. It's efficient, it's fast, it can disappear — a proton can disappear from one place, and reappear on the other. Enzymes help this take place.
This is research that's been carried out back in the 80s, particularly by a group in Berkeley, Judith Klinman. Other groups in the UK have now also confirmed that enzymes really do this.
Research carried out by my group — so as I mentioned, I'm a nuclear physicist, but I've realized I've got these tools of using quantum mechanics in atomic nuclei, and so can apply those tools in other areas as well. One question we asked is whether quantum tunneling plays a role in mutations in DNA. Again, this is not a new idea; it goes all the way back to the early 60s. The two strands of DNA, the double-helix structure, are held together by rungs; it's like a twisted ladder. And those rungs of the ladder are hydrogen bonds — protons, that act as the glue between the two strands. So if you zoom in, what they're doing is holding these large molecules — nucleotides — together. Zoom in a bit more. So, this a computer simulation. The two white balls in the middle are protons, and you can see that it's a double hydrogen bond. One prefers to sit on one side; the other, on the other side of the two strands of the vertical lines going down, which you can't see. It can happen that these two protons can hop over. Watch the two white balls. They can jump over to the other side. If the two strands of DNA then separate, leading to the process of replication, and the two protons are in the wrong positions, this can lead to a mutation.
This has been known for half a century. The question is: How likely are they to do that, and if they do, how do they do it? Do they jump across, like the ball going over the wall? Or can they quantum-tunnel across, even if they don't have enough energy? Early indications suggest that quantum tunneling can play a role here. We still don't know yet how important it is; this is still an open question. It's speculative, but it's one of those questions that is so important that if quantum mechanics plays a role in mutations, surely this must have big implications, to understand certain types of mutations, possibly even those that lead to turning a cell cancerous.
Another example of quantum mechanics in biology is quantum coherence, in one of the most important processes in biology, photosynthesis: plants and bacteria taking sunlight, and using that energy to create biomass. Quantum coherence is the idea of quantum entities multitasking. It's the quantum skier. It's an object that behaves like a wave, so that it doesn't just move in one direction or the other, but can follow multiple pathways at the same time.
Some years ago, the world of science was shocked when a paper was published showing experimental evidence that quantum coherence takes place inside bacteria, carrying out photosynthesis. The idea is that the photon, the particle of light, the sunlight, the quantum of light captured by a chlorophyll molecule, is then delivered to what's called the reaction center, where it can be turned into chemical energy. And in getting there, it doesn't just follow one route; it follows multiple pathways at once, to optimize the most efficient way of reaching the reaction center without dissipating as waste heat. Quantum coherence taking place inside a living cell. A remarkable idea, and yet evidence is growing almost weekly, with new papers coming out, confirming that this does indeed take place.
My third and final example is the most beautiful, wonderful idea. It's also still very speculative, but I have to share it with you. The European robin migrates from Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean, every autumn, and like a lot of other marine animals and even insects, they navigate by sensing the Earth's magnetic field. Now, the Earth's magnetic field is very, very weak; it's 100 times weaker than a fridge magnet, and yet it affects the chemistry — somehow — within a living organism. That's not in doubt — a German couple of ornithologists, Wolfgang and Roswitha Wiltschko, in the 1970s, confirmed that indeed, the robin does find its way by somehow sensing the Earth's magnetic field, to give it directional information — a built-in compass.
The puzzle, the mystery was: How does it do it? Well, the only theory in town — we don't know if it's the correct theory, but the only theory in town — is that it does it via something called quantum entanglement. Inside the robin's retina — I kid you not — inside the robin's retina is a protein called cryptochrome, which is light-sensitive. Within cryptochrome, a pair of electrons are quantum-entangled. Now, quantum entanglement is when two particles are far apart, and yet somehow remain in contact with each other. Even Einstein hated this idea; he called it "spooky action at a distance."
So if Einstein doesn't like it, then we can all be uncomfortable with it. Two quantum-entangled electrons within a single molecule dance a delicate dance that is very sensitive to the direction the bird flies in the Earth's magnetic field.
We don't know if it's the correct explanation, but wow, wouldn't it be exciting if quantum mechanics helps birds navigate? Quantum biology is still in it infancy. It's still speculative. But I believe it's built on solid science. I also think that in the coming decade or so, we're going to start to see that actually, it pervades life — that life has evolved tricks that utilize the quantum world. Watch this space.
Thank you.

