Ignorance is Bliss!!

Being ignorant is great fun. Only a fool thinks they know everything. I know some things but there are some major things that I know we don't know and that I would like to know.

 

We are all ignorant.

 

There are some fools who think that if we do not know something that it is proof that science is wrong. I do not believe that. We are at the early stages of science. We have learnt many wondrous things in a very short time. There is much still to understand. The things we do not yet understand may or may not be understood in the future. If they are not understood that is not proof that they are supernatural. It just means that we do not understand them yet.

 

Consciousness

Consciousness is one of the great unknowns. How that convoluted pink, throbbing blancmange in my head manages to create thoughts, form pictures, make me aware of myself and the universe and give me a sense of identity is a wonder. Can it really be the result of interconnecting neurones, chemicals and electricity? 

 

The Start of the Universe

We know when it began - it's about 13.82 billion years old, plus or minus a day or two. How it came into being and what was there before is all conjecture. Isn't that amazing?

 

The Origin of Life

We know the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old and that life began approximately 3.8 Billion years ago (on a Monday morning). We know all about the building blocks for life and how they could have been spontaneously formed. We know that they can join in the laboratory to form cellular type 'organisms' called coercervates. But when it comes to complex cells incorporating DNA and developing organelles we are speculating. It is immensely interesting.

 

These known unknowns cause certain people to assert that these things are too complicated to happen naturally - that they are conclusive evidence for 'the hand of god'. I say that it is a big universe with a lot of time on its hands. Anything that can happen will. I say that not knowing is not proof of anything. I say that not knowing is great as long as you try your damnedest to find out.

 

Ignorance is bliss - as long as it leads to questioning, research, an open mind and a desire to find out the answers to the big questions.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 8:42am
Ignorance gives us great motivation to explore and investigate. Without that we are dull, boring and moribund. We need plenty of ignorance!!!  (And yes - we have it in abundance - and not always attached to a thirst to find out!! Indeed some of the ignorant are so ignorant they do not even know they are ignorant!)
wsucram15 Added Feb 12, 2018 - 9:31am
Weelllll, ignorance can be bliss and then depending on the situation..dangerous.
But in agreement, learning and researching because you dont have all the answers is part of the discovery of life. 
You are right about this..anything that can happen will happen.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 9:33am
Jeanne - and it already is happening all around us!
wsucram15 Added Feb 12, 2018 - 9:46am
Yes Opher..it is, every day. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 9:52am
Wonderful isn't it! A surfeit of ignorance! A surfeit of desire!
Dino Manalis Added Feb 12, 2018 - 11:18am
Ignorance is normal, we constantly have to learn and expand our knowledge.  
Tom C. Purcell Added Feb 12, 2018 - 12:39pm
Ignorance - if it is in fact bliss, then Opher seems to be one of the most blissful among us.   Well, that's my experience.  You can't be a sinner if you don't believe in the concept of sin itself, right Opie?  Is that how you proclaim your innocence and prove intellectual superiority?
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 12:58pm
Unfortunately we tend to lump people who think differently as ignorant.
 
Somehow we need to overcome this.
 
 
William Stockton Added Feb 12, 2018 - 1:29pm
Ignorance is bliss - as long as it leads to questioning, research, an open mind and a desire to find o
 
I'm desiring to find the end of this article. 
 
Does anyone proof their writing anymore?  Are there no standards anymore in literature?  Probably not . . . even I have a keyboard.
 
Is an article about ignorance written by an author who is ignorant of his own blindingly obvious errors the height of irony?
Well, if you want to reduce (no cure) your own ignorance, opher . . . you should start taking your own prescriptions.  Questioning is definitely correctly prescribed . . . especially if one questions themselves (apparently this is where you fail).
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 1:32pm
Dino - that is a very modern concept though. Five hundred years ago they did not think that. Everything was revealed in scripture. There was nothing else to be discovered. How wrong they were.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 1:35pm
Tom - we're all sinners. It's just my idea of sin is secular. Intellectual superiority? I'm not sure about that. I've never made a claim such as that - merely a superiority of sense and argument.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 1:37pm
Dave - well we're all ignorant. We just look down on people who disagree with us. I don't think Trump is stupid. I think he is ignorant though. He doesn't know what he doesn't know, but he thinks he does, and worst of all he ignores the experts who do know. That's pretty stupid really. It undermines his clever manoeuvring. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 1:45pm
William - thank you for pointing that out to me. I hadn't realised that in copying it in it had missed off the last few words. I trust it didn't ruin your reading pleasure?
I'm all for questioning and investigation William. But no I am not in favour of trying to undermine the mountain of evidence for the holocaust with a teaspoon full of lies for political purposes.
I'm all for reducing my own ignorance but not sullying my morality.
William Stockton Added Feb 12, 2018 - 2:09pm
opher, there is far more evidence to conclude a holocaust event was, in fact, a crime against humanity.  But ah . . . ya that is war.   
Not sure how the holocaust pertains to this article . . . 
 
Seems every two-bit author/journalist want to equate some modern problem with the Nazis or the holocaust.  These type of arguments are so pre-pubescent and sophomoric . . . it's just getting lefty-ridiculous.  There is "crazy" . . . and then there is just "lefty-crazy".  Two different motives, same result.
 
