Experiments test how easy life itself might be

April 6, 2017 by Eric Hamilton
UW scientists are combining theory with experiment to try to understand how life could arise from lifelike chemical reactions under the right conditions. “If we find many different chemistries supporting lifelike reactions, we can expect more origins of life elsewhere in the universe,” says botany Professor David Baum. Credit: Jeff Miller

On a lab benchtop, a handful of glass vials taped to a rocker gently sway back and forth. Inside the vials, a mixture of organic chemicals and tiny particles of fool's gold are begging a question seemingly beyond their humble appearance: Where did life come from?

Combining theory with experiment, University of Wisconsin–Madison scientists are trying to understand how life can arise from non-life. Researchers at the UW–Madison Wisconsin Institute for Discovery are conducting experiments to test the idea that lifelike chemical reactions might develop readily under the right conditions. The work addresses some of the deepest mysteries in biology, and has implications for understanding how common life might be in the universe.

David Baum, chair and professor of botany at UW–Madison and a Discovery Fellow at WID, thinks the earliest life might have relied on a primitive metabolism that originally started on mineral surfaces. Many central reactions in modern cells rely on iron-sulfur catalysts. This reliance on iron and sulfur could be a record stamped into cells of the environments where metabolism itself first evolved. Baum is testing this idea by turning to , a mineral of iron and sulfur better known as fool's gold.

Together with Mike Berg, a graduate student researching the origins of life, Baum is mixing microscopic beads of iron pyrite with a source of chemical energy and simple molecular building blocks. As vials of this mixture rock back and forth in the lab, small groups of chemicals bound to the mineral surface might aggregate and start assisting one another in producing more chemicals. If so, they're likely to spread to other iron pyrite beads, colonizing new surfaces.

When Berg transfers some beads to a fresh vial, the chemical groups could continue to spread. Generation after generation, vial after vial, the most efficient and competitive chemical mixtures would colonize the most iron pyrite. This is selection. Like natural selection, which has created the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, selecting for the colonizing ability of these chemical groups may reveal lifelike chemical cycles capable of changing over time.

"The view that I've come around to is that lifelike chemistry may pop up relatively easily in many, many geological settings," says Baum. "The problem then changes. It's no longer a problem of 'will it happen,' but how will we know it happened?"

They've gone through more than 30 generations so far, and are looking for any sign of change over time, whether that is heat generation, energy consumption or the amount of material bound to the beads.

Baum and UW–Madison microbiologist and WID systems biologist Kalin Vetsigian published a paper last year that outlined the experiments, which are based in part on the principle of neighborhood selection. Normally, natural selection operates on a population of individuals. But the scientists proposed that even though no well-defined individuals exist in the chemical mixtures, the molecular communities that are best at colonizing new surfaces will prevail, and likely get better over time. Successful traits of the community as a whole can be selected for and passed on.

Experiments test how easy life itself might be
Vials containing a mixture of simple organic chemicals and microscopic beads of fool’s gold are taped to a rocker in the Baum lab at the UW–Madison Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Credit: University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This community-level selection could have taken place before there were individuals with traits that were both heritable and variable," says Vetsigian. "If you have good communities, they will persist."

The project recently received $2.5 million in funding from NASA. Baum is the lead investigator of the research, which includes Vetsigian, UW–Madison chemist Tehshik Yoon, and collaborators from seven other institutions.

Cells need the kinds of metabolic reactions that Baum studies to produce energy and the components of more complex molecules. They also need a way to store information. All living cells pass on their genetic information with DNA. But UW–Madison professor of chemical and biological engineering and WID systems biologist John Yin is exploring alternative ways to store and process information with simpler molecules in an effort to understand how information storage could evolve without cells or DNA.

Taking a cue from computer science, Yin is working with the most basic method of encoding information, binary. In place of electronic bits, his ones and zeros are the two simplest , glycine and alanine. Using a unique form of chemistry, Yin is drying out mixtures of the amino acids to encourage them to join together.

"We're seeing reproducibly different strings of alanine and glycine under different kinds of conditions," explains Yin. "So that's a first hint that in some ways the product is a way of representing a particular environment."

