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Researcher asks, Is pre-Darwinian evolution plausible?


At Biology Direct:

Abstract: This essay highlights critical aspects of the plausibility of pre-Darwinian evolution. It is based on a critical review of some better-known open, far-from-equilibrium system-based scenarios supposed to explain processes that took place before Darwinian evolution had emerged and that resulted in the origin of the first systems capable of Darwinian evolution. The researchers’ responses to eight crucial questions are reviewed. The majority of the researchers claim that there would have been an evolutionary continuity between chemistry and “biology”. A key question is how did this evolution begin before Darwinian evolution had begun? In other words the question is whether pre-Darwinian evolution is plausible. Marc Tessera, “Is pre-Darwinian evolution plausible” at Biology Direct

The paper is open access.

One problem is that life forms, as we know them strive to stay in the organized state we call being “alive.” Rocks don’t strive to prevent themselves from becoming sand. What would drive non-life to become life?

Note: A friend also writes to say, Biology Direct has been a favorite journal for some time, for two reasons:

1. Open access — every paper, all the time

2. The referee reports and the author’s responses are appended to each paper. Now that’s science transparency.

See also: Before RNA world: Motivated soup world

Matter tends to disintegrate into a more likely state, not assemble itself into a more complex, unlikely state. Unharnessed energy applied to matter tends to further its disintegration. Think of the difference between a nuclear power plant and a nuclear explosion. Natural systems that constructively harness energy so as to decrease the entropy of matter are not trivial; they are complex. Read about the complexity of photosynthesis, for example. To find the path from inanimate matter to life requires finding a mindlessly and accidentally arrived at system that constructively harnesses energy. That would be a start but one would still have to explain how massive quantities of extremely precise, functionally complex digital information in the coding regions of DNA was arrived at. harry
:) Upright BiPed
PavelU "You’re trying to persuade others to believe" You made my day :) Your 'convincing' argument is nothing new. I have heard it in many forms. This soup nonsense is in fact very old. No physical necessity restricts the possibility space of written or spoken text. DNA is a set of instructions to the processor and therefore is a text. Language systems do not arise of physical necessity. Life is a self-replicating semantically-closed heterogenous system with symbolic memory. There could have been no non-symbolic 'mindless' precursor of life. The only credibly known source of such systems is intelligence. EugeneS
PaoloV @17
However, in order to at least make an attempt to understand it, I would have to ask you questions about the meaning of what you wrote. If you can’t explain it, then there’s no hope that I could ever understand it.
Well, ask questions then. The answer to your "How did you learn that concept so well?" (presumably about communism) is "none of your business". Next? Nonlin.org
Well, as of course Darwinian evolution is not plausible, how can we define pre-darwinian evolution? Pre-not plausible?
You beat Mung for the funniest comment of the day :-) bill cole
Nonlin @15:
this is the only thing you got out of the comment?!?
Actually, no. I got nothing out of your comment. I fully agree with gpuccio @14: it makes no sense. However, in order to at least make an attempt to understand it, I would have to ask you questions about the meaning of what you wrote. If you can't explain it, then there's no hope that I could ever understand it. The ball is in your court. Your choice. Take it or leave it. Thanks. PaoloV
Nonlin, How did you learn that concept so well? In college or autodidact? PaoloV
PaoloV, Yes, I know VERY WELL! what communism is, and it's absolute evil, EXACTLY! like nazism (if not worse!). Too much to explain, sorry. One thing I will say: you read The New Testament all wrong if you think Jesus preached communism. But forget that, this is the only thing you got out of the comment?!? Focus on the topic :) gpuccio, No worries, I got patience and KNOW one day you will agree with me, though not today :) Nonlin.org
Nonlin.org at #12: "Makes sense?" No. gpuccio
Nonlin, What do you mean by "mini-communism"? Do you know what "communism" is (without the "mini" prefix)? Why do you say that it's bad? Please, explain. Thanks. PaoloV
PaoloV, gpuccio, Next you will tell me that mini-communism and micro-nazism are good, despite their macro-versions being bad. You can't just recycle someone's bad ideas and hope for the best. With "NS", Darwin conjured into existence an imaginary process that needs no principal. But is that what you want? More importantly, is that what's happening? Not at all! http://nonlin.org/natural-selection/ The changes we see in bacteria antibiotic resistance, etc. need no "NS" explanation. We simply see adaptability and variations around means but no "divergence of character" whatsoever. Humans design adaptive systems all the time and never describe them as subject to "NS". That would be ridiculous. Now let's take ab-resistance: 1. The bacteria has no obligation to survive and often doesn't. 2. When it survives, it is thanks to this limited built-in adaptation mechanism (it will not grow wings and fly away). 3. The bacteria "selects" itself or is "selected" by other organisms, so there is always an intelligent agent involved CONTRARY to the "NS" story (quote-unquote because you wouldn't say this or that human army "selects against" the enemy). 4. All organisms constantly fight antibiotic wars, so there's nothing special about ab-resistance. 5. When the war is over, ab-resistance GOES AWAY showing NO EVOLUTION. That's why we only see ab-resistance in hospitals and other such "war zones" - thank God for no evolution, or we might all be dead by now. Makes sense? Micro and macro are just generic qualifiers that come in pairs, while evolution - the word retained - is in fact the concept in question. Accepting microevolution creates confusion and is self defeating for those that reject Darwinist macroevolution. A better choice than microevolution is adaptation - an ancient concept (predates evolution), and an observed feature of all living organisms. Nonlin.org
Nonlin.org at #9: You seem to believe that thinking that NS exists ("is a thing", as you say) is the same as thinking that NS can explain the complex functional information we observe in biological objects. As usual, you are very, very wrong. However, as you know, I will not go again into a detailed discussion with you about those issues. Been there, done that. gpuccio
Nonlin.org, Perhaps there is a misunderstanding. Isn't “natural selection” the name of a process that the Darwinian theory combines with "random variation" to produce a limited range of viable changes within any given baramin? Perhaps bacteria antibiotic resistance is a valid example? I think the feasibility issues have to do mainly with macroevolution, not microevolution. MA not mi. Sometimes called evolutionary adaptation? However, one could argue that epigenetics and other mechanisms are behind the biological variety within baramins. I think gpuccio has written at least a couple of OPs on this important "limitation" topic. PaoloV
gpuccio @1 Wait! Are you not the one that thinks "natural selection" is a thing? Are you now saying that "Darwinian evolution is not plausible" when Darwin's contribution to "evolution" (a philosophy that preceded him by generations) was in fact "natural selection"? Nonlin.org
There is a better chance that Stonehenge is the result of materialistic, ie blind and mindless, processes than there is that life is the result of materialistic processes. ET
Deputy Dog:
Rocks…..Life The ultimate false dichotomy.
Then it's a good thing that no one is making such a claim. ET
Rocks.....Life The ultimate false dichotomy. Deputy Dog
Eugene S: You're trying to persuade others to believe in the existence of a gap between the inanimate and the animate world. Well, I have bad news for you. There's no such gap. That's only an illusion. You may want to look at this convincing argument. PavelU
gpuccio may have just unwittingly created a new term to label an emergent theory: "Pre-not plausible" evolution. Actually it sounds important already. :) PaoloV
Neo-Platonists insist no matter what that there is no gap between life and non-life. EugeneS
Pre-biotic life? Mung
Well, as of course Darwinian evolution is not plausible, how can we define pre-darwinian evolution? Pre-not plausible? gpuccio

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