Entropy forbids Abiogenesis & Evolution

As discussed here extensively, nothing in “evolution” makes any sense: “natural selection, fitness, speciation, human evolution, gradualism, divergence of character, UCD, TOL, etc. etc.” Not one makes sense. Meanwhile, the “evolution” argument is just one big “affirms the consequent” logical fallacy, while Paley’s excellent argument has never been overturned, and an intuitive intelligent design detector can be used to easily disprove “evolution”. Is there a need for any more proofs? Not really. Are there any other proofs? You bet. Take entropy for instance…

Figure 1

Figure 2

  1. Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that a spontaneous process cannot also revert spontaneously. This is because spontaneous processes always increase the system’s entropy. A uniform gas in a chamber will accumulate in a corner only with external intervention and spontaneous chemical reactions can only revert if external work energy is applied. Current models of entropy assume the gas particles in a chamber to be independent (sometimes represented as pebbles on a Go board) and explains their never observed convergence on one side of the chamber as only due to that particular microstate having a very low probability(*). However, gas particles always interact with each other (Brownian motion) while pebbles do not. Thus, a reliable way to know that entropy of a system increases is if work energy could be obtained when transitioning from the low to the high entropy state while energy is always required for the reverse process.
  2. Total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease. Entropy is currently assumed just a statistical law. Thus, if N molecules are in an isolated system (box), the number of microstates associated with j of them being in one half while N-j being in the other half is Ω = N! / (j!*(N-j)!). If N is small, fluctuations seem possible, but before N increases to anything measurable, the probability of fluctuations rapidly decreases to nil. Furthermore, even these theoretical fluctuations, as improbable as they are, might be impossible since the statistical view does not account for molecular interaction observed as Brownian motion and as gas resistance to compression and expansion. Better fundamentals or statistics, either way entropy will never decrease spontaneously in an observable system (Fig 1.a).
  3. Decreasing entropy is not the reverse process of entropy increasing. That is why a broken egg coming together is easily identified as unreal and a reversed movie of its real shattering. The known laws of physics are the same forward and backward (time-reversal invariance), therefore the reverse shattering process of an egg would not violate any law, but only because these laws are always idealized. Supposedly, if just the right forces are applied to the broken pieces, the egg will come together. In reality this is impossible, and not because the unbroken egg is a highly unlikely microstate, but because entropy increase is not directly reversible even in non-isolated systems. This irreversibility holds for all heterogeneous systems, including life which is perhaps the most heterogeneous system of all. Entropy increase is directly reversible only for homogeneous systems and only if in a defined space. For instance, an expanding gas in an ideal piston creates a force that, when reversed, compresses the gas back into its original state. However, a solid cube of ice can be easily melted by increasing the temperature, but the original ice cube will not reconstitute by lowering the temperature, hence this process too is irreversible despite the cube of ice being homogeneous (Fig 1.b). As far as heterogeneous systems, even separating two mixed gases is way different than the original mixing process, hence mixing is irreversible (Fig 1.c). Entropy decrease is not only different, but also much more complex than entropy increase which is usually spontaneous. Abiogenesis is the entropy-lowering reverse of the biologic decay process, and therefore – if at all feasible – much more complex than adding chemicals and energies.
  4. Once in equilibrium, a “primordial soup” does not change spontaneously. Life is metastable – it requires certain forms of energy to sustain and spontaneously decays when it no longer receives that energy as well as after the end of the normal lifespan of the organism. It was hypothesized that random fluctuations can spontaneously create compounds and structures given enough time. Abiogenesis, as a reverse-decay process, cannot simply be an outcome of Brownian motion of the chemicals mix because a perpetual motion machine powered by decay and abiogenesis cycles would violate the ‘conservation of energy’ principle. Experimentally, one can confirm that chemical blends in static equilibrium never transition spontaneously into a different equilibrium state (this includes oscillating reactions after the settlement period).
  5. A “primordial soup” cannot generate life even if energy is applied. It was hypothesized that abiogenesis can be a product of tidal pools, deep sea hydrothermal vents, and the undersurface of ice caps where persistent and abundant energy is available in the form of thermal and electrochemical gradients. Indeed, energy can throw systems off balance and create all kind of chemical compounds and physical structures. However, as the energy applied increases, a complexity limit and hence a dynamic equilibrium is reached where molecule destruction offsets their creation and, if even more energy is applied, molecule destruction dominates, eventually leaving the experimenter with gunk and none of the desired molecules. Miller–Urey and subsequent experiments were not ended because they reached their goal – life – nor because they ran out of energy and materials, but because they reached this dynamic equilibrium, and by adding more of anything would have left them with fewer of the targeted compounds. The amino acids obtained were not the end product but the intermediate between the original molecules and the useless gunk that was the product of the Maillard reaction caused by the energy applied to the system. More complex molecules (and maybe life itself one day) can be created by intelligent designers adding targeted compounds and energies. Then “why can’t natural processes somewhere somehow just mimic the intelligent designer in this vast and almost timeless universe?” The better question is: “why insist on natural processes when the model to be mimicked is that of the intelligent designer?”
  6. If natural processes were capable of generating life, the environment would be full of intermediate bio-compounds. Life is so complex that laboratories have no hope of replicating it in the foreseeable future. However, if abiogenesis were an outcome of natural processes, the cell structure would be produced only from subsystems and complex biomolecules that in turn would depend on simpler molecules down to H-C-O-N, the atoms of life. A “primordial soup” capable of generating life, thus must contain all intermediate compounds from the atoms of life to the most complex biomolecules and subsystems in an ever-decreasing ratio as complexity increases. Not knowing anything about how this process would work (or even if possible), the most reasonable assumption is a normal distribution of outcomes with life being an n-sigma event (with n unknown) while the availability of the atoms of life being a 1-sigma event and anything else falling in between (Fig 2). Many x-sigma events would be required for each (x+1)-sigma event, with a good first approximation given by the normal density function. Thus, the 2-sigma event could be the basic molecules of life (water, methane, etc.), and we would expect only one of these events for every seven of the 1-sigma events. This approximation would further yield (in one scenario) 1/7 fewer molecules of life than atoms of life, 1/17 fewer simple lipids and carbohydrates molecules (3-sigma) than of molecules of life, 1/43 fewer complex lipids and carbohydrates (4-sigma) than 3-sigma events, 1/110 fewer amino acids (5-sigma) than 4-sigma, 1/291 fewer simple proteins (6-sigma) than 5-sigma, 1/771 fewer complex proteins (7-sigma) than 6-sigma and then – rule of thumb – 1/1600 (8-sigma), 1/3800 (9), 1/9100 (10), 1/22k (11), 1/52k (12), 1/126k (13), etc. fewer of each additional sigma event than previous event where 8+sigma being (this scenario) nucleic acids, short chains, long chains, organelle subsystems, organelles, other critical cell components and finally the fully functional biologic cell – the n-sigma event which is not quite life but good enough for this analysis. Then how can we test this?