However, the holocaust wasn't what your article was about, originally.  Besides the errors in first publishing this article, you now want to draw a parallel with 1930's Europe? 
Gawd -- more crazy
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 2:50pm
William - no - I was merely responding to your assertions.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:05pm
William - I know six million civilians trucked to death camps and systematically killed - ya- that's just war.
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:33pm
Jeanne - don't worry. He's still sore at me because I took him to task over his holocaust denial crap.
Katharine Otto Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:04pm
Opher,
We don't even know what we think we know.  The Big Bang is still just a theory.  Even when I think I know, I find out I'm wrong all too often.  As a result, I've spent lots of time un-learning things, like parental or social assumptions, accepted by osmosis before I had the power of conscious discrimination.  Ideas I accepted as truth until they failed me.
 
There are people who can't admit to ignorance so pretend they know when they don't.  How many people can say "I don't know"?  
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:18pm
We spend too much of our life worrying about things that really don’t effect us.
wsucram15 Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:27pm
I did the same...but he was never like that Opher.  He really is a good guy at heart.  We always differed on some things, but he was always cool. 
Just saying..I dont know where the negative is coming from.
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:47pm
How do you know we landed on the moon?
wsucram15 Added Feb 12, 2018 - 7:56pm
Doug..I hate asking this, but how do you know there was a Jesus.
William Stockton Added Feb 12, 2018 - 8:24pm
William take a pill.
So . . . any recommendations?  Hopefully none of the type that you are consuming.
 
You never used to be like this...never. Dont blame it on politics or the media, thats crap.  So i hope you are well but take that attitude out on people who like being angry. 
 
Oh yes, I was always like this.  I'm just more vocal about my disgust with general stupidity.  No reason to be quiet about it.  Maybe that is the difference.  Considering that general intelligence amongst the "writer" population has significantly been reduced in the last couple of years (people who don't even review their own shit), I am surprised you would "blame" my outrage on a change in me.  Oh no.  That is not what is happening.  People have just generally gone bat-shit insane.  I have my theories.
 
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:13am
"William I have written with you for almost 4 years, You never used to be like this...never."
 
Oh, hell, WSU; he has always been like that: blunt and to the point.  "If you can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen."  Opher doesn't need a nanny to defend him.  Let's be grownups.
William Stockton Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:03am
Give it a rest wsu.  You aren't that smart and I find very little interesting in what you say.  Your comments are predictably racist, sexist, and just plain stupid.
 
Also in our discussions, you know I dont mess with drugs and you might even remember why. 
Nope.  Don't give a hoot what you do to yourself.  Never have.
 
 You give me shit about being so difficult...and I am not.
Nope.  Never said that.  You aren't difficult by nature.  You are just stupid and create drama for people.  This is what stupid people do to create their own self-worth (and attention).
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:19am
William - unwarranted and mean minded. What's got your goat? Someone piddled in your cheerios?
Neil Lock Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:33am
Opher, a good thought.
 
And I've learned a new word today: "coacervate." This experience has dispelled a small droplet of ignorance from within my brain. There are many more still in there!
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:53am
Good morning Neil. I hope it's a bright one for you. Dispelling ignorance is always good but as the bubble of knowledge expands we find more ignorance to replace it. Hurrah for ignorance. Without it there might be no challenge.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 5:42am
re "Doug..I hate asking this, but how do you know there was a Jesus.  "
I don't. Its a matter of faith. I'm a rational Christian anyway, so was Jesus, so it actually doesn't matter. The NT is a philosophy book.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 5:44am
re "Now as far as Opher goes..he can defend himself...I wasnt defending him, I was just calling it how I see it.  If you dont like that..tough. "
 
In another post Opher says that sometimes 1+1 = 0 and sometimes 3, so he might need a little help sometimes.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 7:06am
Doug - the NT is not a philosophy book. It has a large number of elements - parables, stories, philosophy, theology, superstition, misinformation, anecdotes, poetry and memories.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 7:08am
Doug - I once witnessed a mathematician go through some very complex formulae to demonstrate that 1+1 = 0.  It was very interesting.
In a universe where nothing is as it seems that might surprise you but it doesn't surprise me.
At the beginning perhaps nothing equalled everything. I don't close my mind off.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 8:31am
re " I once witnessed a mathematician go through some very complex formulae to demonstrate that 1+1 = 0.  It was very interesting."
lol.
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 8:32am
So, how do you know we put a man on the moon Opher?
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 13, 2018 - 9:57am
You know that you are dealing with someone from the island when they use blancmange in their writing. That is something that never migrated across the pond.
 
As you said, Opher, ignorance is bliss as long as it stirs a desire to pursue questioning and research, and maintaining an open mind. What I see more and more of is willful ignorance, especially around all things science. Where I am amazed at the detection of gravity waves, leading other observatories to direct their instruments and finding x-ray and visual confirmation of a neutron star collision hundreds of millions of years ago, there are those who persist in believing that the earth is 6000 years old.
 
I am losing my patience at these cretins who refuse to acknowledge discoveries from science that confirm theories conjured out of the heads of humans decades or even a century ago. I consider it willful ignorance, and I detest it in a human being. Especially those who hold government office and insist on inflicting their willful ignorance on me against my will.
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:04am
"Leroy, excuse the hell out of me but..STFU. 
I was speaking to William and you have not been here for 4 years writing with him.  I have and we speak very well to one another. Thank you."
 
