Emergence of Life and Profundity

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Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 11th, 2016, 6:18 pm 

Life is a rare, provincial phenomenon in the universe. At face value, it appears to be in "violation" of the rules of physics. It should "not be here". If it were ever to happen one day by an accident of chemistry, it would have been quickly wiped out by the larger inorganic forces of nature. It was not.

In 2016, science lacks an explanation of biology in terms of physics. We are forced, as people of this time to "fall back" upon the folksy wives tales from the Victorian era. When pressed with the question as to why a bacterium is "alive" and why a rock is "not alive" we resort to saying that the bacterium contains the "vital spark of life". The Elan Vital.. the whatever magical fairydust that makes it alive.

Our modern scientific understandings of organic biochemistry, DNA, and evolution definitely shows the Victorian vitalism cannot be true. And that's fine. But what is the 'right' explanation, then? The authorities on science are not providing a good answer. The "correct" explanation for why the universe contains life is what? There is no consensus. Only a hodgepodge of speculation.

Another possibility exists. A much darker, chilling possibility.

Maybe the best we can ever get from 'science' is just some dry story whose whole message reduces to "The ancient molecules did do this organizing behavior at some time because they CAN". And that's the end of it. In other words, a philosophical twist is not to be found. There is no "meaning" to the emergence of life in the universe. It was just a thing that happened with molecules and RNA long ago. There is no deeper drama here. Nothing mind-blowing. Nothing that will change you, teach you something, and make you a better and wiser.

No deeper meaning.

No profound implications.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Graeme M on April 12th, 2016, 4:16 pm 

I admit to not knowing much of physics or chemistry, but why is life in violation of the rules of physics? I think you are right to observe that life is not some mysterious force - as far as I know it is simply molecular level processes. Biochemistry I suppose.

And I tend to agree with your conclusion, notwithstanding the best attempts of those who lean towards some form of panpsychism...
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Eclogite on April 13th, 2016, 5:08 am 

Hyksos, I open with an apology. While I am confident you are a most agreeable person I find that I disagree with most of your posts. So I am now very much attacking your thoughts .... but not you.
hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:Life is a rare, provincial phenomenon in the universe.
Unsubstantiated assertion. Life certainly appears to be provincial, but so too is matter. We lack the evidence to comment with any degree of confidence as to how common, or rare life may be.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:At face value, it appears to be in "violation" of the rules of physics. It should "not be here".
It may appear to be so to you, but not to others. What rules of physics do you feel it violates, at face value?

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:If it were ever to happen one day by an accident of chemistry, it would have been quickly wiped out by the larger inorganic forces of nature.
Please seek to justify this currently unsubstantiated claim. A self sustaining network of biochemical reactions is a match for many inorganic forces of nature. Not all, but you imply it could resist none. Evidence please.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:In 2016, science lacks an explanation of biology in terms of physics.
Really? Please justify this statement. And frankly, so what?

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:We are forced, as people of this time to "fall back" upon the folksy wives tales from the Victorian era.
Again, Really? Which 'folksy wife-tale are you referring to? I trust that isn't your code for On the Origin of Species. If it is, then you seem unaware of a couple of advances in the field; if it is not, then it looks like empty rhetoric.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:When pressed with the question as to why a bacterium is "alive" and why a rock is "not alive" we resort to saying that the bacterium contains the "vital spark of life". The Elan Vital.. the whatever magical fairydust that makes it alive.
Perhaps you resort to this: no self-respecting biologist, biochemist, zoologist, micrcobiologist, geneticist, botanist, or even palaeontologist, or exobiologist would make such a claim.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote:Our modern scientific understandings of organic biochemistry, DNA, and evolution definitely shows the Victorian vitalism cannot be true. And that's fine. But what is the 'right' explanation, then?
Which is precisely why we do not resort to elan vital as an explanation - yet you have just claimed that we do. You need to make your mind up and keep track of your assertions. Otherwise your reader may suspect you of woolly thinking.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote: But what is the 'right' explanation, then?
Oh dear. Your woolly thinking has caught up with you. The "right explanation" for what? That life exists? What distinguishes life from non-life? That life violates the rules of physics? Some other of your implicit assertions?

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote: The authorities on science are not providing a good answer. The "correct" explanation for why the universe contains life is what? There is no consensus. Only a hodgepodge of speculation.
On the contrary, the consensus leans strongly towards the view that life is a completely natural, even inevitable consequence of the working out of the same laws of physics that you believe it seems to violate.

