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A "simple Cell"?


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#101 de_skudd

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:45 AM

I think I stated plainly that Venter has not yet succeeded, but he seems to be getting close.

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And I think I stated plainly that “It’s possible, but he hasn’t brought anything to life yet has he?”… Which means that this is neither horse shoes, nor is it hand grenades. But still; “where did he get the parts so that he could arrange them in a certain design?”

As to whether something has to breathe in order to be alive, that might be a question creationists will raise as soon as Venter produces a synthetic bacterium.
I think it is nothing but an attempt to duck the issue.
The real tests for life seem to be metabolism and reproduction, and bacteria do both.

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No, I was asking what criterion you were positing. If you notice, I asked you four questions to get your take on it.

Any successful bacteria will be self-propagating and similar to 'natural' bacteria in most respects.  Are bacteria 'just a mechanism',  Do you know of any bacteria which needs to be adjusted to get to a target?  Influenza seems to do a good job without our help.

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According to the model of evolution, all bacterium are adjusting to reach targets. You seem to think all of this came from nowhere (and yet use the “E” word with reverence and awe, as if it was sentient and could be a driving force without actually being anything). I believe it was designed into it.

The only 'drive' needed is reproduction.  Natural selection and mutation does the rest.

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Really, and where did this drive come from? Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can make decisions that decide the outcome of all these different things? Hmmmmmmmm….

#102 jason777

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:20 AM

Really, and where did this drive come from? Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can make decisions that decide the outcome of all these different things? Hmmmmmmmm….


Oh,come on.Everybody knows grasshoppers only pick the weakest plants to eat. :D

They actually conduct a fitness test in corn feilds to make sure before they feed.

#103 jason78

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:38 AM

Oh,come on.Everybody knows grasshoppers only pick the weakest plants to eat. :D

They actually conduct a fitness test in corn feilds to make sure before they feed.

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Grasshoppers don't eat trees, or cacti, or seaweed. They eat the weakest plants, those that they can actually digest.

#104 CTD

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:50 AM

Really, and where did this drive come from? Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can make decisions that decide the outcome of all these different things? Hmmmmmmmm….


Oh,come on.Everybody knows grasshoppers only pick the weakest plants to eat. :D

They actually conduct a fitness test in corn feilds to make sure before they feed.

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:lol:

That was so good I shared it with a friend. Getting sidetracked now trying to determine if the grasshoppers have enough time to make their determinations before they starve to death. In any case, they have my sympathy.

#105 Adam Nagy

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:52 AM

Grasshoppers don't eat trees, or cacti, or seaweed.  They eat the weakest plants, those that they can actually digest.

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The plants that we manipulate and harvest are sweeter, fruitier and 'weaker' than their wild counterparts, because of this, they thrive and flourish in huge fields thanks to another creature protecting them. Now please tell us if that calculates into a net 'survival of the fittest', an 'unnatural intervention', or is natural selection rubbery enough to make it ultimately undefinable as De_skudd was making evident?

#106 urbanguru

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:49 PM

The title on the video clip from TED is highly missleading. First of all, they are nowhere near of copying the entire DNA from the bacteria (and this was a bacteria that could only self-replicate in the lab?). Second, I don't call this "creating life". I call it "copying a portion of DNA and puting it into a cell".

"On the verge of creating life"? I don't think so... :D

Even if we did manage to create life somehow, it would only be a copy of existing life.

But think about it! With all the tools, knowledge and technology today, we still can't create life. And I'm supposed to belive that life originated from rocks and water by pure randomness? Not only that, I'm also supposed to belive that the first cell "evolved" randomly into a human being (which in my opinion is even a smaller chance)?

#107 Bruce V.

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:55 PM

The title on the video clip from TED is highly missleading. First of all, they are nowhere near of copying the entire DNA from the bacteria (and this was a bacteria that could only self-replicate in the lab?). Second, I don't call this "creating life". I call it "copying a portion of DNA and puting it into a cell".

"On the verge of creating life"? I don't think so...  :D

Even if we did manage to create life somehow, it would only be a copy of existing life.

But think about it! With all the tools, knowledge and technology today, we still can't create life. And I'm supposed to belive that life originated from rocks and water by pure randomness?

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Welcome aboard Urbanguru.

#108 urbanguru

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:57 PM

Welcome aboard Urbanguru.

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Thank you :D

#109 Bruce V.

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 05:34 PM

You might be interested how far Venter has come to constructing a complete cell from lifeless chemicals.

http://www.ted.com/i...hetic_life.html
There is a transcript as well as the video.
This is not abiogenesis, but if man can assemble chemicals to create life, where is the 'life spirit'?