I also love this one. Yep, complex things like the human brain, can evolve from very basic rules, indeed.

And yeah, if everything in the universe stayed the same, the primordial soup would still be bubbling merrily along, waiting for god to dig in with a spoon or something. Things change, the UNIVERSE changes and gives rise to ever more complex and different iterations of itself.

[Image: dcf0d5f21f5e31f4efbcfb7f3022f2dc.jpg]

(I truly and honestly believe this from the bottom of my heart)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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28-04-2017, 08:19 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
Mine is real, and so are my cats', but I'm pretty sure everyone else is just part of a program in the Matrix.

'Murican Canadian
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28-04-2017, 08:23 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
Does it matter? If 'real' life is indistinguishable from 'perceived' life, what's the difference. Why would 'real' life be more desirable than 'perceived life' in any case?

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28-04-2017, 08:24 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
(27-04-2017 11:34 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  So, how can we really be sure if we are anything more than a different combination of non life stuff?

Well certainly living creatures are made up of the same elements as nonliving things. The difference is we're living. When we die our constituent elements will mostly be taken up by other life forms so that we remain in the web of life, but if are cremated then perhaps we'll break all the way down into non organic bits. I think having been parts of something living organizes the constituent parts in ways which make them easier to be made use of by other life forms.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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28-04-2017, 08:46 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
(27-04-2017 10:00 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Do we really even live?, is life anything really even more than just a different combination of atoms that we consider to be lifeless? How can we really even be sure that we are nothing more than just thinking non life? A mass of small pieces of the universe that has collected into a consciousness so the universe can think about itself?

We ARE the universe itself after all, just merely a small part of it, and the universe itself is most certainly non life. Yet here we are, made out of absolutely nothing anything else in the universe is made out of and we consider ourselves special because we are somehow the masters of everything that is not our "kind" of combination of atoms. DNA is just atoms, acid is just atoms, the particles that make up our thoughts and emotions are nothing special that doesn't exist anywhere else, everywhere else in the universe. So how can we really be sure that we are actually alive?

What IS alive? What IS living? Can we really be sure that we are really anything more than just the same as that rock over there, that tree, that STAR from whence we came?

Where are you getting this woo from?

YES we do exist.

I really warn laypeople even atheists, not to confuse what science uses for words.

As far as the theory of relativity and QM it is an "illusion" but not in the laypersons context.

When QM uses the word "illusion" they are not claiming we are not real, but from our point of view we cant remove ourselves outside our own dimension so most humans falsely see time as a one way arrow. But in our slice of space/time we most certainly DO exist.

It is really no different than accepting that while you cannot see a Japanese guy walking down a street in Japan, when you have no communication device, you still accept Japan exists.

Atoms exist, atoms build up to molecules which build up to DNA which leads to evolution.

Yes we are alive. I think you are over thinking this needlessly.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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28-04-2017, 09:10 AM
RE: Does life really exist?
(27-04-2017 10:00 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  ...What IS alive? What IS living? Can we really be sure that we are really anything more than just the same as that rock over there, that tree, that STAR from whence we came?

Assuming that these are not disingenuous questions, then I can only assume that you were sick the day they did Biology 101 at school.

If you really can't discern the differences between a rock or a tree and yourself, then I don't think there's too much I can offer you. Big Grin

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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28-04-2017, 09:13 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2017 09:16 AM by Dom.)
RE: Does life really exist?
We are also host to a variety of other life. For that life, we each are the universe.

What if what we see as the universe is just part of the intestine of something much bigger and we are part of the fauna and flora inhabiting it?

Perhaps this being is going to take some humanicidal antibiotic soon, we must be a cancer growing in the intestines. And we are replicating out of synch with the rest of the fauna and flora.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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