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The Origin of Life, the relationships between life and Energy

  1. Jul 20, 2015 #1
    So I have been looking around throughout the physics forum and other sources and still can't seem to find a good general explanation of how Life, and energy are related.
    First let me propose some definitions to help further our discussion and clarify what i mean.

    Life, in the way it concerns us here would be the chemical processes that culminate together to form a living, functioning organism.
    Energy is energy. We know there are different forms and it can't be created or destroyed.
    Without energy, life cannot sustain and will eventually become death or the absence of life.

    Question 1. Is it possible to measure or estimate the Net energy it takes to sustain an organism? the answer to this question I believe lies within the realm of Metabolism.

    Life has been around for billions of years according to our understanding of the fossil records and our understanding of chemical dating.

    There had to be an origin of life at sometime and I am trying to understand how the energy from the sun gave rise to complex life.

    I think the The MillerUrey experiment tries to get to this answer. This experiment was done in 1952! Question 2. So what do we know now, after nearly 64 years of scientific progress?

    After the origin of life, it slowly evolved into what we have today, highly organized systems. Transferring of one form of energy into another, and eventually creating another life form that continues the process.

    I feel that the answer to this question will help us begin to answer my next question. Now bear with me it is a little on the metaphysical side and I am sure many people would believe a lot of explanations to be bogus.

    The ancient eastern spiritual practices often mention something called chakra and Prana.

    Prana being the general life energy of the entire organism. This i think may be the Net energy I was talking about earlier.
    chakra being a particular form of energy at a specific point in the body.

    Would modern chemistry and physics be able to explain these ideas in real physical and concrete language?
    I have only taken general college physics, chemistry and biology courses. So when we get down to specifics, this is where my knowledge thins. But here is what i am familiar with.....

    Electrical currents create magnetic currents ( correct me if i am wrong)
    Our cells communicate with each other through electrical and chemical processes. It could be argued then that we ourselves create a magnetic field based on our cellular processes.
    Question 3 Can we measure this? Have we? Can we control or alter this prana and or chakra, whether it be with our consciousness or with drugs?
    Chakra points being in places like you heart or brain.

    I hope these questions and background can prompt discussion on how we can go about understanding the relationship between life and energy.

    I would really like to keep this discussion more scientifically based than opinion based so please, if you find any discrepancies in my background let me know so we can overcome any confusion .
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2015 #2
    Most humans in the first world consume 2000-4000 calories per day. A lot of people in the third world survive on under 1600 calories per day.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_food_energy_intake

    Cold blooded animals have much lower energy requirements.

    There is some work on how lipids may have formed membranes, but really only hypotheses on how DNA came to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  4. Jul 20, 2015 #3

    Evo

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    Please post your sources for the above. Thank you. This is not disputing you, although the RDA for calories for adults in the US are much higher, we just need to see where you got this information so that we can read about them.
     
  5. Jul 20, 2015 #4

    Evo

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  6. Jul 20, 2015 #5
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is not a valid source of information?

    Note, I did not represent the information as recommended calorie intakes, but rather actual calorie intakes.

    Get off your high horse.
     
  7. Jul 20, 2015 #6
    So a calorie is a unit of energy. Our cells do chemical processes that require energy (Calories). So organisms need calories, this we know. We get them from other organisms. which are also Life, which also have a Net energy/ net flow of energy or something like that. <--- this is getting closer to answering the question of whether or not we can measure something like Net energy and get to understanding something metaphysical like prana.

    So cold blooded animals, or Poikilotherms, can drop their temperature to below freezing (when i talk about freezing i mean the temp water freezes at) Even though their Net energy levels are very low, they are still alive? Can someone help explain this.
    For example, hibernating frogs...
    1. Aerobic Capacity of Frog Skeletal Muscle during Hibernation
      J. St‐Pierre and R. G. Boutilier
      Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
      Vol. 74, No. 3 (May/June 2001) , pp. 390-397
      Published by: The University of Chicago Press. Sponsored by the Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/320428
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  8. Jul 20, 2015 #7

    Evo

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    You originally said 1st world countries consumed 1-2k calories per day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  9. Jul 20, 2015 #8
    Physical things like net energy can be quantified.