No need to be potty-mouthed.  It's not setting a good example for your grandkids.
 
Judging from your profile, I have been here much longer.  In any case, I have been here nearly four years, as if that had anything to do with commenting.  Commenting is not by seniority, in case you have not realized that.
 
"You give me shit about being so difficult...and I am not."
 
We'll be the judge of that.
 
"Also in our discussions, you know I dont mess with drugs and you might even remember why."
 
I thought you nearly lost your house because of drugs found there.
 
 
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:06am
"So, how do you know we put a man on the moon Opher? "
 
Hope this leads to some enlightenment.  You are the first nonperson of color that I have encountered to doubt it.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:00am
Doug - I don't know we put a man on the moon but I believe we did.
Neil Lock Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:02am
Opher: No bright morning here, it's been pissing with (cold) rain all day so far. But thanks for the thought.
 
Broken Clock: I, too, hate blancmange - even though I'm from what you call "the island." I prefer jelly. But, to be serious for a moment, what do you mean by "science?" I hope you mean real science; the kind I wrote about in my "Science and Nonscience" article in this very forum. Oh, and I totally agree with your last sentence; even though we probably disagree on which political side is right!
 
Opher: "1+1=0." That all depends what you mean by "+". (But for me as a computer person, 1+1=10 :-)
 
William, Jeanne and Leroy: Why can't you let bygones be bygones?
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:03am
EABC - me too. There was even a guy who was going to launch himself into the stratosphere because he still thinks the earth is flat. What is up with Americans? They live in a scientific/technology world and still want to believe it is 2000 years ago.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:07am
Leroy - I don't doubt it. I believe it happened - but, like everything else, it is not a fundamental truth. Nothing is.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:18am
Leroy re "Hope target="_blank">this leads to some enlightenment.  You are the first nonperson of color that I have encountered to doubt it."
 
Don't slap me on the ass and call me Sally yet.
See Jim Fetzer on Youtube, also many others but Fetzer is the best.
Tom C. Purcell Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:20am
Just to be honest, perhaps in a too salty sorta way, what is it about this article people like (5 likes), and what in the hell is the discussion actually about?  Honest question because, like William pointed out, this article is rubbish and as usual, Opie hit submit way before the article was comprehensive, never mind polished.  The discussion has spun off like Joanie and Chachi.  I suspect lackeys.  Do you have family members signing on to hit the like button?  Be honest, Oper.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:36am
There is this
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:43am
Perhaps you just don't get it Tom. Never mind! Can't please everyone.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:47am
Wow!! Do you believe that stuff Doug!! Incredible.
Neil Lock Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:57am
Tom: I "liked" Opher's article because it asks some good questions.
Tom C. Purcell Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:01pm
Thanks for the honest answer, Neil.  No offence to you, or Opher for that matter.  I see glimpses of writing talent in Opher with relative frequency but I think he could do a lot better at finishing his work.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:28pm
Tom - I'm glad you see glimpses. I'll try to do better.
Tom C. Purcell Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:44pm
Lackeys?
Tubularsock Added Feb 13, 2018 - 1:40pm
opher, knowing and not knowing is a moving target. We live in a moving environment yet we "think" it is still because we don't perceive the movement.
 
It is every changing and we draw conclusions from limited perception and then we create agreement and it becomes "truth".
 
However it is only agreed upon perception.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:00pm
I do not need or have any lackey's thanks Tom. That's not a touch of green jealousy is it?
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:01pm
Tub - right as always. We believe our perceptions but they let us down because they are so partial.
Tom C. Purcell Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:10pm
Green jealousy?  No, I'm just trying to improve as a writer, myself.  Having not seen the brilliance in this particular piece, and having witnessed talent on your part before, not only do I expect more from your efforts, I also wonder what I am missing in the style, flow and above all, content.  I'm always trying to improve.
Bill Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:14pm
It is funny how the media has manipulated the concepts of religion and science to suit its purposes of fake interest: the media needs a conflict so that attention is drawn to their work.
 
How do you think America got an asshole President? Because the media loves the firestorm!
 
In reality, religion and science are essentially the same thing. They always have been: science is the physical study of faith. For example, the media would have you believe that Galileo was a soldier of atheism. In reality, he was the trumpet of the Church....
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:26pm
Tom - well we can't be brilliant all the time. It was just an idea I found interesting. I'll take on board your chiding in a positive fashion and attempt to do better. As you say - the striving for improvement is a constant endeavour.
opher goodwin Added Feb 13, 2018 - 4:27pm
Bill - an interesting idea - I'm not sure I quite see it that way.
A. Jones Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:23pm
We know all about the building blocks for life and how they could have been spontaneously formed.
 
Is that a fact? How interesting! Enlighten us, O Blissful Ignoramus. Precisely what are these "building blocks for life", and how could they have been spontaneously formed?
 
We're waiting with bated breath and much anticipation.
A. Jones Added Feb 13, 2018 - 11:30pm
"supernatural" That's one term I never understood.
 
"Supernatural" is a term used by naïve materialists to disparage the more nuanced and accurate term, "non-physical" or "non-material."
 