  7. Apart from life itself, the complex molecules of life are nowhere to be found in the universe. To test the ‘natural processes’ hypothesis of abiogenesis, one must observe the intermediate components of life in nature and in the ratios estimated above (or from another reasonable estimate). In addition, one must observe the spontaneous transitions (aided by energy) from simple to complex even if not all transitions are observed at once. Earth is “polluted” with life down to the deepest ocean trenches, therefore the first focus is the extraterrestrial space where, too bad, the largest confirmed interstellar molecules have a maximum of 13 atoms (apart from C60/C70 fullerene). Back on earth we see all intermediate components, but only within life itself. Outside of the cells, aside from the simplest biomolecules, we only see products of decomposition that are never in the ratios associated with abiogenesis, meaning we never see increasing molecule complexity in decreasing ratios resembling anything reasonably expected. Abiogenesis is not happening due to the irreversibility of the entropy increase and for the same reason egg breaking, butter melting, gas mixing, etc. are not reversible processes. Humans can only create a few of the complex molecules, although most always aided by life itself, and even then the power of synthetic biology is severely restricted. The more complex, the harder these molecules are to obtain and the faster they decay instead of spontaneously combining with one another to form even more complex compounds and ultimately life.
  8. Miller–Urey style abiogenesis experiments are ill conceived, hence doomed from the beginning. To be more specific, they are only good for PR (public relations) given the irrelevant “organic compounds” created that raise the hopes of the believers. Trying to obtain an automobile from scratch by mixing chemicals and energy, qualifies the person attempting as delusional and the one selling such vision as charlatan. So why would those attempting the same with life – which is infinitely more complex than an automobile – not also be labeled charlatans and delusional? Abiogenesis experiments belong to the Reverse Engineering category of processes and, when done right, they are very different than Miller–Urey. Their starting point is never some “primordial soup”, but the most advanced compounds available, preferably already organized in working subsystems. Swapping organelles or parts within organelles, exposing organisms to various environments, attempting to revive dead organisms, substituting engineered subsystems and so on are part of the hard work with long tradition and already being done in medicine and many industries for other purposes than to prove abiogenesis. If and when someone will be able to reverse the decaying and dying processes, we will know that abiogenesis is possible as an act of Intelligent Design creation. To confirm abiogenesis as an “unguided process” we would have to observe reverse-decay and reverse-dying processes happening in nature, not in a lab. Yet 2nd law proves this impossible.
  9. Is abiogenesis not feasible because it was a unique event? If true, abiogenesis would be a “materialistic miracle” and furthermore not just one, but a long series of “materialistic miracles” since a long series of – so far unknown – events are needed to get from atoms to the simplest organism. Yet one of the tenets of materialism is “no miracles” showing the inconsistency of the materialistic “unique event” assertion. And of course, physics and chemistry transformations are never unique. And even if entropy allowed for abiogenesis, the laws of life do not follow from any priors (physics, chemistry, mathematics). Life has a drive to survive and leave off-springs which entails harm avoidance, immune system, metabolism, food seeking, homeostasis, growth, reproduction, and body structure. Without these, any cell would start decaying the instant it was formed as in fact it does as soon as it no longer is alive. Despite having lasted almost since the formation of The Earth, life is metastable – one knock and it dies and then decays. This is unlike other negative entropy machines that can be restored (rebuilding proportional with the damage).
  10. Other considerations.
    1. “Dissipation-driven adaptation of matter” (J. England, MIT) claims that life is inevitable because life “absorbs and dissipates more energy from external sources” leading to faster entropy increase. However, there is no law that entropy has to increase faster. In addition, most of the entropy in the universe is captured by black holes with life having a nil contribution to that entropy.
    2. Some claim they have obtained “protocells” that seem to mimic real cells at least in part. However, “protocells” are to biological cells as fool’s gold is to real gold.
    3. “Kolmogorov complexity is lowest at low and high entropy and high in the middle hence life is supposedly inevitable (S. Carroll)”. However, life is not complexity. Life is much more than snowflakes, vortices and chemical reactions (candle burning). And most certainly, life is not the complex swirls of cream mixing into coffee on a journey from low entropy to high entropy (both having low complexity). In addition, unless very specific external action continues to be applied to maintain those patterns, they soon disappear like in sand dunes exposed to shifting winds. The patterns therefore do no “arise”, but are created by an external force.
    4. “Gradients of energy in deep vents are responsible for abiogenesis”. But all organisms from these exotic places are very similar to any other ones found elsewhere, hence all likely have the same origin. In addition, no free floating organic compounds (aside from decay byproducts) have been found there to suggest ongoing abiogenesis. And, aside from the simplest molecules, no spontaneous transitions from x-sigma to (x+1)-sigma bio complexity has ever been observed around these deep vents either.
    5. Of course life does not violate 2nd Organisms do conform to 2nd law when they decay as soon as they die. In addition, as observed by Erwin Schrödinger, “the increase in entropy from turning our low-entropy food into our high-entropy waste is greater than the local decrease in entropy from making the well-ordered structures within our bodies”. Nothing special so far – a refrigerator does the same: creates a zone of low-entropy while the entropy of the whole system increases and for as long as it’s fed energy.
    6. Randomness can theoretically account for any bizarre occurrences including Paley’s watch and F. Hoyle’s 747 in baby steps if enough time is given. But no such event was ever observed. In addition, breaking down the unattainable complex system into a combination of simpler components, each with higher probability of occurrence makes it no easier as the probabilities of all subsystem have to be multiplied to get back to the complex final assembly.
    7. Some claim that life itself prevents abiogenesis by ingesting all intermediate molecules spontaneously formed, but this can be easily prevented in sterile labs. In addition, all complex intermediate molecules observed outside of cells are due to decomposition, not abiogenesis.
  11. “Evolution” corollary number 1. If abiogenesis is impossible as an undirected, natural process, then whoever is responsible for abiogenesis is also responsible for the biologic landscape past and present, therefore “evolution” is also impossible as an undirected, natural process.
  12. “Evolution” corollary number 2. It is easy to verify that nothing ever “evolves” in the nonliving nature. Life is said to be “just chemistry”. These two combine to: nothing “evolves” in the living either. Solar systems, geographical features, fluid eddies, chemistry, snow flakes, etc. all go through their life cycles, and all are different from each other, but the life cycles of the newer entities are no more “evolved” than the life cycles of the ancient ones.
  13. “Evolution” corollary number 3. Presumably, “evolution” has not ended. And if ongoing, then one must see the normal distribution of the different transitioning organisms (the intermediary), just as we would see if abiogenesis were true. If humans evolved from monkeys and “evolution” is ongoing, then humans must still be in transition especially since the human population is one of the largest of all mammals and, the more individuals, the more “evolving” opportunities. The older Darwinists replied with a hierarchy of races. But that reply is not only fashionably repugnant, but also false and, amazingly, contrary to [at least] the Abrahamic religions that have always known better.
  14. In conclusion, abiogenesis is nothing more than the decay process running backwards, therefore easily visualized, yet impossible according to the second law of thermodynamics. In other words, “evolution” is nothing more than imagination run wild. Expecting abiogenesis to be within reach if only the proper forces and chemical compounds were added is as wrong as expecting the broken egg to come back together if only the proper sequence of forces were applied to the broken pieces.