The speculation, hypothesising and experimentation revolve around how precisely those laws have led to the emergence of life. The "authorities" are not providing a complete answer, but this is science, not religion. This is an ongoing project.

hyksos » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:18 pm wrote: Another possibility exists. A much darker, chilling possibility.

Maybe the best we can ever get from 'science' is just some dry story whose whole message reduces to "The ancient molecules did do this organizing behavior at some time because they CAN". And that's the end of it. In other words, a philosophical twist is not to be found. There is no "meaning" to the emergence of life in the universe. It was just a thing that happened with molecules and RNA long ago. There is no deeper drama here. Nothing mind-blowing. Nothing that will change you, teach you something, and make you a better and wiser.

No deeper meaning.

No profound implications.
And there we have it. You appear to be looking for a safe, secure, religious explanation imbued with meaning and purpose and goals. You yearn for a teleological nirvana.

Tough. We make our own goals. We create our own purpose. Life is the universes' way of contemplating itself and if that does not strike you as profound you need to think again.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 13th, 2016, 5:50 pm 

Ecoglite ,

You should either cut down on the coffee, or consider redirecting your aggressive energies towards something more efficient.

Here's an idea. Several renown laboratories around the world are attempting to build a lifeform in a lab from raw material. You seem so confident in your assertions, I could swear you must have the recipe to do this sitting on a shelf somewhere. If you would like, I can provide contact details and email addresses to those laboratories. I'm sure they would love to hear your ideas about how to proceed. So are you game?
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby TheVat on April 13th, 2016, 8:52 pm 

No reply to any of his points? You were offered a useful analysis of some unsupported assertions you made. Your vaguely referenced authorities of science are strawmen.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby neuro on April 14th, 2016, 6:08 am 

My impression is that hyksos was simply stating that, as of now, we have no better explanation for the origin of life than
hyksos » April 11th, 2016, 11:18 pm wrote: "The ancient molecules did do this organizing behavior at some time because they CAN". And that's the end of it.

which is not such a bad synopsis of our current explanation.

But I do not see why this should not be a fully satisfactory answer.
Furthermore, this could be stated without hurting the susceptibility of scientists!
and this does not contradict any physical rule.

The heat from the sun could simply raise the temperature of the Earth (fully and directly get into entropy).
Or, it might be captured by some molecules that change their conformation to a higher energy state. Then, these molecules may interact with other molecules thereby producing some ordered series of biochemical reactions.

This would give rise to some form of ORDER, fueled by the continuous, gradual loss of the energy captured from sun rays into entropy.

This ORDER constitutes - by definition - a form of free energy that can be similarly employed to build and maintain other ORDERED systems.

If it CAN happen, it most probably WILL happen, if you give the thing a sufficient time.

Water slides down the roof of your house (and sun rays do heat the ground).
Why should water try and infiltrate into the tiniest imperfection of the structure of your roof instead of simply sliding down?
Still, if a possible path - even the least penetrable one - does exist for water to infiltrate your roof and leak into your sitting room, the water will find it, and use it.

If there is a very unlikely but possible path for the photon coming from the sun to finally happily vanish into entropy, then some photons will follow this path. It may even be a hugely improbable path, such as being captured by some molecule and increase the free-energy level of a biochemical system, i.e. produce ORDER.
The photon can be captured by a molecule such as chlorophyll and used to reduce CO2 and water to glucose.
Glucose is a form of ORDER and a biochemical system can break it down back to CO2 and water and use the released energy to build other forms of ORDER.
Such as a photosynthetic microorganism.

But such a micro-organism - or even better a plant - would be a wealth of free energy that can be used by a biochemical system that can absorb glucose, oxidate it back to CO2 and water, and use the released energy to organize a cell and a full organism.

If any incredibly complex path CAN in principle be followed by energy to transform into entropy, then it is likely that - sooner or later - the free energy will find that path.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby neuro on April 14th, 2016, 6:10 am 

In synthesis, life is a POSSIBLE path for free energy coming from the sun to turn into entropy.
Since it is a possible path, it would be very strange if - in trillions of years - energy would not have found it.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Eclogite on April 14th, 2016, 7:04 am 

hyksos » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:50 pm wrote:Ecoglite ,

You should either cut down on the coffee, or consider redirecting your aggressive energies towards something more efficient.