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Hi Keith,

This is a very good video and deserves its own thread. It is absolutely fascinating what Dr. Venter and TED has done.

Do you believe that this proves that human life does not have a spirit?

Dr. Venter uses the words evolution and mentions horizontal gene transfer but nothing he has done proves evolution. IMO this whole process screams of design:

1. He presents a sophisticated metabolic system of a simple virus: It looked like a chemical engineering schematic.
2. He talks about an alphabet and a language that communicated to a third party.
3. He stated that it took ~158 type written pages to write out the code.
4, He talked about an error correction computer code.
5. He then inserted this very small DNA into an cell. I assume the cell had a ribosomes or something that could understand the language of DNA/RNA and do something with it. Folding proteins is not a simple function.

This is reverse engineering of something designed. It is not evolution.

#110 Adam Nagy

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 06:28 PM

This is reverse engineering of something designed.  It is not evolution.

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Simple and to the point.

#111 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:09 PM

Do you believe that this proves that human life does not have a spirit?

Dr. Venter uses the words evolution and mentions horizontal gene transfer but nothing he has done proves evolution.  IMO this whole process screams of design:

1. He presents a sophisticated metabolic system of a simple virus:  It looked like a chemical engineering schematic.
2.  He talks about an alphabet and a language that communicated to a third party.
3.  He stated that it took ~158  type written pages to write out the code.
4,  He talked about an error correction computer code.
5. He then inserted this very small DNA into an cell. I assume the cell had a ribosomes or something that could understand the language of DNA/RNA and do something with it. Folding proteins is not a simple function.

This is reverse engineering of something designed.  It is not evolution.

Venter was not setting out to prove evolution or to demonstrate it in action. I suspect he considers evolution an established fact which needs no further demonstration.
I think he also claims quite clearly that his intention is to engineer organisms to perform useful reactions. In effect, he is really doing intelligent design. However most of the talk was about construction methods rather than design itself.

He also is definitely starting from a real bacterium which he has already sequenced. He is definitely doing extensive copying rather than designing from scratch. He is keeping the genetic code.
Most of your point 5 is incorrect. The synthetic DNA is small, but it is the entire genome of the new species of bacterium. The cell did have its own ribosomes initially, but the DNA had all the instructions to make its own ribosomes etc. These would soon replace all those inherited from the mother cell as the initial cell grows and divides.
Protein folding does not need to be controlled or specified other than by providing the appropriate DNA.

Since Venter has created a living reproducing cell with its own metabolism, I think he has effectively demonstrated that there is no special 'elan vital' required for life.
It is quite a stretch to go from this experiment to human life, but I certainly do think it does show that is a real possibility. After all, we all have developed from single cells.
There are some areas where creationists can raise objection. First, the synthetic DNA was transferred to an existing cell containing ribosomes etc. It would be trivial to perform a second transfer into one cell from this first organism, so that it is synthetic DNA into a synthetic cell.
To the extent that Venter is copying the DNA sequence from an existing bacteria, creationists are likey to claim it is this 'information' which is crucial. I think this is just a delaying tactic.

#112 Ron

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 03:13 PM

Venter was not setting out to prove evolution or to demonstrate it in action.  I suspect he considers evolution an established fact which needs no further demonstration.
I think he also claims quite clearly that his intention is to engineer organisms to perform useful reactions.  In effect, he is really doing intelligent design.  However most of the talk was about construction methods rather than design itself.

He also is definitely starting from a real bacterium which he has already sequenced.  He is definitely doing extensive copying rather than designing from scratch.  He is keeping the genetic code.
Most of your point 5 is incorrect.  The synthetic DNA is small, but it is the entire genome of the new species of bacterium.  The cell did have its own ribosomes initially, but the DNA had all the instructions to make its own ribosomes etc.  These would soon replace all those inherited from the mother cell as the initial cell grows and divides.
Protein folding does not need to be controlled or specified other than by providing the appropriate DNA.

Since Venter has created a living reproducing cell with its own metabolism, I think he has effectively demonstrated that there is no special 'elan vital' required for life.
It is quite a stretch to go from this experiment to human life, but I certainly do think it does show that is a real possibility.  After all, we all have developed from single cells.
There are some areas where creationists can raise objection.  First, the synthetic DNA was transferred to an existing cell containing ribosomes etc.  It would be trivial to perform a second transfer into one cell from this first organism, so that it is synthetic DNA into a synthetic cell.
To the extent that Venter is copying the DNA sequence from an existing bacteria, creationists are likey to claim it is this 'information' which is crucial.  I think this is just a delaying tactic.

