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Life did not arise by chance

  1. Jan 12, 2004 #1
    Hi everyone. Have'nt been here for awhile so we'll see how this goes :wink: . Over the past few days I've been getting though the book "The intelligent Universe" by Fred Hoyle.

    If the data in this book is true, then I have a whole new outlook on how life began.:smile:

    I'll begin with this simple quote "Did life originate here on Earth? No. There is not a shred of objective evidence to support the hypothesis that life began in an organic soup here on Earth" end quote.

    The thing is, the chance of life beginning here are just to small.
    The odds of just one of our bodies proteins having evolved randomly are about 50,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

    Thats just for one measly protein, however we use about 200,000 types of protein in our cells, so the odds that they all evolved by chance are just unimaginable in my opinion.

    It goes on then to say that the chance of finding our 2,000 enzymes by stringing together amino acid beads at random is very very small.
    Its like 1 to 100000000000.... and so on for about 40 A4 pages.
    Now thats a verrrry small chance !!!!

    Stated is also evidence that the bacterium, Pedomicrobium was found in a meteroite that landed here from space. Also contained in the meteroite were virus type structures simular to virus'es on Earth.

    Masses of dust and particles land here everyday on Earth, could it be these seeds that "caused" life here on Earth?

    Disscusion please!! I'm dying to hear your thoughts on this :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2004 #2
    The proteins in our bodies didn't all arise from chance, they arose through evolution by natural selection.

    The concept of panspermia is a very old, and IMO, silly hypothesis. There has never been any kind of microbe found on any meteorite (the martian meteorite is hotly contested) and it doesn't really matter because it still doesn't explain how the life got on the meteor on the first place.
  4. Jan 12, 2004 #3


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    So what would the odds be if you have 50,000,000,000,000,000,000 chances for it to happen?
  5. Jan 12, 2004 #4


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    Welcome to PF, Slim.

    Although Hoyle did a lot of good work, he kind of flaked out toward the end of his career. He rejected Big Bang Theory too, if you're interested. I would read his work with a skeptical eye (cross check it against other scientific evidences).

    Have you explained the origin of the life from cosmic dust?

    (1) Evolution is not random. (so that calculation goes out the window)
    (2) There is no strong theory explaining how life first started...so there is no accurate model from which you can calculate the odds of it occurring. (so that calculation goes out another window)

    check it...

    See (1) above. Mutation is nearly (not totally) random. Natural selection is non-random.

    Note that life did not go from 0 to 2000 enzymes in one step.
    Also note that our 2000 enzymes (I'm assuming your number is correct here) are not the only possible combination that works. What are the odds of any successful combination occurring?

    That's a crock. No extraterrestrial lifeforms have been found in any meteorite. At most, an Earthly bacterium made its way into a meteorite after impact. And the Martian SNC meteorites have structures that resemble bacteria, but are not confirmed bacteria.

    How do you want to define "caused"? Dust/particles affecting Earthly chemistry is one thing...saying living things arrived here is something else. But it's not impossible, granted. It may be that life formed elsewhere and then was seeded to Earth (there are scientific speculations about life forming on Mars or in the cores of comets which later seeded the Earth) but that just pushes the probability question back one step. What are the odds of life forming from whatever non-Earthly source (and then seeding the Earth...i.e., further improbability)?
  6. Jan 12, 2004 #5
    Why do all the people who support creationism/intelligent design have that same smily face avatar?
  7. Jan 12, 2004 #6


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    So you are saying chances are too slim for life to have evolved here in earth, rather it was a meteorite that brought life? So what are the chances of life evolving on a meteorite.. or the chances of life evolving on another planet, being hit by a large body, sending a meteorite on its way etc.

    Both theories could be valid, but in your explanation neither is better than the other.

    And even if chances are 1 to 50,000,000,000,000,000,000 think about how old the earth is. There are enzymes that cut 20,000 molecules èach sècond (one molecule cuts 20000/s), chemistry needn't be slow.
  8. Jan 13, 2004 #7

    I'll take a $1 on that.

