>-----Original Message-----
>From: Norman Samish [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
>Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 6:46 AM
>To: everything-list@eskimo.com
>Subject: Re: objections to QTI
>Dear Prof. Standish,
>Thanks for the quibbles, which sound reasonable.  However, I'm going to
>stand my ground.
>You gave this reference about life's origins.  (I found it at
>This article, as you point out, asserts "that the rapidity of biogenesis on
>Earth suggests that life is common in the Universe."   This assertion is
>shown to be probably correct with some reasonable assumptions.  One of the
>assumptions is that if life occurs here, it must also occur on other
>terrestrial planets.  However, the part that I have trouble with is figuring
>out exactly how that first living organism was created.  ("Living" means it
>has the ability to take in energy from the environment and transform the
>energy for growth and reproduction.)  "Living" requires a highly organized
>and complex mechanism - that humans, so far, have not been able to create.
>I can't imagine how such an organism could occur accidentally.  I would call
>that first living organism a miraculous circumstance.

Maybe it's just a failure of imagination.  Could you have imagined quantum
mechanics?  There are several good theories of how life may have originated on
Earth.  See "The Origins of Life" by Maynard Smith and Szathmary and "Origins
of Life" by Freeman Dyson for two of them.

Brent Meeker

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