News Origin Of Life

Unsolved problems in biology

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From Real Clear Science:

When biologists get together to discuss the nagging mysteries in their diverse field, there’s always that elephant in the room: How did life spring up from non-life? But, according to highly regarded cancer researcher Robert Weinberg, it’s an elephant that most biologists ignore, or at least discreetly avoid. “Origin of life is not something people work on that much because it’s so far away from resolution.”

Instead, biologists turn their attention to other problems, fruits that hang a bit lower on the tree. Though these queries may not be of existential interest, they’re no less fascinating.

Your Nobel? Here’s one:

It is a beautiful irony that the smallest of creatures is at the center of one of the largest mysteries in biology. Plankton, microscopic marine organisms, are wide-ranging and diverse. Strangely, as many as a dozen species can co-exist in relatively small, homogenous habitats, like lakes. This flouts the hugely successful competitive exclusion principle, which states that when multiple species vie for the same resources, one will eventually drive the others to extinction.

It’s no paradox if you dismiss Darwin first. Just a fact. Enjoy the rest.

PS: We don’t really know that the competitive exclusion principle IS hugely successful, only that one can easily get permission to teach it as such. It could be flouted all the time in nature, but why would THAT matter, compared to what taxpayers are compelled to fund?

See also: Why origin of life is such a hard
(origin of life)

6 Replies to “Unsolved problems in biology

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Thank you News for this OP.
    Have a good weekend!

    PS. Here’s a recent paper reference along the same lines:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-565158

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “Origin of life is not something people work on that much because it’s so far away from resolution.”
    Instead, biologists turn their attention to other problems, fruits that hang a bit lower on the tree. Though these queries may not be of existential interest, they’re no less fascinating.

    Translation,

    “since we don’t want to ever admit that it is impossible for unguided material processes to explain where life came from in the first place, then we will just sit back and make up ‘just so stories’ about how all the other wonders in life came about by unguided material processes. It’s much easier to pretend you are doing science when you don’t actually have to question the false presupposition(s) of naturalism.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause,, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    “For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses.”
    Phillip Johnson – The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Ben Carson’s ID The Future interview made it on cnsnews:

    Ben Carson on Evolution: ‘Life Evolve From Non-Life? Incredible Fairy Tales’
    By Michael W. Chapman | May 13, 2015
    http://cnsnews.com/blog/michae.....ry-tales-0

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    More unsolved problems in biology:

    1. One of the great merits of the neo-Darwinian synthesis is its extraordinary explanatory power. Indeed this explanatory power is one of the best reasons we have for accepting this theory as a true account of the living world.

    2. Explanations in evolutionary biology are couched in terms of contrastive causes and alternative effects.

    3. Contrastive explanations presuppose a reliable grasp of the modal character both of the effect and the non-actualized alternatives, but

    4. There is currently no consensus on how to determine the modal character of the effect and the non-actualized alternatives.

    : Contrastive Explanations in Evolutionary Biology
    : Stephen Boulter

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    Is cancer closer to be conquered Mr Weinberg? Are you doing your job or trying to figure out more difficult conclusions on the origin of life?
    The origin of life is settled. the bible says all about it.
    i think cancer can be beat and thats the mystery in biology to be figurede out.

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    Over two years later are they still unsolved?

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