Here's an idea. Several renown laboratories around the world are attempting to build a lifeform in a lab from raw material. You seem so confident in your assertions, I could swear you must have the recipe to do this sitting on a shelf somewhere. If you would like, I can provide contact details and email addresses to those laboratories. I'm sure they would love to hear your ideas about how to proceed. So are you game?
What I should prefer hyksos is that you honour the intent of this discussion forum and discuss the points I have made rather than making off-topic remarks.

It is possible when writing a blog to make many assertions without ever having the need to defend them. Such is not the case on discussion forums and it is certainly not the case here. You are correct that I am confident in any assertions I made in my post. Consequently I am prepared to either defend each and every one of them, or to concede in any instances where I may be shown to be mistaken. I am applying exactly the same standards to your post as I do my own.

Please respond appropriately.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Graeme M on April 14th, 2016, 7:26 am 

Neuro, I'm not sure if this is applicable to this particular theread of thought, but something that occurs to me is that the default state of the universe is to create more complex systems over time. Everywhere we look, this is what we see.

The universe itself contains local states of highly diverse, complex and dynamic arrangements, from macro structures such as galaxies down to star systems and finally planets and the constituents of these.

We see this echoed in such processes as evolution and human knowledge. In fact, it seems to me that human knowledge and the things we create, such as machines, evolve in similar ways to organic evolution.

And that is simply because if organic evolution is composed of molecular processes, so too is human consciousness/knowledge. We build more complex machines and ideas over time for the same reason that living creatures become more complex over time. We like to imagine there are ghosts in the machine that use creative insight to do this, but that is simply a label for a bunch of ordered molecular process that generate complexity because that is the only outcome for a system moving from a highly restricted homogeneous form to a widely dispersed and dynamic form.

So perhaps a fundamental outcome of a universe is to create more complex forms at all levels. And bingo, we have life...
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Eclogite on April 14th, 2016, 9:15 am 

Graeme M » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:26 am wrote:Neuro, I'm not sure if this is applicable to this particular theread of thought, but something that occurs to me is that the default state of the universe is to create more complex systems over time. <snip>
So perhaps a fundamental outcome of a universe is to create more complex forms at all levels. And bingo, we have life...

Precisely!
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2016, 1:32 pm 

And there we have it. You appear to be looking for a safe, secure, religious explanation imbued with meaning and purpose and goals. You yearn for a teleological nirvana.


Actually no. Personally I am not looking for such a mystical teleos. On the contrary, I would say that nearly every member of the Humanities Department on campus probably is looking for this. But worse, they often talk to each other as if it were a foregone 'fact' that life in the universe has a profound central role. Or that in some strange way, the universe needs us to fulfill some sort of prophetic ultimate result. If you had not noticed this, it's either because you have never been bodily inside a liberal university, or you don't interact very much with the Philosophy Side of this forum.

The contrary view is that life is a provincial incident on a planet of a very long-lived, end-to-end chemical reactions. So far from the responses in this thread, I don't see anyone who is seriously opposed to this view. In this sense we may have a non-representative group of regulars here.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby vivian maxine on April 16th, 2016, 1:45 pm 

"The contrary view is that life is a provincial incident on a planet of a very long-lived, end-to-end chemical reactions" (hyksos)

Remove life from that end-to-end chain and the universe would be a very boring place. Or would be except that there would be no one here to get bored. Maybe that is why those of the Humanities want a purpose to the appearance of life in the universe. Sounds like a good idea to me. Of what use would the universe be without us?

A question comes to mind that I'm not sure will be understood. Is this what brought on the religions - the need for a purpose? Maybe that's not pertinent in this thread?
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2016, 3:18 pm 

vm ,

I see here an admission that those in the Humanities department openly want a purpose for life. Yes, the role that religion is playing in their activities is also pertinent to this thread. That's exactly why I posted this into the philosophy section, rather than biology section.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2016, 3:26 pm 

On the contrary, the consensus leans strongly towards the view that life is a completely natural, even inevitable consequence of the working out of the same laws of physics that you believe it seems to violate.

I have tried to parse this sentence ten times. In all parsings I was left with either a logical contradiction, or a confusion on your part regarding what the phrase "completely natural" actually means. The naturalness of an event certainly does not make it inevitable. (Unless you are using a different definition of the word "natural" here). If complex multi-cellular life with consciousness and intelligence is (as you say) "inevitable consequence", then you really have some explaining here -- because that sounds like teleology to me.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby vivian maxine on April 16th, 2016, 3:42 pm 

Hyksos, I'm not sure how to ask this, probably because other than knowing how H2O is separated into hydrogen and oxygen, chemistry is a mystery to me. But, that said, can't you have a wish for a purpose without attributing the creation of life to a "supreme being"? Because we have evolved as we have evolved, isn't it possible to have reached a such a stage - wanting a purpose or wanting to create a purpose because we are able to think and act at that level?