 

Summary:

  1. A spontaneous process cannot revert spontaneously.
  2. Mixtures will never ever spontaneously separate per second law.
  3. Decreasing entropy is not the reverse process of entropy increasing and also much more complex.
  4. Once in equilibrium, a “primordial soup” does not change spontaneously.
  5. A “primordial soup” cannot generate life even if energy is applied due to dynamic equilibrium.
  6. If natural processes were capable of generating life, the environment would be full of intermediate bio-compounds.
  7. Apart from life itself, the complex molecules of life are nowhere to be found in the universe.
  8. Abiogenesis experiments belong to the Reverse Engineering category of processes.
  9. Miller–Urey style abiogenesis experiments are ill conceived, hence doomed from the beginning.
  10. Abiogenesis unique event conflicts with the “no miracles” clause of materialism.
  11. Even if entropy allowed abiogenesis, the laws of life do not follow from any priors (physics, chemistry, mathematics).
  12. “Evolution” corollary number 1 – no abiogenesis, no “evolution”.
  13. “Evolution” corollary number 2 – no “evolution” in the inert and “life just chemistry”, then no “evolution” in the living.
  14. “Evolution” corollary number 3 – no intermediate “evolving” entities, no “evolution”.
  15. Being a decay process running backwards, abiogenesis is as impossible as a broken egg being reconstituted by the “proper sequence of forces”. “Evolution” is also nothing more than imagination run wild.

 

(*)R. Penrose “The Emperor’s new mind”; PBS SpaceTime “The Misunderstood Nature of Entropy”; Sean Carroll “From Eternity to Here”, etc.

Links:

Abiogenesis: The Faith and the Facts

James Tour: The Mystery of the Origin of Life

Chirality, Maillard – caramelization, characterize the structure at every step:

https://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/10-critiques-of-miller-urey-experiments-and-abiogenesis/

https://creation.com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis

https://evolutionnews.org/2014/06/squeezing_the_l/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21422282

Entropy of a box of molecules

https://www.chegg.com/homework-help/questions-and-answers/4-ideal-gas-containing-n-molecules-box-volume-v-box-two-equal-parts-volume-v-2-weight-numb-q43308678

Black holes entropy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253472/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution#Cumulative_distribution_function

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/07/05/no-the-laws-of-physics-are-not-the-same-forwards-and-backwards-in-time/#7eacd84561ec

http://entropysite.oxy.edu/

http://physics.bu.edu/~redner/211-sp06/class-engines/class25_secondlaw.html

https://www.quora.com/How-quickly-is-the-entropy-of-the-sun-changing

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-many-atoms-in-human-cell-603882

https://www.amazon.com/Mysteries-Modern-Physics-Sean-Carroll/dp/1598038699

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elements_abundance-bars.svg – abundance in the solar system

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteinogenic_amino_acid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gene_synthesis

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-new-physics-theory-of-life/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissipative_system

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/the-cosmic-origins-of-uranium.aspx

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/radiation-and-health/naturally-occurring-radioactive-materials-norm.aspx

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/exploring.html

http://www.pnas.org/content/102/7/2555

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/bigpicture/

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610 thoughts on “Entropy forbids Abiogenesis & Evolution

  1. phoodoo: If the claim is that the only hurdle is crystals, I ain’t buying it. One reason we know this isn’t the ultimate answer is because we actually CAN freeze simple cells and unfreeze them and they are still able to live. So if it was all about the freezing then thawing, why does it sometimes work?

