Posted by: mrborden | August 23, 2014

Week 2 Introduction to Life


Aug 25 2014
QFD : When science finally locates the center of the universe, some people will be surprised to learn they’re not it.
Anonymous
?fd: what is a sharps container?
Learning objective: HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

Wod: abiogenesis – or spontaneous generation 1.
the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation.

1) article analysis
Can you prove to me that abiogenesis is the only cause of life?
Author #1
>”I thought the whole point of science was to prove things.”

No. On that point you are quite mistaken.

Science does not “prove” things.

Science *explains* things.

The goal of science is to produce the best explanation based on the current evidence. The reason supernatural agents are excluded from scientific explanations is just because they make *lousy* explanations. The supernatural agent is more mysterious and complex than the thing it purports to “explain.”

>”Science demands that you rule out all other potential causes for the effect in question before you say that you know its cause.”

Not quite true. If science is faced with two possible causes for an effect, it tries to find some experiment or observation that rules one out but not the other. If this is not possible, then Occam’s Razor comes into play … the explanation with the fewest assumptions is considered the best explanation. Supernatural agents *BY DEFINITION* are impossible to rule out … but that strength is also the weakness of supernatural causal explanations in science because *BY DEFINITION* they always lose out in an Occam’s Razor comparison with any explanation that involves only natural phenomena.

For example, what causes the sun to rise and set? The scientific reason is that we live on a rotating globe. An alternative cause might be that God moves the sun through the sky … and there is no way to “rule out” that alternative. Nor the alternative that Apollo carries the sun across the sky in a horse-drawn chariot. Nor the alternative that Tsohanoai the Navajo Sun God carries the sun on his back. (This is the precise point of the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, may the pasta bless them.) As none of these, or dozens of other alternative causes can be ruled out, the *only* thing that makes us choose the “rotating globe” explanation is just that it is the simplest … it requires no additional assumptions. We cannot prove that it “cannot be any other way” … but we go with the simplest explanation we can find.

So in science, Occam’s Razor trumps Aristotle.

Now to your main question:

>”explain to me how life can come from things that aren’t alive.”

This question, as worded, assumes there is some fundamental boundary between between things that “alive” and those that are not “alive”. Yet, the closer we look at the molecular level, the more elusive that boundary becomes. “Life” seems to be simply a degree of self-replicating complexity. So it is a valid question to wonder how that self-replicating complexity can arise … but not if you assume that life and non-life are two fundamentally different forms of matter.

As correctly noted by people in your other post, and as correctly addressed in your revised question here … the question of abiogenesis is limited to the emergence of the essential ingredients of natural selection. Once natural selection is operating, we leave the less well-understood question of abiogenesis and move into the *far* better understood arena of evolution … natural selection explains everything from first replicating molecule to the modern world of sponges, orchids, and humans.

So with all that said, I fully admit that I cannot “prove” that abiogenesis is the “only” cause of life (as opposed to a supernatural agent), other than to say that biochemists are hot on the question of how this *might* have happened … and when a leading theory emerges (there are currently several … mostly very good ones), then the next step will be to search for evidence that it not only *might* have happened that way, but actually *did* happen.

But even then, no scientist will ever say it is “proved” … any more than a scientist says that atoms and molecules are “proved.” It’s all about explanations of evidence. No more.

Response

I still say you need to educate yourself and stop the ” appeal to authority ” argument from Aristotle. Look at what you have written. Amino acids do not form DNA, but form proteins. DNA is formed from deoxyribonucleic acid. I do not have to meet conditions laid down by a philosopher that died 2500 years ago.Scientists do not prove things, but are convinced by the evidence, Abiogenisis is a hypothesis for just this reason, but the probability of some like process engendering life is by many orders of magnitude greater than the alternatives. We are not creationists, here, so do not claim access to all truth, but by the effects seen and processes done, we know we are the result of physio-chemical processes. Any other agency, being a remarkable claim to truth, would need remarkable evidence. I have given you a web site; use it.