Yin's group is working on the technically challenging task of reading these sequences of amino acids so they can keep track of the . The Yin lab eventually hopes to discover groups of chemicals that can build off this molecular information to reproduce themselves. For both Baum and Yin, selectable systems require these cycles of chemicals able to make more of one another, what Yin calls "closing the loop."

Closing the loop in the lab is likely to be difficult. Only experimentation will tell for sure.

Yin, Baum and Vetsigian are interested not only in how life on Earth got started, but how it could get started—anywhere. If lifelike reactions and molecular information are readily produced in the lab, that could change the calculus of how common life might be on other worlds.

"If we find many different chemistries supporting lifelike reactions, we can expect more origins of life elsewhere in the universe," says Baum.

Explore further: Biochemical 'fossil' shows how life may have emerged without phosphate

More information: David A. Baum et al. An Experimental Framework for Generating Evolvable Chemical Systems in the Laboratory, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11084-016-9526-x

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orti
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 06, 2017
Ah, the secularist's desperate search for an easy path to life. Life is plentiful and comes cheap? The universe produces it quite naturally? No need for purpose, only chance and physical laws? But how did the physical universe and its laws come about? No god? The atheist will always have the problem of trying to prove a negative. Sleight of hand and outright propaganda will maybe substitute.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (13) Apr 06, 2017
The universe produces it quite naturally?

Why not?
No need for purpose, only chance and physical laws?

Why not?

Just because YOU want to assign purpose doesn't mean that reality works that way. It's far better to find out how reality works and then align our knowledge to that.

But how did the physical universe and its laws come about?

Wrong (naive) question - as you presuppose a linear timeline from some state 'before' to some state 'after' the universe started existing. But spacetime (note: not "space and time" but spacetime) is a property of this universe. It does not apply to a 'before' or even to an 'outside'. Those concepts are meaningless.

The atheist will always have the problem of trying to prove a negative.

Luckily we don't need to. The one making claims needs to prove a claim.
orti
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 06, 2017
Atheism will always be a matter of faith. Get used to it.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2017
Atheism will always be a matter of faith. Get used to it.
@orti
that makes no sense as the very definition means it is "the absence of belief in the existence of deities" or god/gods
https://en.wikipe.../Atheism

http://www.dictio.../atheism

https://www.brita.../atheism

EarthlingToo
1 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
This attempt, just as the Urey-Miller experiment of the 1950s, will not result in any life being made.

Chemicals and elements do not possess knowledge nor awareness. Chemical reactions are limited to the available supply of agents and reactants and always end up at equilibrium, not ongoing into more complicated reactions.

Only life begets life.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (11) Apr 06, 2017
Atheism will always be a matter of faith.

You should look up what atheism is. I'm pretty sure it's not what you think it is.
Hint:it's not a disbelief in gods. It's a lack of belief in gods.

If you don't believe in Thor then you know exactly why we don't believe in your god.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
Yeah, it is probably manifested from a lack of need to believe in them, or just being too rational to do so.

I argued with the nuns.

Don't do it.
Whydening Gyre
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2017
... Chemicals and elements do not possess knowledge nor awareness. Chemical reactions are limited to the available supply of agents and reactants and always end up at equilibrium, not ongoing into more complicated reactions.
Only life begets life.

Only elemental chemistry begets life, silly.
Welcome to my "First Church of the Living Universe"...:-)
Meetings are held in my backyard and there's no good or bad preaching. Only discussion of Natural (note - not supernatural) phenomenon, how it might have come to be (on it's own) and physics.
God is - (G)eometrically (O)rdinated (D)atum. Nothing more, nothing less. And it does work on a schedule.
Usually on Saturdays or Sundays.
Not cuz it's Holy, but becuz that's when I have the most free time...
Free, except you will be occasionally required to aid in some of the lawn chores...
Oh, and you can bring your own liquor,..:-)
Atheism at it's finest...:-)
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2017
prove a negative
Disproving gods who claim to be perfect is easy. You only have to provide one example of imperfection.

Rabbits dont have cuds. Done.

As to proving negatives,

"... you can prove a negative, and it's easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction.
This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true
and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore,
you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the
empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I'll spare
you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable
negative. Wait… this means we've just proven that it is not
the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can't prove a
negative. So we've proven yet another negative! In fact, 'you
can't prove a negative' is a negative so if you could prove
it true, it wouldn't be true! Uh-oh." - Steven Hales

Another folk myth shot to hell.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2017
YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE. The god of abraham is a myth.