In other words, we didn't only evolve a physical body, we also evolved a mind with the ability to think. We don't know how that happened. Well, I don't anyway. But it happened. I have read some authors who attribute the entire system to a chemical/physical development. Anyway, we continue to evolve with more and more talents. Can't that happen without the involvement of a God in charge?

I am not saying that the humanities do not tend toward creation of religion. I rather suspect the opposite. I am only saying isn't it possible to evolve the same traits without religion. Considering early Christian art, I'm not too sure. Just wondering. The humanities consist of more than art and poetry.

Does that seem plausible?
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2016, 7:26 pm 

But, that said, can't you have a wish for a purpose without attributing the creation of life to a "supreme being"? Because we have evolved as we have evolved, isn't it possible to have reached a such a stage - wanting a purpose or wanting to create a purpose because we are able to think and act at that level?

It is entirely possible to have these desires without attributing the purposes to design or creation by a supreme "Being." These are all very good questions. I think we should put these questions to these following people ,

  • Corey Anton
  • Matthew Segall
  • Ken Wilber

I mention these three men not because I agree with them. I mention them because they are absolutely representative of academic philosophy. Their opinions are quite popular among derivative Humanities departments on campus (e.g. religious studies, Comparative studies, Literary crit, etc) Of course, the philosophy depts are saturated in this type of subject matter. The peddling of woo is sometimes explicit, in other times it is more subtle, but woo is always suspiciously present.

Just as an 'appetizer' for what you are about to watch. Here is some classic Matt Segall:
If you are claiming that "All is matter" -- then matter is God.


(edit: I forgot to add. Yes, these men are representative of academic philo, and that is unfortunate . I don't like most of these men's methods, and I deeply disagree with them.)







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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby vivian maxine on April 17th, 2016, 6:27 am 

Thank you, hyksos. I will listen to those lalter when my neighbors are all up and about. Don't want to awaken them.at 5:30 on a Sunday morning. :-)
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Eclogite on April 17th, 2016, 12:02 pm 

hyksos » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:26 pm wrote:
On the contrary, the consensus leans strongly towards the view that life is a completely natural, even inevitable consequence of the working out of the same laws of physics that you believe it seems to violate.

I have tried to parse this sentence ten times. In all parsings I was left with either a logical contradiction, or a confusion on your part regarding what the phrase "completely natural" actually means. The naturalness of an event certainly does not make it inevitable. (Unless you are using a different definition of the word "natural" here). If complex multi-cellular life with consciousness and intelligence is (as you say) "inevitable consequence", then you really have some explaining here -- because that sounds like teleology to me.
Nowhere in my quoted post do I say that complex multi-cellular life with consciousness and intelligence is [an] "inevitable consequence" [of the laws of physics].

What I clearly state is that the consensus leans to the view that life ....etc. Perhaps the difficulty you are experiencing in reading my sentence arises from adding words and meaning that were never there. I suspect this will not completely address your confusion, so please ask for further clarification as required.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2016, 2:16 pm 

If life is a deductive consequence of the laws of physics, and its emergence is "inevitable". Then you would be forced to concede that organic life was predestined to happen at the moment of the Big Bang.

An opposing view to this would be : life is a configuration of matter-and-energy which is allowed by physics, but certainly not ordained by it. An analogy is needed. The rules of chess will allow certain board positions. But some of those legal positions may never actually happen in any actual game in history. (..analogy incoming..) the laws of physics allow certain legal configurations of matter, some of which may never actually happen in the history of the cosmos.

There is nothing wrong with either viewpoint as far as I can see. However, the former position clearly carries with it all sorts of inroads into teleological thinking.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Eclogite on April 17th, 2016, 2:51 pm 

hyksos » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:16 pm wrote:If life is a deductive consequence of the laws of physics, and its emergence is "inevitable". Then you would be forced to concede that organic life was predestined to happen at the moment of the Big Bang. .
I suppose someone who believed those two points to be true may have to concede as you have suggested. I don't think anyone in this thread has made such a statement so I am not sure where you are headed by pointing this out.

On a separate point, I'm wondering if you intend to address any of the disregarded comments from my first post that challenged several of your assertions.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2016, 3:36 pm 

Sure thing.