    The metaphysical stuff cannot be (at least not with science). By definition, if it is subject to repeatable experiment, it is physical.

    This gets into the spiritual/philosophical discussions, which are sometimes frowned upon in this forum.
     
  10. Jul 20, 2015 #9

    Andy Resnick

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    Yes- there are various methods able to measure energy consumption from whole organisms all the way down to single cells (cellular respiration).

    There has been a lot of progress, mostly on the genetics side, but the essential questions remain: how did a cell membrane form, and how did a autocatalytic set of biochemical reactions become established?

    Yes, and yes.
     
  11. Jul 20, 2015 #10

    Andy Resnick

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    I think you mean 2000-4000 kCal/day.
     
  12. Jul 20, 2015 #11
    Yes, of course, I mean food calories.

    But I think the proper abbreviation would be kcal, since 1 kcal = 1 Cal

    2000 kCal would be 2,000,000 cal.

    This calorie unit business gets tricky.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie
     
  13. Jul 20, 2015 #12

    Evo

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    I didn't mean to insinuate that the FAO is invalid, but it's not as specific to the actual calorie intakes by gender and age as the sources I posted, there is a large unexplained discrepancy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  14. Jul 20, 2015 #13
    The membrane question is a real head scratcher for sure. We can conclude though that....
    We are still scientifically trying to answer,
    and
    So can you elaborate on how we can measure our magnetic field and how the fields work in conjunction with our energy use, ie: our electro-chemical processes. In my eyes this is pretty much the same thing as chakra and or prana. Maybe a look into how acupunture is supposed to work will help... Anyone know?
     
  15. Jul 20, 2015 #14
    hey Evo and Dr. Courtney can you continue your discussion on proper citations in private? I am trying to focus on a different topic.
     
  16. Jul 20, 2015 #15

    Evo

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    Ok, please post that source.
     
  17. Jul 20, 2015 #16

    Evo

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    Sorry, we do not get into these things here.
     
  18. Jul 20, 2015 #17
    Hey now. Why dont we talk about physical phenomina on a physics forum. Please point me to the proper rules and guidelines regarding this subject matter.

    I am being honest and genuine in trying to get to the bottom of this. I truly want to understand on a physical, even on a mathematical level on how these things work. Just because you don't know the answer doesn't mean others wont like to explore what it is either. It doesn't matter what you call it, it exists and understanding it is my goal.
    I appreciate cited sources but if someone edited their original post to include the correct sources i don't see what the problem is. That is beside the facts which what I am trying to learn about.

    I don't want to digress any further so I leave the discussion open to anyone who would like to comment on my previous post and questions.
     
  19. Jul 20, 2015 #18

    Evo

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    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/physics-forums-global-guidelines.414380/

    Non-mainstream theories:
    Generally, in the forums we do not allow the following:
    • Discussion of theories that appear only on personal web sites, self-published books, etc.
    • Challenges to mainstream theories (relativity, the Big Bang, etc.) that go beyond current professional discussion
    • Attempts to promote or resuscitate theories that have been discredited or superseded (e.g. Lorentz ether theory); this does not exclude discussion of those theories in a purely historical context
    • Personal theories or speculations that go beyond or counter to generally-accepted science
    • Mixing science and religion, e.g. using religious doctrines in support of scientific arguments or vice versa.
    • Philosophical discussions are permitted only at the discretion of the mentors and may be deleted or closed without warning or appeal

    Links to web sites that fall in the categories listed above will be removed.
     
  20. Jul 20, 2015 #19
    I argue that the discussion of how energy travels from cell to cell and creates a current, therefore a magnetic field, is in fact a main stream topic. Whatever you want to call it is up to you. It doesn't change the fact that this phenomena happens and is real. I guess for future discussion we can drop the Indian term and forget about it.
    I am not challenging any theories.

    I haven't done any real literature search on this but I am sure there is at least one person on this forum who has. Andy was helpful and productive in his comments. I feel that your comments have been just the opposite, close minded and unproductive to the discussion.

    So please, can we continue this discussion in a more professional and insightful way that provokes both thought and intrigue, both on the topics of how biology and physics work hand in hand?
     
  21. Jul 20, 2015 #20

    Andy Resnick

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