    Both Allan and I also noted the the issue with the temperature-dependence of ΔG, so when you write “If the claim is that the only hurdle is crystals”, you are displaying your inability to read. Your incredulity is given the weight it deserves.
    We can freeze and thaw complicated cells too. I used to work with human fibroblasts, but the ART guys freeze and thaw human blastocysts, which are really rather complicated and, if you are Catholic, little human beings. So by that criterion, we can freeze and thaw people.
    To answer your question, size matters. If we could completely marinade your body in the appropriate solvent, we might be able to freeze-thaw you. Care to volunteer?

    +2
  2. phoodoo to DNA_Jock,
    This sounds suspiciously like the “modern synthesis” BS of evolutionary explanations. Just throw out things and hope some stick. If the claim is that the only hurdle is crystals, I ain’t buying it.

    I read and they gave you more than ice crystals. It’s just that ice crystals are the easiest to understand: as they grow, they “pinch” and break lots of cells. Imagine that happening to your brain cells. If a few after a stroke are pretty damning, imagine the many broken as ice crystals start forming there? By then, however, your brain cells would have already started to die off for lack of the continuous source of glucose that they need, osmotic imbalances, etc. The thing is: there’s so much going on that fails as the mere attempt at freezing is done, that you’re bound to get more than one answer. Why did you expect it to be very simple and straightforward? What gives u, simple people, the right to demand of nature to do as we wish and keep it simple so that our little brains get the whole understanding in one view?

    phoodoo to DNA_Jock,
    One reason we know this isn’t the ultimate answer is because we actually CAN freeze simple cells and unfreeze them and they are still able to live.So if it was all about the freezing then thawing, why does it sometimes work?

    Are you really imagining that if we can do that with one cell, we should be able to do it with a whole organism? I don’t know if this is called a fallacy of composition (false composition at that, since not all cells are equal), but this sounds a tad nonsensical.

    phoodoo to DNA_Jock,
    So it seems you are just going to try and throw excuses at the problem and hope some sound useful.

    Excuses? When in a forum like this, I try and give as simple answers as possible, within the confines of what a forum like this allows, within the confines of the audience’s knowledge. The latter is very hard to assess. Nonlin requires a very good course in reading for comprehension before any explanations can make it into her brain, but she’s unaware of it. Oblivious. Thus uneducable until she notices her deep problems. That’s not about to happen. You suffer from a similar malady, but I suspect that’s “niche-specific,” since I’ve seen you writing some well thought stuff, when it’s not about evolution.

    phoodoo to DNA_Jock,
    Just like embryological developmental theory, niche construction, gene flow, gene drift, genetic plasticity …

    So you think no embryo ever existed that developed and ended up as yourself? That organisms don’t build niches? For example, there’s no such thing as a city? Do you think that genes cannot have inconsequential changes? Many things happen, but our conceptualizations are bound to come out short of everything we’d like to explain. We’re finite beings, with a limited capacity for conceptualization. That’s our nature, and there’s nothing we can do about it, other than accept it for what it is and have fun trying to get some understanding when possible.

    phoodoo to DNA_Jock,
    “Scientists seek to update evolution.” Why oh why would that be necessary, I thought you already knew what evolution was all about??

    We know that it happened and continues to happen. However, there’s still plenty we need to understand if we’re to reconstruct and have a complete picture of how it works. One huge problem is that it’s more of a consequence of the way life works, than some single-variable phenomenon like gravitation. Hell, I’ve read that even that “single-variable” gravitation is not as simple as it might look, and you want us to have a single answer for everything else?

    +1
  3. Allan Miller: So people have both done enough experiments to confirm that abiogenesis is impossible, and aren’t doing any?

    It seems you didn’t understand the comment. What a surprise?

    Allan Miller: Either you don’t know what an allele is, or you don’t know what 100% means.

    …said the only guy that adds alleles – an old primitive superstition…

    Allan Miller: Either way, you have to power your fridge, door open or closed. Because energy disperses on entropy change; you have to replace it if you want it to keep going.

    More of the same incoherence.

    Allan Miller: Crystallisation releases heat. Exothermic changes are typically (though not universally) spontaneous. The energy disperses, resulting in a higher-entropy state. The spontaneity here is directly observable, because there is no activation energy.

    Not a closed system. Crystallization is a local decrease in entropy in an open system. It is driven by increased concentration of the solution which [for example] is driven by the sun evaporating the solvent in the solution. So, crystallization is not spontaneous and instead is caused by the sun which in turn is driven by…

    Allan Miller: So solutions are not liquid?

    Solutions are not the liquid form of crystals as the question was formulated. You DID know that much, right? Read about solute-solvent.

    Allan Miller: Nonlin.org:Me: In open systems, spontaneous local entropy decrease can occur by simple coupling to wider entropy increase.
    Nonlin. Nonsense. As explained.

    Nope. Absolutely true. As explained.

    Not what is meant by “spontaneous”. I suppose “coupling” is also spontaneous if you don’t look?