It's a way of denying a basic fact about the universe that naïve materialists would rather not recognize, since to acknowledge it would undercut their standard operating procedure and basic religious belief: i.e., that every thing and every event in the universe can be adequately explained by reference to changes in matter and energy.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:18am
Free - really - I have. I'd recommend it. Bliss is not overrated.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:22am
Free - Yes I take your point. For me supernatural has connotations for things that we have made up out f our imaginations; things that we imbue with unnatural characteristics that are not normal; miracles, goblins, fairies, angels, ghosts, gods, superman, batman and Robin and such. They are not real phenomena.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:28am
Mr Jones - I will gladly enlighten you. It all started with the experiments created by Urey and Miller but went on through numerous follow-on experiments. During these experiments all the 22 naturally occurring amino acids have been made, ribose and deoxyribose sugars, hexose sugars, polypeptide chains and a variety of other organic molecules - all the necessary building blocks for life.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:31am
Mr Jones - I think I explained my views on supernatural to Mr/Ms Candy. Weird stuff is natural. Stuff we make up with abnormal powers is supernatural.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:19am
What was it Rodney King said? Was it 'Can we get along?'
Doug Plumb Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:44am
re "In reality, religion and science are essentially the same thing. "
 
They are completely different. Science uses inductive reasoning and empirical observations to get maxims of understanding. Religion uses deductive reasoning and inner observations that are not dependent on the empirical world to get laws: where did free will and conscience come from? certainly not science.
Bill Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:22am
Doug, like I said:
science is the physical study of faith
Of course the method is different, but the ends are the same: to explore/understand the unknown.
 
I think Galileo is a perfect example. He thought he was doing God's work by charting the heavens. But he did it in a physical way of study, not a spiritual way of prayer and contemplation as had been done before. But the intended ends are the same either way: to attempt to understand the intricacies of the universe...
 
Oh, and ask Opher about the origins of free will and conscience. He'll probably say it's just random chance! 
 
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:43am
Doug - I agree with you. Religion and Science are different things. Science is observation and theories of real observable things. Religion is a power structure based on things that have no substance in reality and come straight out the imaginations of men. It's like the difference between fiction and non-fiction.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:47am
Bill - yes one is the observance of reality and the other is the creation of a fictional reality.
BTW - I don't really believe in free will. Conscience - well the subconscious works in strange ways. Conscience is obviously different for different people isn't it? I suspect it is implanted during upbringing.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 6:59am
Free - you are right about superman, batman and Robin - more obviously real than the others.
I've heard this fiction about the building blocks of life. It totally ignores the whole principle of catalysation and the natural bonding of molecules. They join easily in set ways and are very easily catalysed by substances such as simple clay. The speed of chemical reaction is beyond human comprehension - one example - rate of reaction is 3.45×106M/s3.45×10−6M/s.
This pedestrian way of thinking is merely a human inability to understand the natural way molecules operate and the speed they can do this at.
There is no doubt that the creation of life was an amazing event that is not yet fully understood but I see no reason to imagine a supernatural force was involved. There is not a speck of evidence for such a force.
Bill Added Feb 14, 2018 - 2:39pm
Opher,
 You have great points, but I think you have problems seeing the forest through the trees. If God indeed was involved, wouldn't he/she/it be a "natural" force, not a supernatural one? 
 
To say that throughout history ignorant people have used religion to do great harm is a dramatic understatement. However, for as long as science has been around, it too has been used as a weapon to do harm by assholes too.
 
You appear transfixed on the old "God of the gaps" strawman fallacy: in that people that historically don't understand something, assign this thing as God's will. Then when we find out the natural explanations for it, then that's further proof that God doesn't exist! What? That's just proof we didn't know something previously, and has no bearing whatsoever on the work of God, only superstitious people's imaginations. 
 
At the heart of it is how we believe the universe is structured. It isn't random at all.
 
As far as science can tell us, it has a beginning, it has laws and rules, it is expanding (or rather stretching) in an exactly predictable course. It has shown (at least with us) that it can eventually turn aimless clouds of gas into brilliant, cognizant beings that have eventually invented pizza and beer.
 
By every definition it is either vibrantly alive or supremely mechanized. With all knowledge we have, the nearest we can figure, it is either a super-massive living being or an intricate machine. 
 
Opher, take a much closer look at the trees, although you can't see it, I think you'll find the forest there....
 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:05pm
 Paraphrasing Animal farm:
 
"We are all ignorant."--Opher
 
"“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”Animal Farm by George Orwell "
 
 So, maybe we are all ignorant but some of us are more ignorant than others. That fits the left. 
A. Jones Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:08pm
I will gladly enlighten you. It all started with the experiments created by Urey and Miller
 
But that famous experiment was shown to be irrelevant soon after the results were published. Everyone knows that.
 
Miller used a mixture of gases (mainly hydrogen, methane, and ammonia) to represent what he thought was the early, pre-biotic atmosphere on earth. The problem is that those gases were NOT present in the early atmosphere, so Miller-Urey's basic starting assumption was incorrect. In fact, when their experiment was repeated with a more plausible mixture of gases, nothing happened: no amino acids magically formed.
 
Your information is long out of date. You should try to catch up.
A. Jones Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:37pm
It totally ignores the whole principle of catalysation and the natural bonding of molecules. They join easily in set ways and are very easily catalysed by substances such as simple clay.
 
Completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.
 