Tell all your friends.
neiorah
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 10, 2017
It is written that only the fool says there is no God.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (5) Apr 10, 2017
If they are "sloshing" around, the test may not be valid. Is there air in the containers? It will not be the air composition of the pre-life Earth.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Apr 10, 2017
BeLIEvers can only cast things in the presence of some sort of beLIEf. They have no idea what to make of lack of beLIEf, so they make up stories about it. It's a common fallacy driven by a lack of imagination.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2017
BeLIEvers can only cast things in the presence of some sort of beLIEf. They have no idea what to make of lack of beLIEf, so they make up stories about it. It's a common fallacy driven by a lack of imagination.
I dunno. I think they have no trouble imagining that they will die no matter what they do, and it scares the hell out of them. So theyll believe anything that the people in robes and the pretty buildings will tell them.

Sad really.

The people who wrote those books didnt care at all what happened to people after they died. They cared a great deal however about what people will think and do while theyre still here.

A great deal indeed.

And they werent ashamed to promise them absolutely anything, no matter how ridiculous or outrageous or immoral, especially when they knew they would never have to prove any of it.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 13, 2017
It is written that only the fool says there is no God.

Funnily enough, that was written by a fool.

Takeaway message: Just because something is written doesn't mean it's true.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2017
Only a fool beLIEves things without evidence. A Babble by a bunch of drunken stone age sheep herders is not evidence.

It's even more foolish to beLIEve things that are self-contradictory. If there's some all-powerful being, can it make a rock so big it can't lift it? If not, it's not all-powerful; if so, then it's not all-powerful. This is an obvious self-contradiction that shows that an all-powerful being cannot exist.
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2017
As for life, as we gain understanding of quantum chemistry, it becomes more and more likely that we will create life ourselves, straight up from scratch from the basic chemicals; it's only a matter of time now, we can already see the things we need to know to do it. We just don't know how to do them all yet. Urey and Miller already showed that decades ago.

Of course, the deniers will say, "But but but that's not life." If it quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's a duck. Simplest explanation that fits the facts.
ZergSurfer
5 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2017
My take on religion.
https://www.youtu...h639955k

And don't knock Thor, his hammer is cool :)
http://quake.wiki.../Mjolnir
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
A person without a religion is like a fish without a bicycle.
EyeNStein
Apr 14, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
Living well doesn't require one accept a Babble about a super magic sky daddy written by drunken stone age sheep herders.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
Being whole seems more desirable than being an anti-religion troll?

Not that 'religion' doesn't deserve criticism (it does) but I don't see that trolling helps anyone.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
Given the repeated aggressiveness of religionist trolls, I am no longer tolerant. I've found it saves me a lot of time to cut to the chase.

Which is, BTW, exactly the opposite of trolling; trolling involves leading people on. So this means you are using "troll" as an epithet devoid of meaning. Which is also true of the rest of what I've seen you say here.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
I am no longer tolerant. I've found it saves me a lot of time ....

Is how I recognise trolling whether it is for or against ANY topic.
If you have a point to make, please make it.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
I am no longer tolerant. I've found it saves me a lot of time ....

Is how I recognise trolling whether it is for or against ANY topic.
If you have a point to make, please make it.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
Then you don't know what "trolling" means. You should bother to find out before using the term again.

I made my point. Adult humans don't need morals and religions; they are capable of reasoning and therefore can use ethics. That's "A person without a religion is like a fish without a bicycle" translated for the hard of thinking.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
You should try to get used to people reacting with hostility when you try to stuff your religion up their noses. You're going to get a lot of it over the next four years.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
I was aiming for truth in your ears actually but your fingers are in the way.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
You don't have any truth. If you did you wouldn't beLIEve a bunch of drunken stone age sheep herders knew the secrets of the universe.

Get over it.

On edit: the universe is *complicated*. Drunken stone age sheep herders didn't have any way of comprehending how it works; plain and simple, they didn't have the math. As demonstrated by their writings which claimed a circular basin had a diameter one third of its circumference, a major boner, among many.