If it were ever to happen one day by an accident of chemistry, it would have been quickly wiped out by the larger inorganic forces of nature.
Please seek to justify this currently unsubstantiated claim. A self sustaining network of biochemical reactions is a match for many inorganic forces of nature. Not all, but you imply it could resist none. Evidence please.

The point stands. I didn't mean to "imply" that at all, and this is a distraction from my main point. Late Heavy Bombardment. Gamma ray bursts. Third evidential item : Jupiter, Neptune, Venus, Mercury, and Pluto are sterile planets. Fourth evidential item: The several dozen "hot jupiters" found outside the solar system. All sterile. Most of the time, life if seeded is wiped out. This was extrapolation on "rare" and "provencial".

This salient point sailed over your head.


In 2016, science lacks an explanation of biology in terms of physics.
Really? Please justify this statement. And frankly, so what?

We went over this already. you are not in possession of a recipe for how to build life from raw material. If you do have a description of life in terms of physics , there are several scientists you should email immediately.


Again, Really? Which 'folksy wife-tale are you referring to? I trust that isn't your code for On the Origin of Species. If it is, then you seem unaware of a couple of advances in the field; if it is not, then it looks like empty rhetoric.

This was you interrupting the flow of a larger point. I'm not responsible to "reply" to this. It is misdirection and ignoring the larger point.

Perhaps you resort to this: no self-respecting biologist, biochemist, zoologist, micrcobiologist, geneticist, botanist, or even palaeontologist, or exobiologist would make such a claim.

More interruption in the middle of an incompleted argument.


Which is precisely why we do not resort to elan vital as an explanation - yet you have just claimed that we do. You need to make your mind up and keep track of your assertions. Otherwise your reader may suspect you of woolly thinking.

This looks like stylistic critique. No response is required from me.

The "right explanation" for what? That life exists? What distinguishes life from non-life? That life violates the rules of physics? Some other of your implicit assertions?

This is combative and unnecessary. You are not adopting a position requiring a response. You are just being angry. I'm not here to engage in some kind of forum jousting.

The rest of your post was already pointedly replied to.

To have a conversation you are going to have to adopt positions. I am under a reasonable obligation to answer clarifying questions about my own positions, if you pose them. You are also responsible for doing this if I put such clarifying questions to your positions. The problem at this time is that you don't even have a position. You are so far just in a state of critical denial.

Discuss topics, not people. I am not on this forum to entertain you or "spar" with you on a personal level.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2016, 3:44 pm 

snip
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby vivian maxine on April 17th, 2016, 3:54 pm 

hyksos » April 17th, 2016, 2:44 pm wrote:It was my sincere hope, that people on this forum would recognize and appreciate the larger trends in academic philosophy. Particularly from the likes to Corey Anton and Matt Segall. I was hoping that I could harness your collective help to engage and debunk their methods and arguments.

I'm saddened to see that , so far, absolutely nobody here has any desire to engage academia on these points. I was hoping we could join together in the fight. But I guess not. I feel just very disappointed in this whole thread.

There is so much meat and potatos in the videos I just linked. And the people here just have completely ignored them and resorted to personal jousting. It's sad.

It's just really sad.


I did listen to Corey but it took time to get into his points. I plan to listen again. The third man I could not understand. Probably a hearing problem from me but I could not. And the man sitting beside him was totally lost to me. I've not yet heard the second.

All those alibis aside, philosophy is a deep topic and the better it is the deeper it is. Takes a lot of study and thought. One can't just take a one-shot approach to it. First, figure out what they are aiming at. Then, listen again and get better into it.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2016, 5:43 pm 

vm- .

I know both Segall and Anton, and I have followed them for years. I actually made several videos directly talking to Segall, which he then responded to. I also saw Segall appear on stickam to interact briefly with Inmendham. (stickam was a live webcam room. No longer exists in 2016). I know their thoughts intimately. These are not one-shots. I know exactly what they are aiming at.

(Some of these things I'm telling you took place around 2009 and 2010)
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby Graeme M on April 17th, 2016, 5:46 pm 

I haven't watched those linked videos as yet but will try to do so today. Just as an aside, what I was getting at in my earlier post is that there seems to be some kind of assumption that life is a special case. But is that really so? I agree that we have not seen evidence for life elsewhere which is a curious thing indeed, but I suppose we have barely sampled even our local galactic area.

If life is no more than molecular processes - which is my take on it - then it is no different in substance from anything else going on. It's form may differ that's true, but there is no life force or elan vital happening.