    Allan Miller: You are seduced by the ‘order’ metaphor, and visions of films run backwards. Thermodynamics is fundamentally about energy, not rearrangements of matter.

    Be seduced by whatever you want. Then just answer the questions. You don’t know the first thing about energy and or matter for that matter (haha). Or wave, or particle, or anything fundamental…

    Allan Miller: Nonlin: Let’s explore this. Possible or impossible? Separate cream from coffee once mixed? Repair a broken egg? Restore omelet into a viable egg?
    And where would abiogenesis fall on this scale? It would be off the chart!

    Nah. You’d need to know what the free energy change was. It is not (necessarily) the same as the free energy change of decay

    Huh? You can’t follow the question?

    Allan Miller: I’m actually doubtful that a single experiment has been done which was expected to yield life.

    How would you know?

    Allan Miller: Failing? It would be unusual for negative results to be published, or widespread research endeavours to grow out of such failures in sufficient number to ‘support the negative’.

    If you have a target and can’t achieve it, that’s “failing”. Published negative results are not required.

    Allan Miller: And I’m also pointing out your foolish claim that equilibrium forbids fluctuation.

    Fluctuations either DO or DON’T happen in equilibrium. I say they DON’T because they have never been observed and because of the pushback observed when out of equilibrium. You say they DO because??? Because what???

    The rest is still “who cares”?

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  4. Here’s the crazy guy I cited with his “Dissipation-driven adaptation of matter” abiogenesis theory: https://www.the-scientist.com/reading-frames/reconsidering-lifes-origin-68064

    Now he adds:
    “Initially uncoordinated molecules can form a society of sorts that already looks like it is making accurate predictions about its surrounding world or optimizing access to sources of energy.”
    and…
    “So how much of what is going on had to be carefully optimized by the slow process of Darwinian selection, and how much might have been available in some first-draft version just from the self-organizing properties of a motley mixture of fuel-burning protein complexes? Although experimental science is just beginning to open up the necessary frontier for this discussion, it is exciting to consider that there may be a great deal of plasticity and intelligence in the components of life. Perhaps some cells or molecules automatically respond to stimuli based on how they are built.”

    So now he’s merging molecular “natural selection” (huh?) with “intelligence”? And who needs experimental evidence when you can bullshit your way out with philosophical nonsense?

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  5. DNA_Jock: Both Allan and I also noted the the issue with the temperature-dependence of ΔG, so when you write “If the claim is that the only hurdle is crystals”, you are displaying your inability to read.

    No. Initially the claim was the reason you can’t freeze someone, make them dead and bring back that exact same set of chemicals back to life is because of crystals.

    But then I saw you were going to go down the “modern synthesis” route of biology argumentation- “Its this, this is how it works. Well, no not just that, also this, and ok, not that thing I originally said, but something like it. Not exactly like it, but also not so different. And maybe other things. And the other things might be quite different than the first thing. The first thing might be completely wrong, but never mind. But you know, its all just natural selection. Or not. Something like it but different. Plus maybe others. Science evolves.”

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  6. phoodoo,

    Some of your best fiction yet.
    The history: in answer to your strange question, asking why we cannot successfully freeze-thaw a living human (which has nothing to do with evolution, btw), Alan responded. “Ice crystals”, which is correct and a sufficient explanation.
    Allan and I seconded this, and both added the point about ΔG. Nobody ever said that “Ice crystals” was the only reason, silly.
    Your wacky narrative about “modern synthesis” is quite fictitious. People can access the real history of the interaction on the previous page.

    +1
  7. DNA_Jock: Some of your best fiction yet.

    Ah, but perhaps this is phoodoo’s specialist subject, you know, he has that job where he is the most knowledgeable person in the world about something. He won’t actually say what that something is, or the job even, so perhaps this is what he does and in fact every word he said was true, you are just too unsophisticated and ignorant to realize it?

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  8. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,
    You can claim that the crystals destroyed the structure, and that’s the only reason

    I gave you three reasons in that post, and by no means claimed it to be exhaustive.

    This has taken a wacky turn (which is saying something, given nonlin’s dire grasp of thermodynamics). “If ‘materialism’ were true, all frozen biological material should be revivable”. What? 🤔

    +2
  9. Allan Miller,

    A reasonable prediction, if materialism were true, would be that life and death would be two way streets not one way, and there should be no real reason why something dead couldn’t be reversed, since it is simply a matter of chemicals in one state.

    Death not being final would be one good piece of evidence for materialism. Conversely, death being only a one way street would be evidence against materialism.

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  10. Go on, publish. They love this kind of thing; it’s not at all Dunning-Kruger.

    “Dear Editor of Nature,

    I have a novel theory to propose. It has come to my attention that the Second Law of Thermodynamics forbids both abiogenesis and evolution. Consider an egg …”.

    +3
  11. phoodoo: …if materialism were true, would be that life and death would be two way streets not one way, and there should be no real reason why something dead couldn’t be reversed, since it is simply a matter of chemicals in one state.

    This reads a bit like reasoning from the Underpants Gnomes. How do you get from one to three when there is no two?

    +1
  12. Alan Fox,

    Are you saying that materialism should make no predictions about whether or not death is reversible?

    Or are you saying that materialism accommodates any and all scenarios (you know, like natural selection does)?

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  13. phoodoo: Are you saying that materialism should make no predictions about whether or not death is reversible?

    Materialism must speak for herself. I certainly predict that death is irreversible. My definition of death may differ from yours.

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  14. phoodoo: Or are you saying that materialism accommodates any and all scenarios (you know, like natural selection does)?

