The Special Nature of Cell Mechanisms

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The Special Nature of Cell Mechanisms

Postby scientificphilosophe on August 19th, 2018, 7:48 pm 

In some of my other posts recently, people have not seemed to believed some of the points which I made about living cells, but these are not my observations – they come from established text books, however I made the mistake of only partly quoting the title of my source, so let me present the full description here:-
"The Molecular Biology of the Cell - 6th edition" by Alberts et al. ISBN 978 0 8153 4432 2
This is a major text book in the field of Biochemistry and it tells us a lot about the workings of cells - the most basic form of Life. On this basis it provides us with some of the best insights into the special nature of Life.

It is in these distinguished pages that we find statements that cells operate to assemble specific outputs, (not random outputs), at a level that is maintained far above chemical equilibrium, (page 8).

We also find that the book presents a number of extraordinary features of life, such as
• the apparent route navigation undertaken by walking molecules known as ‘motor proteins’ which transport cargo to specific destinations in a cell across a constantly changing ‘road network’ of filaments and microtubules.
• an ability of component molecules to self-assemble into precise but complex structures (from viruses to ribosomes) – sometimes using other proteins as temporary scaffolding, etc
• responding in very different and complex ways to diverse situations in order to achieve repairs or other specific outcomes, (such as homologous recombination – fixing a double break in a strand of DNA and in-filling any missing code that may have disappeared by effectively 'looking up' what may have been there).

So while it is true that individual chemical reactions within these mechanisms do not break normal chemical profiles, these processes consistently achieve a level of co-ordination and performance well above what we might otherwise expect, that has zero explanation by traditional chemical means – at least, so far.

Most people who are not familiar with Biochemistry will therefore find these things remarkable and challenging to their established perceptions of how things work – but if the Alberts book is to be believed – they are absolutely true.

Cells can be grown in a test tube and therefore function without a brain, and the only coded set of instructions that we know of which can guide cell operations, is DNA – which generally seem to tell the cell what to build, not how to react to emerging dynamic circumstances, (ie. there is no known computer program equivalent to guide these activities).

Research obviously continues into the causes of these effects, but what do you glean about the special nature of life including its apparent ability to assemble things, and where do you feel that explanations may ultimately be found?
scientificphilosophe
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Re: The Special Nature of Cell Mechanisms

Postby scientificphilosophe on August 27th, 2018, 8:10 pm 

For those who don’t relish reading the huge text book that I mentioned in my opening post, can I point out that I got many of my pointers from the book “Our Existence Part 2” by C.Finipolscie, which provides very useful summaries of both facts and issues, (although it does also explore some of the more obscure aspects of Life).

In the absence of comment from others, let me try to encourage and focus people by adding that I feel that these findings are very profound and important so they should be debated openly and honestly.

I for one am not seeking to pursue any philosophical agenda, (despite others trying to twist my words to imply that I am), but I will look for a sensible exploration of the facts and issues.

Does life seem to be assembling things?

Is sophisticated control being exercised?

Do we see purpose being displayed?


On other debates within the forum there have been strong objections/denials (from some) to suggestions that the chemistry of life ‘assembles’ and doesn’t seem to follow the normal path of chemical equalisation.

Yet we see above that living cells are acknowledged to maintain their activities well above chemical equilibrium, and they do produce specific and complex outputs with a high degree of efficiency.

We also see that some chemicals have the ability to self-assemble into complex structures by following a complex sequence of steps, rather than chemical bumping into each other in an ad-hoc pattern.

When we see navigation, and complex repairs – is it wrong to consider that purpose and control are being exercised?
scientificphilosophe
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