Cell biology Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity Origin Of Life

Paul Davies: The really tough question is how life’s hardware can write its own software

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The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life by [Davies, Paul]

Paul Davies, author of The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life thinks we overlook the difficulty and offers a solution:Nature got there first:

It turns out that nature got there first. Living cells are replete with demonic nanomachines, chuntering away, running the business of life. There are molecular motors and rotors and ratchets, honed by evolution to operate at close to perfect thermodynamic efficiency, playing the margins of the second law to gain a vital advantage. A much-studied example is a two-legged molecule called kinesin. It transports cargo along fibres inside cells, gingerly walking one step at a time, all the while buffeted by a hail of thermally agitated water molecules. Kinesin harnesses this thermal pandemonium and converts it into unidirectional motion, functioning as a ratchet. It isn’t a totally free lunch: kinesin performs its feat by exploiting small, energised molecules known as ATP that are made in vast quantities to pay the fuel bills of life. But by converting information about molecular bombardment into directed motion, it achieves a much higher efficiency than it would by using brute force to slog through the molecular barrage. There are many other examples: our brains contain a type of Maxwell demon called a voltage-gated ion channel. This uses information about incoming electrical pulses to open and close molecular shutters in the surfaces of axons, the wires down which neurons communicate with each other, and so permit signals to flow through the neural circuitry. These gates are operated using almost no energy: astoundingly, the human brain processes as much information as a megawatt supercomputer using little more power than a small incandescent light bulb. (paywall) Paul Davies, “What is life?” at New Scientist

It’s not clear how that’s a solution unless he thinks nature is an intelligent being. He must know that it cannot have fallen into place randomly. But what else can he dare think?

See also: Paul Davies And The “Struggle To Define Life”


Paul Davies: Life’s defining characteristics are better understood as information

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2 Replies to “Paul Davies: The really tough question is how life’s hardware can write its own software

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Paul Davies’ title of his article is taken from Erwin Schrödinger’s 1944 book “What Is Life”. Jim Al-Khalili, who is a professor of theoretical physics at the university of Surrey, comments on Schrödinger’s book,

    You’re powered by quantum mechanics. No, really… – Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden – Saturday 25 October 2014
    Excerpt: “Schrödinger pointed out that many of life’s properties, such as heredity, depend of molecules made of comparatively few particles – certainly too few to benefit from the order-from-disorder rules of thermodynamics. But life was clearly orderly. Where did this orderliness come from? Schrödinger suggested that life was based on a novel physical principle whereby its macroscopic order is a reflection of quantum-level order, rather than the molecular disorder that characterises the inanimate world. He called this new principle “order from order”. But was he right?
    Up until a decade or so ago, most biologists would have said no. But as 21st-century biology probes the dynamics of ever-smaller systems – even individual atoms and molecules inside living cells – the signs of quantum mechanical behaviour in the building blocks of life are becoming increasingly apparent. Recent research indicates that some of life’s most fundamental processes do indeed depend on weirdness welling up from the quantum undercurrent of reality.”

    Jim Al-Khalili further comments how (Darwinian) biology, since it basically ignores quantum biology, and still uses antiquated notions of ‘balls and sticks models of molecules’, is not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand biology.

    Jim Al-Khalili, at the 2:30 minute mark of the following video states,
    “,,and Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video

    Indeed, not being on the correct theoretical ‘quantum’ foundation is a far bigger problem for Darwinian atheists than they have dared imagine.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video

    For instance, quantum information is conserved,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of neo-Darwinian claims that say information is emergent from a material basis, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have strong physical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    In the following video, entitled Quantum Entangled Consciousness, Stuart Hameroff states that ‘it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul’.

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)


    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Psalm 139:13
    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    ‘The really tough question is how life’s hardware can write its own software.’
    ‘Beautifully succint.’ But still above the heads of atheists. I see that it’s become fashionable among them now to cast themselves as ‘agnostics’.

    The penny’s finally dropped. A little progress is better thn none ; he perfect being the enemy of the good, and all that.

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