    I think you are confusing the current scientific understanding of biology with “Intelligent Design” (the cargo cult that has no hypothesis).

    We need Materialism to post herself to clear up misunderstandings on her position. Do you have her email?

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  15. Alan Fox: My definition of death may differ from yours.

    I know I’m quoting myself but this is a serious question. How about this as a definition of death:

    The state an organism enters when no longer able to maintain itself out of thermodynamic equilibrium with its immediate environment.

    0
  16. phoodoo: to Allan Miller,

    A reasonable prediction, if materialism were true, would be that life and death would be two way streets not one way, and there should be no real reason why something dead couldn’t be reversed, since it is simply a matter of chemicals in one state.

    Death not being final would be one good piece of evidence for materialism. Conversely, death being only a one way street would be evidence against materialism.

    You have been asking some good thought provoking questions phoodoo so here are some of my thoughts and opinions.

    Every physical object, substance and organism on the planet possesses both a material aspect and a life principle. The relationship between these aspects is dynamic and varies both between and within organisms and materials. In solids the life principle is generally very diffuse and in liquids, especially living fluids it is much more concentrated under normal circumstances.

    We can see the effects of the life principle in substances that possess dynamic organisation and growth or regeneration. A frozen corpse will still have the organisation but it will have lost its dynamic processes. In order to be brought back to life it needs to be able to retain its organisation.

    Depending on their constitution some organisms are much more tolerant of freezing than others. And even within organisms such as ourselves some organs are far more tolerant of disruption to the life principle than others. For instance a damaged liver is much more readily regenerated than a damaged .brain. But our overall regenerative abilities is to weak to be able to survive freezing.

    Amphibians have far greater regenerative powers than us humans and so can cope with freezing of tissue far better than we can. And plants are the ultimate organisms in their powers of regeneration after mutilation of any sort. The life principle is very much concentrated in the growing parts of plants. Although woody plants such as trees rely on dead material for support.

    I think that anyone who looked at a snail would be able to distinguish between its dead material part and the part that possessed the living principle. All organisms contain both life and death within themselves to varying degrees.

    0
  17. OMagain,

    A fine example of an organism with a very strong life principle. Woolly mammoths are poor examples.

    Another example of living systems that have a very strong life principle would be plant seeds.

    0
  18. Alan Fox:
    Henrietta Lacks?

    Cancer cells have a very strong life force, too strong. To remain viable organisms must retain a dynamic balance between life and death. Bone has less life force than blood and this is the way it should be. We need our bones to contain dead minerals to support us and we also need living, dynamic circulating fluids to sustain our lives.

    Cancer cells may be highly organised as individuals but they lead to a loss of balance and so disrupt the organisation of the whole organism.

    Life is a dynamic balancing act.

    0
  19. CharlieM: Life is a dynamic balancing act.

    That can’t be right. Balance = equilibrium. Life is always out of equilibrium with its environment.

    0
  20. CharlieM: A fine example of an organism with a very strong life principle. Woolly mammoths are poor examples.

    Another example of living systems that have a very strong life principle would be plant seeds.

    Does it (Tardigrades) have a strong life principle because it’s resistant to freezing or is it resistant to freezing because it has a strong life principle?

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  21. OMagain: Does it (Tardigrades) have a strong life principle because it’s resistant to freezing or is it resistant to freezing because it has a strong life principle?

    Can anyone comment?

    Seems a tardigrade’s resilience to freezing can be observed, demonstrated, tested.

    How does one go about observing the existence of a life-principal, let alone measuring its strength? What units?

    0
  22. Alan Fox,

    You were the one who said ice crystals destroy delicate molecular structures, and this is what prevents freezing, and reviving.

    It was already known that tartigrades can exist in a cryptobiotic state. It seems to be part of their design, so its not really a convincing example of going from life to death back to life again.

    0
  23. phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    Are you saying that materialism should make no predictions about whether or not death is reversible?

    Materialism is just a position about the nature of things. There’s no reason it should be able to “predict” anything about whether death is reversible. Let alone make a bare claim about it.

    phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    Or are you saying that materialism accommodates any and all scenarios

    Only those where there’s no “nonphysical” stuff.

    phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    (you know, like natural selection does)?

    Only those where natural selection fits.

    You don’t seem to be thinking these things through.

    0
  24. phoodoo: You were the one who said ice crystals destroy delicate molecular structures, and this is what prevents freezing, and reviving.

    In response to your question about whole humans being frozen, thawed and revived. I made the point that seeds can be frozen and stored for decades. Others have mentioned human eggs and sperm.

    0
  25. Entropy: Materialism is just a position about the nature of things. There’s no reason it should be able to “predict” anything

    Not really a position then, some would say…

    0
  26. phoodoo: It was already known that tartigrades can exist in a cryptobiotic state. It seems to be part of their design, so its not really a convincing example of going from life to death back to life again.

    That was why I said it depends on definitions. I offered a suggestion for “death”. Do you agree or do you have a different definition?

    0
  27. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Life is a dynamic balancing act.

    That can’t be right. Balance = equilibrium. Life is always out of equilibrium with its environment.

    Life is in integral dynamic balance despite the environment. As soon as the environment assumes total control then life is dead. A living being can rise up, jump or fly despite gravity. A dead being cannot resist gravity in such a way.

    Living beings control physical forces in a way that dead matter does not.

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  28. OMagain:

    CharlieM: A fine example of an organism with a very strong life principle. Woolly mammoths are poor examples.

    Another example of living systems that have a very strong life principle would be plant seeds.

    Does it (Tardigrades) have a strong life principle because it’s resistant to freezing or is it resistant to freezing because it has a strong life principle?

    The latter. Resistance to freezing is a particular instance of the general principle.