Chance organization? You are truly ignorant of the ” blind watchmaker “, natural selection. You are thinking top down design, not a simple algorithm construction complexity from simplicity. We know this happens, however you define your terms. Google polyploidy and the fossil evidence, radiometric evidence and comparative morphology. Somehow, I think you will not, as you have some preconceptions to overcome first.

That is why you construct competing hypothesis to ever approximate the truth. Again; science does not prove things, because things may need some adjustment in the future, Newton to Einstein is one example of this. Newtonian mechanics are still used at the speeds we travel, while Einstienian mechanics for light speed. The latter was a better approxamation than the former, but we did not through out the former. No Kuhnian paradigm shift, usually. Only Darwin paradigm shifted when he completed the Coperican revolution in science. My bed time is near, so I suggest you get to googling.

Further more Aristotle’s concepts and criteria set back scientific progress for a thousand years. And again you ” argue from authority “.

1) which of these 2 sides do you agree with, is there a third argument that can be made? Answer in a paragraph in your notebook 

Homework : ,read pgs 4-8 in textbook and complete mini lab on pg 8 using and naming 3 non living and 3 living from your own house..examples ..take pictures of these objects and make them into a document using google docs labeling them as living or non living things or print them out and be able to show the class on Tuesday 1) justify your answers in a paragraph why these items are living or non living things 

August  26 2014

QFD : Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.
Albert Einstein
?fd: Are animals autotrophs or heterotrophs? why? 
Learning objective: HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order: Primates
Suborder: Anthropoidea
Superfamily: Hominoidea
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Homo
Species: sapiens

Website:

Aug 27 2014
QFD : The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.
Albert Einstein
?fd:
Learning objective: HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

Quiz lab safety and first two weeks

1.You have accidentally broken a test tube and spilled a chemical on the table. Which of the following best explains what you should do?
A.Use water and paper towels to clean up the spill; place the broken test tube in the disposal container specified by the teacher for sharp objects.
B.Throw the glass into the nearest trash bin and let the spill air-dry.
C. Quickly dispose of the glass, wipe up the spill with the nearest cloth, and hope nobody notices.
D.Caution your lab partners to avoid the area while you inform the teacher of the small accident.
2.You should wear safety goggle during every science block.
A.True. You can never be too safe.
B.False. You should wear goggles only when working with chemicals or heat.
3.Right when you get to class, it is important to get started on the lab even if your teacher hasn’t given you instructions yet.
A.True. You don’t want to fall behind everyone else.
B. False. You should always read the directions before you start a lab.
4.What is important to remember while you are using heat?
A. Do not heat closed containers.
B. Point the mouth of the container away from yourself and classmates.
C. Always use clamps to hold the container.
D. All of the above
5. Always use water to put out a fire.
a) true B false
6. What does skeptical mean?
A.That you are open to new ideas.
B.That you have good and unique ideas.
C.That you don’t believe everything you hear.
D. That you think things through.
7. What does “diversity” mean?
A. A great variety.
B. The study of butterflies.
C. Things that are the same are really different.
D. Creating dimension in our world.
8. Long hair, hanging jewelry, and loose clothing can be dangerous in a lab.
A. True. They can get into chemicals, fire, or knock something over.
B. False. They are perfectly safe as long as you have read through all of the directions.
9. When studying a chemical it is important to touch, taste, and smell it so that you know a lot about it.
A. True.
B. False.
10. Before starting a lab you should…
A. Read all directions
B. Clear off your table of books, food, and drinks.
C. Ask the teacher about any questions you have.
D. All of the above.

Aug 28 2014
QFD : In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.
William Osler
?fd:
Learning objective: HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

Copy of Who stole my aligator head

Experiment Write Up

Aug 29 2014
QFD : The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.
William Bragg, Sr.

?fd:
Learning objective: HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

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