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Model Suggests How Life's Code Emerged From Primordial Soup - Comments

bamafreethinker's Avatar Comment 1 by bamafreethinker

God's job is getting easier and less interactive all the time!

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 14:40:00 UTC | #393385

Depant's Avatar Comment 2 by Depant

It seems Dawkins was wrong, in his book The Blind Watchmaker, to reject the whole of physics as a "mathematical priesthood".

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:06:00 UTC | #393392

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 3 by SaintStephen

2. Comment #411280 by Depond on August 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

It seems Dawkins was wrong, in his book The Blind Watchmaker, to reject the whole of physics as a "mathematical priesthood".
Please supply the exact quote from The Blind Watchmaker, with context preferably.

And get that smug look off your face.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:15:00 UTC | #393393

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 4 by Quetzalcoatl

SaintStephen-

"Depond" does not exist. Amazing how "Depond" appears and accuses Dawkins of being wrong in a one-sentence comment, shortly after "Depont" is banned for trolling. What's next, Depong?!

Troll, best ignored, I suspect.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:23:00 UTC | #393396

Depant's Avatar Comment 5 by Depant

The important thing to remember about mathematics is not to be frightened. It isn't as difficult as the mathematical priesthood sometimes pretends.
From p.67 of The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins owes "the mathematical priesthood" a formal apology.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:33:00 UTC | #393398

rnewson's Avatar Comment 6 by rnewson

"The important thing to remember about mathematics is not to be frightened. It isn't as difficult as the mathematical priesthood sometimes pretends."

Not sure how this equals rejecting all of physics...

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:51:00 UTC | #393401

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 7 by SaintStephen

5. Comment #411286 by Depond on August 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm

The important thing to remember about mathematics is not to be frightened. It isn't as difficult as the mathematical priesthood sometimes pretends.
From p.67 of The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins owes "the mathematical priesthood" a formal apology.
THIS is the quote that's got your panties in an uproar? Let's hear what YOU think it means, first, before I give you my interpretation.

(Hi Quetz! Maybe Depond is "outside of space and time" and therefore eludes your best sensor technology...)

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:52:00 UTC | #393402

Depant's Avatar Comment 8 by Depant

Quite simple. He referred to a "mathematical priesthood". We all know his views on religion. Now physics is a highly mathematical subject. I'll leave it to you to join the dots...

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 15:57:00 UTC | #393404

rnewson's Avatar Comment 9 by rnewson

Feeble.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:00:00 UTC | #393407

rnewson's Avatar Comment 10 by rnewson

... because those dots can't be joined up by a reasonable person, I suggest you spell it out for us all to mock.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:11:00 UTC | #393410

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 11 by NewEnglandBob

anyway...getting back to this article...

I don't understand the last three paragraphs of the article about the 'vetting process'. Can someone clarify it?

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:16:00 UTC | #393411

rnewson's Avatar Comment 12 by rnewson

(sorry)

I think it's just saying that the lifetime of tRNA and amino acids line up well enough for a synergistic outcome. They appear to "vet" each other as they each complete their own process. I think it's a confusing use of "vetting process".

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:30:00 UTC | #393414

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 13 by SaintStephen

7. Comment #411293 by Depond

Do you think Dawkins meant every mathematician is a member of the "priesthood?" Is every member of the Republican party a Mormon wearing magic underpants? No. Some are rational people. Not many, but some. (Okay sorry for that last one.)

Ergo... some mathematicians are not members of the subset that believes mathematics is akin to a religious belief, and probably don't think mathematics is that difficult to learn.

Next.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:43:00 UTC | #393417

sundiver's Avatar Comment 14 by sundiver

Quetz, as senile as he sounds, depends may be more accurate

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:44:00 UTC | #393418

Depant's Avatar Comment 15 by Depant

Oh, SOME mathematicians are not akin to religious fundamentalists. Well that's all right then!

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:46:00 UTC | #393419

sundiver's Avatar Comment 16 by sundiver

Depends, flagged as troll

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:51:00 UTC | #393420

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 17 by God fearing Atheist

Stop feeding the troll.

The article
(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090829091049.htm) is bollocks. What is

“It takes a lifetime for the tRNA to dissociate from its codon,”

supposed to mean? If you know any chemistry/biochemistry/maths read the original (linked at the bottom of the sciencedaily write up)

or direct: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005773

The maths is only simple algebra (as far as I can see).

It is fascinating. If I has 3 months spare I would spend it reading the current papers on the origin of life. The god botherers aren't going to like it. This is yet another tiny step into those huge gaps where god is supposed to hide.