No matter how easily organic molecules of ink bond naturally to organic molecules of paper, it doesn't explain the sequence of ink squiggles we call "letters" that become meaningful — i.e., "functional" — in larger data strings we call "words" and "sentences." The problem is not the chemistry of ink and paper; the problem is explaining how ink-squiggles ("letters") become correctly sequenced to form those words and sentences that are functional. The same problem applies to amino acids: whether they fell like manna from the sky, or spontaneously appeared from lightning strikes, is beside the point: the point is, how they got into the correct sequence to form a functional protein. While there's some variation allowable in some proteins regarding amino acid sequence, there isn't much; and there are some proteins in which the substitution of a single amino acid in place of the correct one completely destroys the sequence's ability to function as a useful protein (e.g., it won't fold correctly into the correct 3-D configuration, in which case, it's useless to the organism).
 
Random forces have been ruled out by most of the biochemistry community; you won't get functional sequences of amino acids just by chance, just as you don't get meaning sequences of letters by chance. Most of them are pinning their hopes on the discovery of some hidden, innate, deterministic force, that inevitably causes amino acids to self-sequence themselves correctly. Needless to say, nothing like that has been discovered.
 
It's a bit like hoping to find some hidden, innate, deterministic force in the molecules of ink and paper that could explain how letters might self-sequence themselves into words and sentences, when in fact, words and letters are products of a very definite force that lies outside of the ink and the paper, and which is non-physical: intention. And "intention" is an aspect of mind.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:12pm
Thanks for that Bill - I enjoyed that. That was an interesting thoughtful read.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:13pm
Mr Jones - the experiment was not wrong. It was later refined. The atmosphere back then did contain those gasses. The refined experiments did produce the goods.
opher goodwin Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:16pm
Mr Jones - you are partially right. We can presently show how the building blocks were formed and how they joined into large organic molecules. We cannot, as yet, show how they were imbued with meaning. But, as I said earlier, it is early days. Give it a few hundred years more and we'll have a very much greater understanding.
A. Jones Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:22pm
the experiment was not wrong. It was later refined.
 
The conclusions drawn from the original experiment were wrong: the atmosphere of the early earth was not hydrogen, methane, and ammonia. It was actually quite similar to today's atmosphere—with a lot more CO2. Geochemists back in the 1950s disproved Miller's conclusions and Miller conceded their point. When he repeated the experiment using the mixture of gases suggested by geochemistry, he got brown sludge, not amino acids. Look it up. Do some homework. Stop relying on what you think you might remember from 60 years ago.
 
The atmosphere back then did contain those gasses. The refined experiments did produce the goods.
 
You do not know what you're talking about. Vanity publishing was invented for know-nothings like you.
A. Jones Added Feb 14, 2018 - 7:42pm
We can presently show how the building blocks were formed
 
No we can't. One of the building blocks of life is a nucleotide in RNA and DNA called cytosine. Outside of an already existing living organism that reproduces, its origin is unknown. It's not found in outer space, it's not found in meteorites, and it's not found in ocean water. It doesn't form spontaneously when you send electrical discharges through mixtures of exotic gases. It's just there. So science hasn't shown anything.
 
and how they joined into large organic molecules.
 
No, we don't understand that, either. Organic molecules needed for living organisms are all left-handed (e.g., amino acids); in nature, outside of an already living cell, amino acids are intermixed, left-handed and right-handed configurations. So there's no plausible explanation as to how left-handed and right-handed molecules became segregated.
 
We cannot, as yet, show how they were imbued with meaning.
 
"Meaning" in language = "Function" in biology. Science hasn't shown a thing regarding how a chain of amino acids got into the correct order. Even simple proteins might have as many as 300 amino acids chained together (through peptide bonds). Since there are 20 amino acids necessary for life, the chances of such a chain occurring by chances are 20^300, or about 10^390. Hello? That's 1 with 390 zeroes after it. Sorry, but 14 billion years from the Big Bang until now are actually not enough time to randomly sort through a possible 10^390 permutations until just the right one that functions as a protein is found. The number "14 billion" is only an order of magnitude of 10^10. Compare the exponents: "10" (1 with ten zeroes after it) compared with "390" (1 with 390 zeroes after it).
 
Exponents like that are the main reason most biochemists have thrown out the idea of chance in evolution.
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:17am
Mr Jones - the atmosphere back at the beginning had hardly any oxygen and was predominantly methane, hydrogen, ammonia, water vapour, nitrogen and carbon dioxide with some rare gasses. That's what they have been experimenting on - along with catalysts such as silica.
All building blocks and polypeptides have been created including cytosine -
https://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-ames-reproduces-the-building-blocks-of-life-in-laboratory
The tautomerism of the molecules dictates how they combine. The first organisms obviously had a predominant isomerism that has been inherited.
There are still many unknowns but we are getting a clearer picture day by day. 
The sorting certainly isn't random. That's where you fall down. It is dictated by the nature of the molecules. Large sections of proteins do not have to have any organised structure. Most DNA codes for nothing.
It is great that there are so many unknowns. Being unknown does not infer some supernatural force it merely means that we haven't solved it .... yet.
As Arthur C Clarke said (to paraphrase) all superior science and technology is indistinguishable to magic to those who have never seen it. - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
We are presently doing numerous things that were previously (not long ago) considered impossible. Just look at how long it took to analyse the human genome - now we can do it in minutes. It is mundane.
Keys are being turned and doors are being opened.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:14am
Opher
 
" I don't think Trump is stupid. I think he is ignorant though. He doesn't know what he doesn't know, but he thinks he does, and worst of all he ignores the experts who do know. That's pretty stupid really. It undermines his clever manoeuvring[sic]. "
 
Here the ignorance of the difference between stupidly and ignorance is manifested. This betrays a bias based on politics. 
 
