On Saturday, September 29, 2012 1:41:25 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
>
> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 1:49 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
>
> >> But 
> >> leaving that obvious fact aside, the other obvious fact is that 
> >> evolution has used organic chemistry to make self-replicators because 
> >> that was the easiest way to do it. Do you imagine that if it were easy 
> >> to evolve steel claws which helped predators catch prey that steel 
> >> claws would not have evolved? What would have prevented their 
> >> evolution, divine intervention? 
> > 
> > 
> > You are assuming that there are other options though. Maybe there are, 
> but 
> > we don't know that for sure yet. If there were, it seems like there 
> would be 
> > either multiple kinds of biology in the history of the world, or 
> individual 
> > species which have mutated to exploit the variety of inorganic compounds 
> in 
> > the universe available. What prevented their evolution is the same thing 
> > that creates thermodynamic irreversibility out of reversible quantum 
> wave 
> > functions. The universe is an event, not a machine. When something 
> happens, 
> > the whole universe is changed, and maybe that change becomes the active 
> > arrow of qualitative progress. Organic chemistry got there first, 
> therefore 
> > that door may be closed - unless we, as biological agents, open a new 
> one. 
>
> Iron is already present in haemoglobin and myoglobin. For that matter, 
> silicon may also be an essential micronutrient for bone health 
> (
> http://www.spritzer.com.my/WebLITE/Applications/news/uploaded/docs/Dietary%20Silicon%202004.pdf).
>  
>
> What prevents these elements from being utilised in a different way? 
> Would it disprove your entire theory if we found an animal living in 
> some forgotten hole that had steel claws? 
>
>
Organisms can utilize inorganic minerals, sure. Salt would be a better 
example as we can actually eat it in its pure form and we actually need to 
eat it. But that's completely different than a living cell made of salt and 
iron that eats sand. The problem is that the theory that there is no reason 
why this might not be possible doesn't seem to correspond to the reality 
that all we have ever seen is a very narrow category of basic biologically 
active substances. It's not that I have a theory that there couldn't be 
inorganic life, it is just that the universe seems very heavily invested in 
the appearance that such a thing is not merely unlikely or impossible, but 
that it is the antithesis of life. My suggestion is that we take that 
rather odd but stubbornly consistent hint of a truth as possibly important 
data. Failing to do that is like assuming that mixing carbon monoxide in 
the air shouldn't be much different than mixing in some carbon dioxide.

Craig

-- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 
>

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