Get over that too.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
Your "fish without a bicycle" sounds intellectual; but it's the argument of a person born blind and deaf saying why they don't want anything to do with those senses.

Even a "drunken stone age sheep herder" could SEE the loopholes in their arguments and HEAR that they are missing something fundamental to their argument.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
Noted that you avoided discussing morals, ethics, and religion. Not to mention drunken stone age sheep herders and universal truth.

Apparently you're not ethically equipped.

And speaking of trolls, it looks like you're exactly one of those religionist trolls I was talking about. What's your purpose here on the science site? Just askin' as if I couldn't tell what you are from the word "go."

Guess that "fish without a bicycle" quote really chapped you. I hope it burns a long, long time.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
I thought we were having a discussion on the topic of 'life'.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
We were until you started trying to stuff Jebus up my nose.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
I thought you started off on 'religion'. I'm more into life and truth myself.

And isn't slang terming everything another trait of "trolls"? Perhaps my definition needs adjusting again: I'm sure you will oblige.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
Orti the godder posts religion bigotry unprovoked:
Ah, the secularist's desperate search for an easy path to life. Life is plentiful and comes cheap? The universe produces it quite naturally? No need for purpose, only chance and physical laws? But how did the physical universe and its laws come about? No god? The atheist will always have the problem of trying to prove a negative. Sleight of hand and outright propaganda will maybe substitute
-requiring of course response and criticism.

Eyenstein regards this response and criticism 'trolling'. It insults him, his book, and his god.

Religionists want to preach 'truth' freely and unopposed. The only way ultimately to ensure this religious freedom is by force.

This is how it always starts.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
This is the third or fourth time you've tried it. That is most definitely a trait of a troll.

Now knock it off.

If you insist on beLIEving in things, keep them to yourself. I'm tired of having religious beLIEfs stuffed up my nose by smarmy twits.

If you think you have something to say about life start saying it.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
Life is like a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo on the open road with the top down: Any youngster will tell you that. (In their own terms rather than my mid-life crisis mobile.)

If you want to drive your frumpy old banger arguments around the block a few more times, while shouting at other road users, that is your choice.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
Yeah, I didn't think you had any serious biology chops. None of you Babble-thumpers do; scares you too much. Evilution and all.

Reminder: this is the science forum. If you're gonna talk religion, you're on the wrong forum.

So how about you tell us all about how Miller and Urey were wrong or something. Just to keep up appearances and stuff.
qitana
3 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
I think that spirituality is important. And when you are spiritual, you believe in something. But it doesn't have to be a believe in God. It can be a believe in yourself and in a culture. If, for example, you want a long term relationship, then it will be hard to get that conviction through reason alone. Somehow, you must start to believe in it. And you might develop an understanding of why it would be what you want. But only when you are open to accept that a long term relationship would be a way to give meaning to your life.
Religion comes forth from a time in which people were spiritual. And therefore, even when there are cruel things written in the bible, it can still give meaningful spiritual insights. Though I'd be careful to not believe in things which might not be true.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
I wish David Baum et.al. well with their creation of self replicating and self-regulating pre-organic precursors of life. If they don't succeed then eventually someone will. All you really need is an energy source to drive entropy up hill and some nutrient medium and building blocks (usually RNA bases). From there it is only bio-software refinement up to strings of bases. But that software refinement eventually encapsulates generations of living, surviving, learning, theorising and passing on which is more like the 'real life' I was describing than cut and paste bases in a lab.

This is what I know about life..
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2017
Life is like a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo on the open road with the top down: Any youngster will tell you that. (In their own terms rather than my mid-life crisis mobile.)
Religion is like a pink-painted tank. It will tell you it can keep bad guys away and open bank vaults for you but if you disagree with it it will level your house.
https://youtu.be/Csv1wXOr5tY

You think its funny?
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
It would take a long, long time to evolve some different kind of intelligent life (and by that I don't even mean something like us, perhaps something as smart as a bird) from precursors. And even if we forced it, it's going to be a long time before we know enough about genetics to do even that much.

The point, though, is more a matter of how common life is out there in the universe, not what we can do. Does life arise easily, or are there only a few paths it can take? We think there are many, but are there really? And this is the only way we'll find out anytime soon. That's what it's really all about.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
Religion is like a pink-painted tank. It will tell you it can keep bad guys away and open bank vaults for you but if you disagree with it it will level your house.