And that seems to be what hyskos is saying isn't it? That however you look at it, there is no evidence for anything but that. There is no such thing as "Life" if we assume by that some kind of spirit or Elan Vital. Life is simply a wrinkle on a theme, and the theme is common to the universe.

And so hyskos observes that there is no deeper meaning, no profound implications. The story of science in investigating nature is simply that we do not exist as something apart - we, and all life, are no more than physical processes the same as all the other physical processes in the universe.

I would say therefore that I disagree with hyskos' claim that science lacks an explanation for life in terms of physics. I think life is increasingly well explained by science, and the truth is that there really isn't anything there at all. Complex forms and arrangements do seem to be how the universe 'evolves' over time, but unless you want to claim that some deeper non-physical thing emerges from that complexity, I think we do have to accept the darker, chilling possibility.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby TheVat on April 17th, 2016, 5:47 pm 

What I saw of the first 2 videos seemed like meandering and vague ramblings. They might better serve their ideas through a medium like expository writing. If this video ramble is a trend in academic philosophy, then I am glad I don't bother much with that area. The whole matter of teleology seems to be a classic case of cognitive projection, as in "I am a purposeful organism...ergo the universe must be one, too!" That brand of navel gazing seems to me to have nothing to offer a scientific mind.

That said, I will look to see if Anton et al have papers out there that might give me a better sense of their ideas.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby vivian maxine on April 18th, 2016, 6:11 am 

Thank you, Graeme, for explanation the points so well. You clarified a lot of points being made.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 18th, 2016, 4:11 pm 

What I saw of the first 2 videos seemed like meandering and vague ramblings. They might better serve their ideas through a medium like expository writing.

If you got lost somewhere in the "ramblings" (as you call them), let me point out this section:

That even as materialists, we still need a theology. You know, the only viable form of materialism is Spinoza's pantheism. If you are going to say that "All is matter" , then matter is God.

My expectation was that you guys would find this type of reasoning highly repugnant, and that you regulars here at the forum would have torn into this with tooth-and-claw.

If you are feeling feisty, I have created a thread specific to this video for further comment and critique. I have included the video here only as an "example case" in a larger point. This other thread should be the place where we break that video down into pieces.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=30389
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby hyksos on April 18th, 2016, 4:17 pm 

I would say therefore that I disagree with hyskos' claim that science lacks an explanation for life in terms of physics. I think life is increasingly well explained by science, and the truth is that there really isn't anything there at all.


Science has a wonderful and nearly complete description of life in terms of MOLECULAR BIOCHEMISTRY. No doubt there. But we do not have any thorough explanation for life in terms of the equations of PHYSICS.

I am differentiating the discipline of molecular biochem from physics here -- which I am going to presume is the source of your confusion.

(Allow me to continue briefly with this ... ) If we did possess a description of life in terms of physics, we would have already built a life form in a lab starting from raw material. This has not been accomplish, and it has definitely been tried. I totally welcome (and indeed, I expect), that we may eventually uncover the physical underpinnings of "alive-ness". Armed with those principles, we could then construct life from non-living matter.

My position here should not come across to you as repugnant or overly speculative. I'll tell you why. We know exactly now which 21 cell types compose the human brain. Yet we seriously lack any really good explanation for the brain's overall function. We may someday obtain such a description, but in 2016 we don't have it.
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Re: Emergence of Life and Profundity

Postby TheVat on April 18th, 2016, 5:50 pm 

hyksos » April 18th, 2016, 1:11 pm wrote:
What I saw of the first 2 videos seemed like meandering and vague ramblings. They might better serve their ideas through a medium like expository writing.

If you got lost somewhere in the "ramblings" (as you call them), let me point out this section:

That even as materialists, we still need a theology. You know, the only viable form of materialism is Spinoza's pantheism. If you are going to say that "All is matter" , then matter is God.

My expectation was that you guys would find this type of reasoning highly repugnant, and that you regulars here at the forum would have torn into this with tooth-and-claw.

If you are feeling feisty, I have created a thread specific to this video for further comment and critique. I have included the video here only as an "example case" in a larger point. This other thread should be the place where we break that video down into pieces.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=30389


Yes, I caught the "matter is God," and felt like Pauli when he famously said "That's not even wrong." The speaker built so little conceptual platform for his Spinozist assertion that I wouldn't know where to begin. He seems to believe that there must be theology and that theology must have a real object of study. At least panpsychists like Dave Chalmers define their terms and build some kind of logical structure. Jeez.
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