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  29. Alan Fox: to OMagain:

    OMagain: Does it (Tardigrades) have a strong life principle because it’s resistant to freezing or is it resistant to freezing because it has a strong life principle?

    Can anyone comment?

    Seems a tardigrade’s resilience to freezing can be observed, demonstrated, tested.

    How does one go about observing the existence of a life-principal, let alone measuring its strength? What units?

    Tardigrade survival of freezing greater than one, woolly mammoth resistance to freezing zero. Will that do for a measurement?

    What is the unit of Darwinian evolution? How do you measure its strength?

    0
  30. My hardy perennials have a much stronger life force than my frost-sensitive plants, while wood frogs are such determined survivors. Take that, materialists!

    0
  31. CharlieM,

    Amphibians have far greater regenerative powers than us humans and so can cope with freezing of tissue far better than we can.

    Absolutely nothing to do with the sugars in their cells or our warm-bloodedness, then? No point considering alternative explanations when there’s a conclusion positively begging to be leapt to, is there?

    0
  32. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    A reasonable prediction, if materialism were true, would be that life and death would be two way streets not one way, and there should be no real reason why something dead couldn’t be reversed, since it is simply a matter of chemicals in one state.

    Like I said, it’s not just a matter of ‘chemicals’***. The energetic relations of the ‘chemicals’ matters too, and not merely their positions. Your version of ‘materialism’ and its entailments is a straw man.

    Conversely, why do things with souls die when you freeze them? Surely they should evade the fates of mere ‘material’ beings?

    *** I even scare-quoted ‘chemicals’ in my prior post, so quite satisfying to see it crop up non-ironically.

    +2
  33. Saying ‘if materialism is true why do people die when you freeze them’? seems equivalent to saying ‘if materialism is true why do people die when you give them blunt force trauma?’.

    And I swore I’d stay away from the hard stuff…

    +3
  34. Nonlin.org: …said the only guy that adds alleles – an old primitive superstition…

    Even if I was ‘the only guy adding alleles’, anyone who understood the concepts ‘allele’ and ‘100%’ would recognise that “the population sum of allele frequencies at a locus is 100%” is a definitionally true statement.

    More of the same incoherence.

    Ahem … “It seems you didn’t understand the comment. What a surprise!”.

    Not a closed system. Crystallization is a local decrease in entropy in an open system. It is driven by increased concentration of the solution which [for example] is driven by the sun evaporating the solvent in the solution.

    Is it bollocks! You really don’t understand entropy, do you?

    So, crystallization is not spontaneous and instead is caused by the sun which in turn is driven by…

    Hahahaaaaa! So if you create a saturated salt solution and leave it a week, the crystals form due to the energy from the sun? Hahahaaaa

    Solutions are not the liquid form of crystals as the question was formulated.

    It wasn’t clear which you meant, but it changes nothing. Crystals forming in solution or from a cooling liquid are both situations where entropy typically increases

    You DID know that much, right? Read about solute-solvent.

    Haha. Dunning-Kruger rides again. You read about the entropy of crystallisation. And fridges.

    Not what is meant by “spontaneous”.

    Absolutely is, in chemical terms. Since we’re using the snotty internet cliché “read about …”, or its relative “look up…” now, look up Gibbs free energy in coupled reactions. It’s a thing.

    Be seduced by whatever you want. Then just answer the questions.

    The questions are incoherent, in actual thermodynamic terms. ‘Order’ is used as a metaphor (a poor one IMO) to introduce the subject to newbies. You know you’re in the presence of a gibbering crank who never got past ‘Thermodynamics 101’ when they start seeing ‘order’ – ordering of matter – as what entropy is. And so they commit such schoolboy howlers as seeing a crystal as having lower entropy than the same molecules melted/dissolved. Powered by the goddamned sun! 🤣

    Huh? You can’t follow the question?

    Sure can. You don’t understand the response? Any hard words or concepts I can help you with?

    Me: I’m actually doubtful that a single experiment has been done which was expected to yield life.
    Nonlin: How would you know?

    I wouldn’t. That’s why I’m doubtful, rather than certain. On the other hand, you seem to think sufficient have been done to prove it impossible. So you seem certain. How would you know?

    If you have a target and can’t achieve it, that’s “failing”.

    What was synthetic biology’s target? How have they failed to achieve it?

    Fluctuations either DO or DON’T happen in equilibrium. I say they DON’T because they have never been observed and because of the pushback observed when out of equilibrium. You say they DO because??? Because what???

    You said equilibrium ‘forbids’ fluctuation. That is incorrect under statistical-mechanical views of the process. I am happy to restrict scenarios to those which DON’T require fluctuation, it’s just that the statement ‘equilibrium forbids it’ is untrue. It is precisely at equilibrium that a statistical reversal is most likely.

    The rest is still “who cares”?

    For someone who ‘doesn’t care’, you do an awful lot of typing.

    +1
  35. Allan Miller:
    Even if I was ‘the only guy adding alleles’, anyone who understood the concepts ‘allele’ and ‘100%’ would recognise that “the population sum of allele frequencies at a locus is 100%” is a definitionally true statement.

    I was going to just point to what google scholar shows. Seems like lots and lots and lots of geneticists are counting alleles, but maybe all of them are Allan Miller. However, I have done that myself, and my name is not Allan Miller. So, you might not be the only one. Oh, and we defined the total count as 100%. Weird that reality refuses to align to Nonlin’s desires, isn’t it?

    +1
  36. Alan Fox: CharlieM,

    Or as some like to say, life is a system maintained out of thermodynamic equilibrium with its environment.

    Good point. And would you agree that as evolution has proceeded from ectothermy to more advanced endothermy they are becoming increasingly more independent of their environment? There is a gradation throughout life.