Bravo. My love of metaphors has caught on.
This 'religion' is for the quick fix, fossil fuelled, push button, generation. It is a lie. Eventually it will level your house, or someone else's.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
And BTW, neither this nor Urey and Miller is or was about "cut[ting] and past[ing] bases in a lab." They're mimicking real geological conditions and adding chemicals they already know get produced in conditions common in the early history of planets, and seeing what comes out. Then they select it to see whether it evolves.

Notably, the Urey-Miller experiment produced glycine and two kinds of alanine, and you'll note that these are the ones these guys are using. There's a reason.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
I was aiming for truth in your ears actually but your fingers are in the way.

You are a liar. Your aim is to validate your delusion. Your fragile illusion of sanity is based on psychosis, which drives you for desperate validation of the delusion. If you had ANY interest in truth you would not require a religious belief system. Belief systems fabricate the "truth" (delusion) and then seek the evidence, or the validation of the delusion. All belief systems are structured this way.
When the illusion of sanity depends on the delusion, the need for validation becomes paramount. The delusionist becomes a troll on science sites in the desperate effort to seek validation.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
I thought we were having a discussion on the topic of 'life'.

Another lie. Once you start, it just keeps going. Soon your entire existence is a lie.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
I think that spirituality is important. And when you are spiritual, you believe in something. But it doesn't have to be a believe in God. It can be a believe in yourself and in a culture. If, for example, you want a long term relationship, then it will be hard to get that conviction through reason alone. Somehow, you must start to believe in it. And you might develop an understanding of why it would be what you want. But only when you are open to accept that a long term relationship would be a way to give meaning to your life....... And therefore, even when there are cruel things written in the bible, it can still give meaningful spiritual insights. Though I'd be careful to not believe in things which might not be true.

Actually, "spirituality" and "belief" are words indicating capacity for self delusion, which has been shown to hold a survival benefit for humans. Unchecked self delusion is clinically known as Psychosis.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
The cutting and pasting only comes in inevitably at the next stage as a shortcut to 100 million years of environmental change and natural selection. (It may take a while to get a computer fast enough to simulate this within the career of a post-grad.)

That is why CRISPR/Cas is so fabulous for when you don't have 10,000 generations to get well.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
I think that's looking a lot too far ahead. What we're doing here is defining what the range of pre-biotic conditions is.

I would also say that you've mis-characterized this experiment in another way: your "nutrient solutions" are known naturally occurring chemicals in water. You subtly give the impression that they're cheating. And that's twice after the "cut and paste" comment. Both of these are dishonest.

You're free to make stuff up, but please don't think it's going to pass for anything that bears the slightest resemblance to anything anyone might call "truth." And please stop with the subtle crap to try to smear a bunch of honest scientists. It's unseemly. You're as bad as a Jesuit.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
Actually, "spirituality" and "belief" are words indicating capacity for self delusion, which has been shown to hold a survival benefit for humans. Unchecked self delusion is clinically known as Psychosis.
The root of this is the same as the root of all conspiracy theories.

It's pretty simple: if you go down to the water hole and find some blood and some panther tracks, and Oog is missing, then you don't figure Oog got struck by lightning or had a heart attack. So you start watching out for panthers when you go down to the watering hole.

For all you know, Oog actually did have a heart attack, up on the mountain where the sweet berries grow, and nobody's found him yet. But you still watch for panthers.

If you're wrong and Oog didn't get eaten by a panther, then you're no worse off; but if you aren't suspicious, then you probably get eaten too. So this becomes a selection pressure.

[contd]
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
[contd]
Things get very much more ramified and complex from there, but this is still the basis, and it's strongly selected for.

Add to that the well-developed ability to detect deception, which is present in all three of our nearest relatives, the orangutans, the gorillas, and the chimpanzees, and you're looking at something that's pretty much instinctive in humans.

We're born conspiracy theorists, and it's pretty obvious to start ascribing natural disasters to an angry super magic sky daddy.

Unfortunate but true. When we leave this behind the human race may become adolescent.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
Its obviously a while since you studied biology.
A nutrient medium is one of the essentials for growth of any kind.
Whether that is mineral rich water or chocolate chip cookies.
I put that in for completeness not to deride their method.