Ignorance in full bloom:
 
"Large sections of proteins do not have to have any organised structure. Most DNA codes for nothing."
 
But the 'un-organised structure' of proteins that have been denatured change drastically in tertiary structure so this is a classic piece of  circular logic: perhaps the observation of "any organised structure" is a mere assumption. 
 
"Most DNA codes for nothing."
 
Does this cover the past? The term used for much DNA is 'driftwood,' an arbitrary designation based on what? Ignorance?!
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:24am
A. Jones
 
"We can presently show how the building blocks were formed
 
No we can't. One of the building blocks of life is a nucleotide in RNA and DNA called cytosine. Outside of an already existing living organism that reproduces, its origin is unknown. It's not found in outer space, it's not found in meteorites, and it's not found in ocean water. It doesn't form spontaneously when you send electrical discharges through mixtures of exotic gases. It's just there. So science hasn't shown anything."
 
Agreed
 
Many bench chemical experiments generate a mass of molecules some of which are identical to 'building blocks  for proteins and nucleic acids. 
 
Show us a chemical synthesis of a protein like albumin in the lab and we can be duly impressed. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:25pm
rycK - are you suggesting I do not know the difference between ignorance and stupidity? I surely do. Trump has intelligence but is both ignorant and stupid. He is ignorant because he does not know or understand a lot of what is going on - as per the environment, fascists in Europe, diplomacy etc. - and stupid because he fails to take notice of those who do know and understand.
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:29pm
rycK - depending on what the protein is - enzyme or structural - it will have a specific shape determined by its tertiary and quartenary structures. For an enzyme most of the molecule can be any amino acid sequence. What is important is the structure of the parts relating to its active site. The shape and operation of that is the crucial part. I am not referring to denatured proteins whose structure has broken down.
The bulk of DNA codes for nothing. It is called satellite DNA. It's basically junk.
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:33pm
rycK - they have formed cytosine in NASA labs.
Presently we can make any amount of polypeptides and are on the brink of making proteins to order.
http://www.science20.com/catarina_amorim/scientists_develop_method_works_create_proteins_laboratory-85404
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:18pm
Opher
 
"rycK - they have formed cytosine in NASA labs.
Presently we can make any amount of polypeptides and are on the brink of making proteins to order."
 
The line of reasoning, may I quote for you:  "We can presently show how the building blocks were formed and how they joined into large organic molecules."
 
You cite crude lab bench experiments and suggest that that is the way Nature creates such macro-molecules. That is a false assumption. 
 
Methods and protocols of modern solid phase Peptide synthesis
"
Abstract

The purpose of this article is to delineate strategic considerations and provide practical procedures to enable non-experts to synthesize peptides with a reasonable chance of success. This article is not encyclopedic but rather devoted to the Fmoc/tBu approach of solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), which is now the most commonly used methodology for the production of peptides. The principles of SPPS with a review of linkers and supports currently employed are presented. Basic concepts for the different steps of SPPS such as anchoring, deprotection, coupling reaction and cleavage are all discussed along with the possible problem of aggregation and side-reactions. Essential protocols for the synthesis of fully deprotected peptides are presented including resin handling, coupling, capping, Fmoc-deprotection, final cleavage and disulfide bridge formation.
 
You really  think Nature uses this technology??
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:23pm
Opher
 
"rycK - are you suggesting I do not know the difference between ignorance and stupidity? I surely do. Trump has intelligence but is both ignorant and stupid. He is ignorant because he does not know or understand a lot of what is going on - as per the environment, fascists in Europe, diplomacy etc. - and stupid because he fails to take notice of those who do know and understand."
 
Opher
 
Opher - are you suggesting I do not know the difference between ignorance and stupidity? I surely do. Hillary Clinton has intelligence but is both ignorant and stupid. She is ignorant because he does not know or understand a lot of what is going on - as per the environment, fascists in Europe, diplomacy etc. - and stupid because she fails to take notice of those who do know and understand.
 
That essay fits well for the cases of Merkel, Macron, John Kerry, Obama and many others. I think those on the list above are both ignorant and stupid as they conform to your algorithm. 
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:03pm
Mr Jones - the atmosphere back at the beginning had hardly any oxygen and was predominantly methane, hydrogen, ammonia, water vapour, nitrogen and carbon dioxide with some rare gasses.
 
You're blissfully ignorant and wrong.
 
"The scientists show that the atmosphere of Earth just 500 million years after its creation was not a methane-filled wasteland as previously proposed, but instead was much closer to the conditions of our current atmosphere. [Got that, Goodwin?]
 
"For decades, scientists believed that the atmosphere of early Earth was highly reduced, meaning that oxygen was greatly limited. Such oxygen-poor conditions would have resulted in an atmosphere filled with noxious methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia. To date, there remain widely held theories and studies of how life on Earth may have been built out of this deadly atmosphere cocktail.
 
Now, scientists at Rensselaer are turning these atmospheric assumptions on their heads with findings that prove the conditions on early Earth were simply not conducive to the formation of this type of atmosphere, but rather to an atmosphere dominated by the more oxygen-rich compounds found within our current atmosphere — including water, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide."
 
