Author Topic: How Life Can Come From Randomness  (Read 2009 times)

Offline trdsf

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 09:33:27 PM »
I think the same thing about eyes. The evolution of eyes just floors me.
I'm more fascinated by the different implementations of the eye that we see -- the eye we have, the compound eye of the house fly, the pinhole eye of the nautilus, the light-sensitive patches of planaria, and all points in between.  It certainly indicates the blind (so to speak) forces of evolution far more than it does a single creation -- why re-create the wheel ten times, after all?
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"Confused? At a loss for what to do? Wow, sounds like you're human. Good luck." -- Welcome to Night Vale

Offline Solomon Zorn

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2016, 12:13:06 AM »
Teeth. The symmetry and variety. Incisors for cutting, and molars for chewing. And in conjunction with the oh-so-versatile tongue. If it evolved overnight, I would think there must be a designer. But given a trillion days, or so, it doesn't seem necessary.
If God Exists, Why Does He Pretend Not to Exist?
Poetry and Proverbs of the Uneducated Hick

http://www.solomonzorn.com

Offline Sal1981

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2016, 05:49:12 AM »
half an eye is better than no eye.

Basically some light-receptive cells connected to a neural network is the start-shot to the evolution of eyes.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2016, 07:41:48 AM »
We'll never fully grasp the amount of time needed for all this.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline trdsf

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2016, 06:23:38 PM »
We'll never fully grasp the amount of time needed for all this.
Four billion really isn't that big a number.  It's the number of bytes on the chip in my camera right now.  At a year a byte, half a billion years is a compressed video, roughly, and the whole of Earth's history from its formation to now is around about a standard DVD.  There are ways to put it in terms that are within reach.  We'll probably never understand the experience of that kind of time, but we can find ways to grasp it intellectually.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"Confused? At a loss for what to do? Wow, sounds like you're human. Good luck." -- Welcome to Night Vale

Offline Baruch

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2016, 06:58:56 PM »
I'm more fascinated by the different implementations of the eye that we see -- the eye we have, the compound eye of the house fly, the pinhole eye of the nautilus, the light-sensitive patches of planaria, and all points in between.  It certainly indicates the blind (so to speak) forces of evolution far more than it does a single creation -- why re-create the wheel ten times, after all?

Octopus eyes are similar to the human, as are the baby blues of the scallop.  That should make posters clam up, unless they are invertebrates ;-)
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Offline Baruch

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2016, 07:00:43 PM »
We'll never fully grasp the amount of time needed for all this.


The universe is very inefficient.  A creator is definitely a slacker.
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Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2016, 09:40:23 AM »
Four billion really isn't that big a number.  It's the number of bytes on the chip in my camera right now.  At a year a byte, half a billion years is a compressed video, roughly, and the whole of Earth's history from its formation to now is around about a standard DVD.  There are ways to put it in terms that are within reach.  We'll probably never understand the experience of that kind of time, but we can find ways to grasp it intellectually.
That's what I mean. We have to tiny it before we get a grip on it. Lay out four billion pennies, all face up. Then you have an idea about four billion. What you propose is to ignore the "billion" because it's out of our grasp.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2016, 10:35:09 AM »
That's what I mean. We have to tiny it before we get a grip on it. Lay out four billion pennies, all face up. Then you have an idea about four billion. What you propose is to ignore the "billion" because it's out of our grasp.

It's partly a matter of perspective, which even in my life time has varied.  When I was barely in school, I had a friend who was two years older.  He informed me he could count to a hundred.  I was dumbfounded, so he started to show me.  Somewhere in the demonstration, we both got bored and he quit.  When I first heard about them, millionaires were remarkable, and the power of the wealth was astounding.  Today, some of the kids I went to school with are millionaires, but it's not so impressive anymore.  In fact, the millionaires I know, I tend to consider in the upper middle class.  We no longer look at millionaires with a sense of awe.  It takes a billionaire to do that these days.  Of course a million or a billion things are still a lot, even though one dwarfs the other.   Actually, both numbers are rather unfathomable.  You can blow a couple of million dollars on a classy sailboat, but it's still a lot of dollars.  Try saving a million dollars.  It's impossible for most people.

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2016, 05:38:28 PM »
The universe seems to be an infinite cellular automaton. Very simple rules acting on a very large number of fundamental particles is all it takes to generate - us. That just amazes me more the more I think about it.
God Not Found
"FRAUD. The life of commerce, the soul of religion, the bait of courtship, and the basis of political power."
Ambrose Bierce

Offline SGOS

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2016, 05:46:17 PM »
The universe seems to be an infinite cellular automaton. Very simple rules acting on a very large number of fundamental particles is all it takes to generate - us. That just amazes me more the more I think about it.

I hate use what has been an overused to the point of becoming a trite expression, but it is AWESOME.  Richard Dawkins, in response to the Christian enthusiasm for the Bible, once said in a video, "I wish people would pay more attention to science, because science also has an interesting story to tell."  Although, I think personally that his comment understates the point.

Offline Baruch

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2016, 06:17:59 PM »
That's what I mean. We have to tiny it before we get a grip on it. Lay out four billion pennies, all face up. Then you have an idea about four billion. What you propose is to ignore the "billion" because it's out of our grasp.

The odds of all 4 billion pennies landing face up on fair tosses ... is a much bigger number.  Two to the power of 4 billion.
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Offline Baruch

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2016, 06:19:44 PM »
The universe seems to be an infinite cellular automaton. Very simple rules acting on a very large number of fundamental particles is all it takes to generate - us. That just amazes me more the more I think about it.

Thank you Stephen Wolfram.
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Offline Baruch

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2016, 06:20:30 PM »
It's partly a matter of perspective, which even in my life time has varied.  When I was barely in school, I had a friend who was two years older.  He informed me he could count to a hundred.  I was dumbfounded, so he started to show me.  Somewhere in the demonstration, we both got bored and he quit.  When I first heard about them, millionaires were remarkable, and the power of the wealth was astounding.  Today, some of the kids I went to school with are millionaires, but it's not so impressive anymore.  In fact, the millionaires I know, I tend to consider in the upper middle class.  We no longer look at millionaires with a sense of awe.  It takes a billionaire to do that these days.  Of course a million or a billion things are still a lot, even though one dwarfs the other.   Actually, both numbers are rather unfathomable.  You can blow a couple of million dollars on a classy sailboat, but it's still a lot of dollars.  Try saving a million dollars.  It's impossible for most people.

That is inflation for you.  In Zimbabwe ... being a trillionaire is nothing.
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Offline trdsf

Re: How Life Can Come From Randomness
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2016, 07:57:18 PM »
That's what I mean. We have to tiny it before we get a grip on it. Lay out four billion pennies, all face up. Then you have an idea about four billion. What you propose is to ignore the "billion" because it's out of our grasp.
Four gigabytes is still four billion.  I remember when we couldn't imagine how to fill a 25 megabyte drive.  I assert that I have an idea about four billion; I have not ignored it, and you have no basis on which to suggest I don't.  Just because you can't doesn't mean I can't.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"Confused? At a loss for what to do? Wow, sounds like you're human. Good luck." -- Welcome to Night Vale