Even rust needs iron, oxygen and water to prosper.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
This 'religion' is for the quick fix, fossil fuelled, push button, generation. It is a lie. Eventually it will level your house, or someone else's
And I made the effort in a recent thread to convince you that your religion was a lie, and how it was responsible for such recent horror such as the rwandan genocide and the holocaust.

Which obviously had no effect on you. Of course not.

You think being oblivious will save you from oblivion. But it only leads to obliteration in rwanda an warsaw.

Jesus teaches his flock to be selfish gods just like him.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
Dying is easy living well is hard
@eyeN
not really
if dying was easy you wouldn't have an instinct for survival
Being whole seems more desirable than being an anti-religion troll?

Not that 'religion' doesn't deserve criticism (it does) but I don't see that trolling helps anyone
the religious fanatics (the people who deserve the most criticism) are the ones who typically post religion-ist bullsh*t on any evolution, biology, life, etc thread - they do not deserve equal treatment unless they're abiding by the scientific method and making some find that is equivalent to other science

if that is the case then it will be peer reviewed and it will also be respected

a belief only requires a separate belief as a refute - but due to the preponderance of the fanatical religious intentionally posting on a science site, then it is not trolling

they are trolling, however

also note - there is no requirement for a delusional belief to be "whole"
snoosebaum
not rated yet Apr 14, 2017
Da Schneib , i would like to agree with your views on christianity and i do mostly BUT i am surprised a high IQ fellow like yourself has not absorbed some of a broader view expoused by Jordan Peterson , another high IQ fellow. Lots to watch, but addicting ;
https://www.youtu...onVideos

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
Nice try, @EyeN. Sorry, man, I seen too much of this BS not to notice it or to believe yet another denial. Go ahead and make all the snide comments you like, but don't whine when you get called on it.

I guess if you think rust is "alive" I'm not the one who is, shall we say, rusty on biology.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2017
We're born conspiracy theorists, and it's pretty obvious to start ascribing natural disasters to an angry super magic sky daddy.

Yeah, seeing patterns in things is our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. On the one hand it enables logical and scientific thinking (and the resulting advancement) on the other hand it makes us totally gullible.

The divide between who can think in a logical way and who is gullible is small (and in some people it's even that they can think rationally in some areas but not in others)
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2017
@snoose, I have no objection to whatever people want to believe in. It's their own business, as long as they keep it their own business. But when someone starts intruding their religious beliefs on science, particularly in a discussion about science, and most especially when they start denying science on a science site in a conversation about science, it's time to draw the line. And if they're doing that, they're not keeping it their own business, they're making it my business. And I do not and will not approve of it.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
(and in some people it's even that they can think rationally in some areas but not in others)
Aint that the truth
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2017
@DS sorry mate you are seeing things that are not there.
Wasn't that what you were accusing me of?

I chose rust (or I could have gone with fire) as its a comparative example on day one biology class. Though I guess you actually know that, you're just not seeing straight today.
Also, as the experiment in this article doesn't include any membrane component: It bears more similarities to rust than to a 'life' form.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Apr 15, 2017
Sorry, @EyeN, I no longer beLIEve Jebus freaks. You used up all your cred by your smarmy snide comments. Try telling the truth and stop slandering real scientists because they deny your psychosis.

Incidentally, worth mentioning the use of "nutrient solutions," the accusations of "cut and paste," and the attempt to invoke CRISPR when discussing experiments that show the abiotic->biotic transition is clear evidence of a bias to deny the results of such experiments; and the slander against honest working scientists is clear from this troll's comments.

It's a subtle troll, but obvious to anyone who actually knows any biology. Now the troll is trying to pretend that reputable biologists claim rusting iron is "life." Risible and dishonest.
EyeNStein
not rated yet Apr 15, 2017
@DS mind your blood pressure.
I get that you are too angry to see straight. Try going for a walk and re-read my posts.
Start off from the fact that I actually do like this article and its premise.

Otherwise just find a quantum physics article to comment on. You're really good at those.
EarthlingToo
not rated yet May 04, 2017
A smart man once said, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

It seems balance and moderation are lacking in most any human endeavor these days.

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