Wake up, Goodwin. You're 60 years out of date.
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:29pm
All building blocks and polypeptides have been created including cytosine
 
It's OK to be blissfully ignorant but don't add "tiresome and boring" to that.
 
I never wrote that building blocks cannot be "created" in a laboratory with the help of intelligent designers known as LAB TECHNICIANS. I wrote that at least one essential building block in DNA, cytosine, has never been found in nature outside of an already functioning cell.
 
As for "polypeptides", that's simply a chain of amino acids bound together by peptide bonds that hasn't folded yet into a 3-D protein. "Polypeptides" by themselves are useless and prove nothing. A polypeptide has to fold correctly; then and only then is it a protein.
 
That's where you fall down. It is dictated by the nature of the molecules.
 
There's nothing in the physical structure of amino acids that would bias them toward forming one particular kind of chain as opposed to another. Amino acids have an identical central structure, and then each has a unique "side chain" that determines its specific characteristic. In terms of bonding affinities, any amino acid is capable of bonding to any other amino acid with almost equal probability. The relationship of one amino acid to another amino acid is the same as the relationship of a letter of the alphabet to any other letter of the alphabet: any letter is physically capable of sitting next to any other letter. The determining factor has nothing to do with the physical chemistry of the letter — the ink, or the paper it's printed on — but something non-physical: rules of English spelling and grammar.
 
Large sections of proteins do not have to have any organised structure.
 
I don't know what proteins you're talking about. Some proteins are highly specific and require exactly the right amino acids in the right place or it won't function; other proteins are less specific and permit some amino acid substitutions. There are no proteins that don't have an organized structure.
 
Most DNA codes for nothing.
 
You're rambling. The notion of "Junk DNA" has been trashed and is no longer the current paradigm. The sections of DNA that don't code specifically for protein synthesis have other functions in the cell. "Non-coding" does not mean "useless."
 
Speaking of DNA:
 
The helix of DNA is a sugar molecular called "ribose". It's produced in the cell during DNA replication by an enzyme, but the enzyme itself is coded for by DNA. Ribose can be synthesized with difficulty in a laboratory (with the aid of intelligent designers known as LAB TECHNICIANS); it's highly implausible that it could form on its own in nature.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 5:47pm
A. Jones
 
Very good. Some try to extend the boundaries of science beyond reasonable and verifiable limits. 
 
"it's highly implausible that it could form on its own in nature."
 
Quite correct in my view. The occurrence of DNA is vastly beyond any notion of randomness. It takes 3 bases to form a codon to specify only 1 amino acid in a protein. That means many steps are necessary to generate even a small peptide. That is a huge step in synthesis bio or otherwise. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:53pm
rycK - Yes I do. Nature uses that technology as the purpose of the exercise was to recreate the conditions present at the time.
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 6:57pm
Mr Jones - you said that it could not be created.
It doesn't form spontaneously when you send electrical discharges through mixtures of exotic gases. It's just there. So science hasn't shown anything."
Wrong - great sections of DNA, satellite DNA code for nothing and are useless.
Wrong - it is a pentose sugar called deoxyribose. Ribose is part of RNA. Both have been created in the experiments to recreate early conditions.
opher goodwin Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:00pm
Mr Jones - yes there are huge steps. Nobody is denying that. It is incredible that it happened. Perhaps in the whole universe, in the zillions of solar systems, this is the only time. Incredible eh? Not so incredible as a supernatural fairy coming out of nowhere and making a whole universe, and life, though is it?
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:23pm
Wrong - great sections of DNA, satellite DNA code for nothing and are useless.
 
Completely wrong. About 80% of DNA is functional (even if it doesn't code for amino acids), and most likely 100% is functional. Your assertions are based on old knowledge from 60 years ago. You're behind the times.
 
you said that it could not be created.
It doesn't form spontaneously when you send electrical discharges through mixtures of exotic gases.
 
No, I didn't say "it could not be created"; I said exactly what you quoted me as saying: It doesn't form spontaneously when you send electrical discharges through mixtures of exotic gases.
 
Regarding so-called "junk DNA", you are decades out of date:
 
Breakthrough study overturns theory of 'junk DNA' in genome
"The international ENCODE project has found that about a fifth of the human genome regulates the 2% that makes proteins"
 
"For years, the vast stretches of DNA between our 20,000 or so protein-coding genes – more than 98% of the genetic sequence inside each of our cells – was written off as "junk" DNA. Already falling out of favour in recent years, this concept will now, with Encode's work, be consigned to the history books."
 
"The researchers found that it is far from useless: within these regions they have identified more than 10,000 new "genes" that code for components that control how the more familiar protein-coding genes work. Up to 18% of our DNA sequence is involved in regulating the less than 2% of the DNA that codes for proteins. In total, Encode scientists say, about 80% of the DNA sequence can be assigned some sort of biochemical function."
 
"'Regulatory elements are the things that turn genes on and off,' says Professor Mike Snyder of Stanford University, who was a principal investigator in the Encode consortium. 'Much of the difference between people is due to the differences in the efficiency of these regulatory elements. There are more variants, we think, in the regulatory elements than in the genes themselves.'"
 
Most of the DNA strand is involved in regulatory functions within the genome, and not protein synthesis.
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:29pm
Not so incredible as a supernatural fairy coming out of nowhere and making a whole universe, and life, though is it?
 