    0
  37. Allan Miller: Meantime nonlin will be powering his Christmas lights from the enormous energy release of scrambled eggs.

    You, me and many more DO power a lot with scrambled eggs.

    Allan Miller: “Dear Editor of Nature,

    I have a novel theory to propose. It has come to my attention that the Second Law of Thermodynamics forbids both abiogenesis and evolution. Consider an egg …”.

    And ‘Nature’ is the arbiter of what exactly?!? Right, Darwinism and Darwinism. Haha.

    CharlieM: Every physical object, substance and organism on the planet possesses both a material aspect and a life principle.

    And the connection with “entropy forbids abiogenesis” is… ?!?

    Alan Fox: That can’t be right. Balance = equilibrium. Life is always out of equilibrium with its environment.

    What about homeostasis? Internal equilibrium within a wide range of environments..

    CharlieM: Life is in integral dynamic balance despite the environment.

    Hey poet, the name for that is ‘homeostasis’.

    0
  38. Allan Miller: Even if I was ‘the only guy adding alleles’, anyone who understood the concepts ‘allele’ and ‘100%’ would recognise that “the population sum of allele frequencies at a locus is 100%” is a definitionally true statement.

    Don’t you ever ask yourself why you’re the only guy? Could it be that you’re wrong?

    Allan Miller: Ahem … “It seems you didn’t understand the comment. What a surprise!”.

    Because you’re not making any sense. That’s why.

    Allan Miller: Is it bollocks! You really don’t understand entropy, do you?

    Ask your repair guy about your refrigerator and entropy. He knows more than you do for sure. He will know the fridge dissipates more when making ice than when open because, you see, making ice lowers local entropy and therefore more heat has to be dissipated to the environment to compensate. Fact! And given your abysmal comments, he will likely know more about crystals and entropy too. Like the fact that a solution is made of two substances and it is NOT the liquid form of a crystal. Basic knowledge your two bit repair guy has and you don’t.

    Allan Miller: So if you create a saturated salt solution and leave it a week, the crystals form due to the energy from the sun? Hahahaaaa

    Absolutely. Verifiable fact! You either exceed the saturation concentration in which case the sun (typically, but it can be another source) has already contributed its energy, or you’re marginally at the saturation concentration in which case no crystal forms assuming no further evaporation. This is very basic.

    Allan Miller: It wasn’t clear which you meant, but it changes nothing. Crystals forming in solution or from a cooling liquid are both situations where entropy typically increases

    Decreases locally and increases overall for the system. The local decrease in entropy is therefore not spontaneous. And that’s exactly the problem with abiogenesis. It cannot happen spontaneously. Furthermore, it would be a process incomparably more complex than crystallization.

    Allan Miller: Absolutely is, in chemical terms. Since we’re using the snotty internet cliché “read about …”, or its relative “look up…” now, look up Gibbs free energy in coupled reactions. It’s a thing.

    As long as we’re talking about “coupled reactions”, we have to look at the entropy of that “coupled reaction”. And you know what? The entropy of the whole coupled reaction goes UP! Not down. So an overall spontaneous entropy decrease does NOT happen in a “coupled reaction”. Fact! And mega-problem for abiogenesis.

    Allan Miller: You know you’re in the presence of a gibbering crank who never got past ‘Thermodynamics 101’ when they start seeing ‘order’ – ordering of matter – as what entropy is.

    And you’re the only crank talking ‘order’ gibberish. I have not mentioned ‘order’ anywhere (except citing Schrödinger that uses the word). Guess what? Entropy still forbids abiogenesis.

    Allan Miller: And so they commit such schoolboy howlers as seeing a crystal as having lower entropy than the same molecules melted/dissolved.

    You just let out another mega-blunder. Please document ONE substance that has a higher entropy in its crystallin form than as liquid (melted or dissolved). Preferably a bio-molecule since the topic is “entropy forbids abiogenesis”.

    Allan Miller: I wouldn’t. That’s why I’m doubtful, rather than certain. On the other hand, you seem to think sufficient have been done to prove it impossible. So you seem certain. How would you know?

    There’s a whole cottage industry of “abiogenesis research”. If abiogenesis is not their target, I don’t know what is. And they all failed to date. So failure it is.

    Allan Miller: What was synthetic biology’s target? How have they failed to achieve it?

    Do some research. It’s all documented out there.

    Allan Miller: You said equilibrium ‘forbids’ fluctuation. That is incorrect under statistical-mechanical views of the process. I am happy to restrict scenarios to those which DON’T require fluctuation, it’s just that the statement ‘equilibrium forbids it’ is untrue. It is precisely at equilibrium that a statistical reversal is most likely.

    I provided clear evidence. Where is your evidence?

    Entropy: Seems like lots and lots and lots of geneticists are counting alleles, but maybe all of them are Allan Miller.

    Citation required. Are they adding alleles up to 100%?!? NO WAY! 100% of what?!?

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  39. DNA_Jock: I subsequently got a more formal education, learning about why “heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body”

    So before you learned about probabilistic thinking? Time to shrug off that former ignorance.

    It’s simply impossible for anyone roll four sevens in a row! No one can ever have two royal flushes on subsequent hands!

    Please.

    0
  40. Allan Miller: That is a different question from ‘entropy forbids abiogenesis’. Is there anyone in the broad ‘faith community’ who understands that thermodynamics, and indeed Life itself in the physical sense, is not solely about arrangements of matter? Can I get an Amen?

    Amen! Sort of. Matter AND energy.

    Because, you know, entropy is just the dispersal of energy. Unless it isn’t.

    Are you advocating for vitalism, Allan?

    0

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