EDIT: Spelling

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:54:00 UTC | #393421

epeeist's Avatar Comment 18 by epeeist

I see that posts critical of depond are being sent to the alternate comment thread.

For those who are wondering why there appear to have been no posts deriding the juvenile comments of depond, you now know the reason why.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:56:00 UTC | #393422

clunkclickeverytrip's Avatar Comment 19 by clunkclickeverytrip

Depond - do you have to be so literal£ The brief quote above suggests to me that in the upper echelons of mathematics, like any subject, there can be a snobbery in knowing something and thinking that only a few people can even hope to understand certain concepts. This would be analogous to a priesthood, and hence a little dig at the snobs was appropriate.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:59:00 UTC | #393423

rnewson's Avatar Comment 20 by rnewson

epeeist: Ah, thanks! I thought I was going insane.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:00:00 UTC | #393424

rnewson's Avatar Comment 21 by rnewson

That said, how do I get untrolled? It's pretty bad when a single person can block someone else's ability to use the whole site.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:02:00 UTC | #393425

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 22 by SaintStephen

10. Comment #411310 by Depond on August 31, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Oh, SOME mathematicians are not akin to religious fundamentalists. Well that's all right then!
Yes. Exactly.

Similarly, some people who visit here, even the religious ones (like you?), actually ask intelligent questions. Not sure why that concept eludes you.

Probably not going to indulge you much more... people are getting irritated in this thread.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:14:00 UTC | #393428

exmike's Avatar Comment 23 by exmike

Thanks for flagging "Depond". Comments moved to Alternate Thread along with yours so that you can get the thread back on track. Depont and Depond accounts are both now banned.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:50:00 UTC | #393437

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 24 by mordacious1

What do models know about science? Oh....that kind of model.

This is extremely interesting, now I'm going to have to spend the next hour searching for more on this.

[edit] God fearing Atheist, thanks for that link.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 18:01:00 UTC | #393438

Veronique's Avatar Comment 25 by Veronique

I am so pleased to see that troll comments and comments relating to troll comments are moved to the alternative thread.

It doesn't clog up the regular thread with drivel and the answering of drivel. It was always the most confusing jolt to see a comment that had nothing to do with the matter in hand.

Thanks to whoever put this into action. Yorker will also be pleased:-).

This article is interesting. It follows from the Lewis Wolpert session that Yorker and I attended at EIF and the book he had published in March. Wonderful read and Wolpert is a delightful bloke to listen to.

And thanks GfA for your link and comment.

Cheers
V

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 19:18:00 UTC | #393459

Luis Dias's Avatar Comment 26 by Luis Dias

This is simply beautifully stunning! History in the making!

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 19:30:00 UTC | #393461

EricTheRed's Avatar Comment 27 by EricTheRed

If you liked this you will also enjoy 'Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution' by Nick Lane. In particular the chapter describing molecular evolution in hydrothermal vents.

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 19:54:00 UTC | #393465

squinky's Avatar Comment 28 by squinky

“It takes a lifetime for the tRNA to dissociate from its codon,” says Libchaber, who is also Detlev W. Bronk Professor at Rockefeller. “If it takes the amino acid loaded on the RNA longer than a lifetime to polymerize to an amino acid nearby, the selection of tRNA and amino acid doesn’t occur. But when the two lifetimes are comparable, even when there is nonspecific loading of an amino acid, a selection process begins to take hold because some amino acids would be more adaptive during that time span — and start what would be the beginning of a code.”

I don't find this article as illuminating as others here. If the tRNA takes so long to dissociate from its codon, why should formation of the peptide bond to make polypeptides make the tRNA dissociate from its codon£ Clearly this all happened but its much more complex than is made out here. Eg. how is a tRNA even built (ligation of specific amino acids to specific RNAs) and for that matter, how was the ribosome ever built£ This is the mother of all protein complexes and creates the mRNA from which all other proteins are made.

Many chicken and eggs in prebiotic chemistry/chemical biology.

*edited for typos

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 22:43:00 UTC | #393492

soul_biscuit's Avatar Comment 29 by soul_biscuit

squinky,

Speaking at least of ribosomes, they probably arose after the tRNA - mRNA deal was worked out. The process of translation would probably have to arise before anything that catalyzed it could do so.

In what sense do ribosomes create mRNA?

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 22:56:00 UTC | #393494

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 30 by Diacanu

Testing....

EDIT-

I'm back!! I'm back from the penalty box!!

*Runs around hugging everyone*

Mon, 31 Aug 2009 23:08:00 UTC | #393495