Actually, you're wrong. For although a supernatural fairy might be impossible to imagine, your purely materialist explanation requiring sorting through 10^390 possibilities at random to find the ONE COMBINATION that makes the protein functional within a timeframe of 10^10 years is actually just impossible. Not impossible to imagine; just impossible to occur. Period.
 
So a Prime Mover or Creator makes much more sense intellectually (and mathematically) even if we can't create an image in our minds of what such a being might look like.
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 7:50pm
It is incredible that it happened. Perhaps in the whole universe, in the zillions of solar systems, this is the only time. Incredible eh?
 
Yes, it's apparent that the materialist explanation for the appearance of life in an otherwise lifeless universe ultimately rests on naïve ideas of "luck", "chance", and "defying the mathematical odds." Alas, mathematics cannot be defeated here:
 
Regarding a small protein of 300 amino acids, the odds of that particular arrangement of amino acids are 1 in 20^300 possibilities, or about 1/10^390. Which means that the odds of that combination NOT occurring are 1-1/10^390.
 
Keep in mind that 1/10^390 means:
 
1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
 
While 14 billion years since the big bang means:
 
14,000,000,000
 
I've emphasized in bold-italics the equivalent number above. Remember, too, that every time you multiply the 14 billion by a factor of 10 (e.g., "140 billion years"), you only add one zero to the number. You'd have to multiply by a factor of ten about 380 times in order for the time limit to be within range of the number of possibilities.
 
You are actually the one who believes in miracles (mathematical miracles), not I.
 
Given the fact that the material side of the universe is completely at the mercy of thermodynamic laws — especially the 2nd law governing entropy — it appears that most of the blind physical forces in the universe tend toward destruction (breaking things down, making them more and more disorganized), and not construction, especially when construction entails specificity; i.e., putting discrete units of things (like amino acids) into a specific order.
A. Jones Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:06pm
Yale Medicine:
 
"Yale scientists played a leading role in an international effort to map the 99 percent of the human genome that doesn’t produce proteins—perhaps ending the notion that those regions are 'junk'."
 
"R.I.P., junk DNA: not the DNA as such, but the moniker that has described it in a misleading fashion for years. Scientists have long known that vast swatches of the human genome don’t produce proteins. They have also known that these sections are nonetheless active. How much of the genome produces proteins was not known until the first draft of the Human Genome Project, released in 2000, tallied the coding regions of the genome. Only about 1 percent—roughly 21,000 genes—codes for proteins. And the other 99 percent?"
 
"The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) began a follow-up to the Human Genome Project in 2003. With a budget of $288 million, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) would map that 99 percent and catalogue its functional elements for a better understanding of the genome and its role in human biology and disease. ENCODE enlisted 440 researchers at 32 institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore, and Japan, who communicated via wikis, Google docs, and two face-to-face meetings each year. The researchers began with a pilot project that would study just 1 percent of the genome while gauging research methods and technologies. Their findings, published in Nature and Genome Research in 2007, showed that the project could identify and characterize functional elements in the genome. In the next phase, the consortium went beyond the initial 1 percent and covered the whole genome by studying 147 cell types and performing more than 1,600 experiments."
 
"In September the findings from those experiments were published in such journals as Nature, Genome Research, and Genome Biology. This research announced all ENCODE, "gives the first holistic view of how the human genome actually does its job."
 
"The consortium found biological activity in 80 percent of the genome and identified about 4 million sites that play a role in regulating genes. Some noncoding sections, as had long been known, regulate genes. Some noncoding regions bind regulatory proteins, while others code for strands of RNA that regulate gene expression. Yale scientists, who played a key role in this project, also found "fossils," genes that date to our nonhuman ancestors and may still have a function. Mark B. Gerstein, Ph.D., the Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics and professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and computer science, led a team that unraveled the network of connections between coding and noncoding sections of the genome."
 
"'We’ve come a long way,' said Ewan Birney, Ph.D., of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in the United Kingdom, lead analysis coordinator for ENCODE. 'By carefully piecing together a simply staggering variety of data, we’ve shown that the human genome is simply alive with switches, turning our genes on and off and controlling when and where proteins are produced. ENCODE has taken our knowledge of the genome to the next level, and all of that knowledge is being shared openly.'"
A. Jones Added Feb 16, 2018 - 6:50am
Ignorance gives us great motivation to explore and investigate.
 
Ignorance, per se, provides no motivation at all to explore and investigate. Curiosity provides such motivation, not ignorance.
opher goodwin Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:59pm
Well you can sure write 0s. It's a shame you don't have the sense to understand. It's also a shame you didn't have a dollop of curiosity.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 16, 2018 - 3:38pm
AJ
 
"Curiosity provides such motivation, not ignorance."
 
And careful observations  on your  work. [26     papers here+ 6 patents ..all PR]
 
Opher
 
"Curiosity provides such motivation, not ignorance."
 
An invitation to some sophistry? 
opher goodwin Added Feb 16, 2018 - 5:58pm
Curiously motivating for the ignorant.
A. Jones Added Feb 17, 2018 - 3:01am
It's a shame you don't have the sense to understand.
 
To understand what? I understand your information is 60 years out of date and you're not curious enough to update it.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 17, 2018 - 12:20pm
or at least back to 1848, London