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The delaying tactic is more likely in the denial of and refusal to the admit design in and manufacture of the the entire project. "All" the information is crucial, but no more crucial than the materials already being on hand, and a blueprint to be followed.

Venter didn't create anything. He used what was on hand, and copied the plan that was already there. This doesn't, in any way, prove evolution, but it does prove that you can follow an existing design to re-build something.

#113 Ron

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 03:15 PM

Simple and to the point.

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It doesn't matter, the atheist will still follow their blind faith and disavow even the simplest of truths.

#114 Bruce V.

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 05:24 PM

Since Venter has created a living reproducing cell with its own metabolism, I think he has effectively demonstrated that there is no special 'elan vital' required for life.

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If Venter created life from scratch I think you say that life did not require a "elan vital" . I use the term Breath of life. That God breathed into Adam and that created the spirit. That human life requires a spirit. How is putting synthetic DNA into another cell proving that life does not require a spirit?

Specifically the human life does not have a spirit?

Genesis 2:7

the LORD God formed the man [e] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. .



#115 jason777

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:15 PM

It goes to show you how they justify rejecting the truth by claiming the non existence of God is a proven fact.Yet,the can't produce any of these so called facts.

#116 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:12 PM

If Venter created life from scratch I think you say that life did not require a "elan vital" .  I use the term Breath of life.  That God breathed into Adam and that created the spirit.  That human life requires a spirit.  How is putting synthetic DNA into another cell proving that life does not require a spirit?

My actual statement was:-
"Since Venter has created a living reproducing cell with its own metabolism, I think he has effectively demonstrated that there is no special 'elan vital' required for life.
It is quite a stretch to go from this experiment to human life, but I certainly do think it does show that is a real possibility. After all, we all have developed from single cells.
"
I think that recognizes a difference between single-celled life, such as Venter is dealing with, and human beings.
I think it will be many years before people like Venter create multi-cellular life, much less a synthetic ape or human. However, I think the 'breath of life' now seems less necessary than before.

#117 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:32 PM

According to the model of evolution, all bacterium are adjusting to reach targets. You seem to think all of this came from nowhere (and yet use the “E” word with reverence and awe, as if it was sentient and could be a driving force without actually being anything). I believe it was designed into it.

Really, and where did this drive come from? Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can make decisions that decide the outcome of all these different things? Hmmmmmmmm….

I do not think that bacteria ever needed be taught or instructed to reproduce.
Bacteria which did not reproduce are no longer around. Those around us are descendants of billions of generations of successful reproducers and they mostly maintain this strategy ( but without thought).

All other 'targets' are simply abilities which assist in reproduction. Again, those who survive have found some successful strategy, and heredity ensures that at least some of their descendants will have similar ability. Mutation, crossing over, gene transfer etc allows modification of the inherited ability, which is often undesirable, but sometimes introduces useful modification.

I think the language you choose to use, like target, drive etc give much more an illusion of intelligence and purpose than is justified.

#118 Adam Nagy

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:37 PM

Bacteria which did not reproduce are no longer around.

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Uh hello... bacteria that reproduced are no longer around either, just their offspring. What natural pressure would induce reproduction rather than finding a mechanism just to stay alive so reproduction is unnecessary? Wouldn't not dying be a more favorable and easier condition to obtain versus all the mechanisms, micro machines and tools needed for duplication?

#119 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

The title on the video clip from TED is highly missleading. First of all, they are nowhere near of copying the entire DNA from the bacteria (and this was a bacteria that could only self-replicate in the lab?). Second, I don't call this "creating life". I call it "copying a portion of DNA and puting it into a cell".

"On the verge of creating life"? I don't think so...  :P

Even if we did manage to create life somehow, it would only be a copy of existing life.

Venter sequenced the entire bacterium several years ago, and stated that he repeated the sequencing and found only 30 errors.
What they insert is the complete genome, with the addition of some sequences for identification purposes (watermarks).
They are intentionally restricting themselves to a bacterium which only reproduces under lab conditions because of concern about genetically engineered organisms escaping. Once the techniqui is developed it could be applied to any wild-type organism.

The first step is undoubtedly copying. However, Venter's intention goes a long way beyond simple copying. He definitely wants to create new species with new abilities, or much better efficiency with existing processes.
Is there some barrier which will allow copying, but prevent the formation of any new species?




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