  9. Jan 13, 2004 #8
    The meteorite I stated was the Murchison meteorite. I'll quote a bit more about it.

    "The meteorites blackened surface shows the aftermath of it's high speed encounter with the atmosphere. Because its exterior has been heated above melting point, the seach for any remains of life centres on its interior. Here the meteorite's material should also be safely beyond contaimination by terrestrial microorganisms, in which case anything found inside it could never have had any contact with the Earth."

    They found objects simular to Pedomicrobium and virus type strutures.

    I also think there is plenty of "life" out there (beyond the Earth). The Viking landers found chemical activity in the soil on Mars did'nt they?
  10. Jan 13, 2004 #9
    So what are you saying. Life originated but maybe not here on earth???

  11. Jan 14, 2004 #10

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    Pay attention Nautica. The chance of just one protein forming spontaneously on earth is 1:50,000,000,000,000,000,000. But the chance of that same protein forming spontaneously on venus is 1:4. Much more likely if you ask me...but I'm no statistician.

    OK, seriously, everyone has basically said what needs to be said slim. Pay particulary attention to the fact that life has evolved by natural selection, not spawned spontaneously into working parts.

    Another note which is worth paying attention to though, is the use of statistics and numbers to prove a point. Often stats are used in ways which make them sound much more meaningful then they are. For instance if I wanted to convince you that SATS, a new Virus that I just invented is going to reach plague proportions very soon, but I don't want to lie to you I might say that the death toll from this new virus has gone up 300% in the last week!!!!!! Which sounds drastic....but if 300% means 3 more people have died...then that is much less scary.

    The point I am making is that 1:50,000,000,000,000... and so on seems incredible...but it is actually somewhat meaningless. Aside from the fact that it is irrelevent because it doesn't represent Evolution, it doesn't take into consideration time frame, rate of the final product being made up and broken down, the situation, the context, the liklihood of other things happening....etc. It is an isolatory number, devoid of any real meaning.

    ajufbksitondhtifng => The chance of me typing those exact letters in that exact order is 2,947,900,000,000,000,000,000,000. But I bet you aren't truley amazed that it happened are you? You probably aren't even amazed that the word 'Sit' appears in there. If I wanted to prove something about psychic powers here, I could possibly claim that the random movements of my fingers who try to communicate something to me about your state when you read this message...they are telling me that you will be ...sitting... oohhhh....

    OK, i'll stop.

    Numbers are meaningless in the void...
  12. Jan 14, 2004 #11


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    Where is your quote from, slim? IIRC, the Murchison meteorite has been intensively studied, and there was a flutter about 'objects simular to Pedomicrobium and virus type strutures' being found, but it turned out that it was just 'contaimination by terrestrial microorganisms' (those pesky bacteria, they can get into anything!)

    The Viking Mars landers did find some interesting things about the soils at their landing sites, but the most straight-forward interpretation of these results doesn't involve life. Good news is that Beagle2 will give us a lot more concrete data; bad news is that no contact has been made with it yet.

    Where and how life originated, how (if) it can travel from planet to planet, etc are all intensely interesting questions. Surprising discoveries continue to be made too ... in the last few decades we've learned about hot sea vents and ecosystems that don't eat the Sun; begun to suspect that the majority of the biomass on Earth may be beneath us; been teased by the possibility of water oceans hundreds of km deep, under the ice on Europa, Ganymede, and maybe Callisto; found planets orbiting hundreds of other stars; ...
  13. Jan 14, 2004 #12


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    Creepy. Good thing I'm wearing my tinfoil hat today.
  14. Jan 14, 2004 #13


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    lol, indeed! That last paragraph was very amusing and a clear illustration of the interpretation of these figures :)
  15. Jan 14, 2004 #14
    Like I stated before, I will take a dollar on that.

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