The origin of "life" on earth

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tomschwarz
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The origin of "life" on earth

Post by tomschwarz » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:07 pm

Hello friends,

We know about algae and bacteria. And we developed from them (enter dependent origination/emptiness). And we know that although scientists can make organic moleculess from inorganic molecules, we still cant make "living" things from "inanimate" ones....

Question, could it be that the boundry living/nonliving is contrived? I mean take iron, created (only?) in a supernova, it changes when it reacts with oxygen (also created in supernovas) and rusts. That is a lot of what it means to be alive. So could it be that the missing link(s) between organic molecules and "life" are sitting right under our noses, just that they look(ed) dead?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Lukeinaz » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:38 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:07 pm
Hello friends,

We know about algae and bacteria. And we developed from them (enter dependent origination/emptiness). And we know that although scientists can make organic moleculess from inorganic molecules, we still cant make "living" things from "inanimate" ones....

Question, could it be that the boundry living/nonliving is contrived? I mean take iron, created (only?) in a supernova, it changes when it reacts with oxygen (also created in supernovas) and rusts. That is a lot of what it means to be alive. So could it be that the missing link(s) between organic molecules and "life" are sitting right under our noses, just that they look(ed) dead?
Of course it is contrived.
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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Mantrik » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:36 am

I tend to think of it in terms of energy rather than evolving forms.
I see no science so far identifying an origin for energy nor its disappearance, only evidence of changing results of energy flow.
So, like consciousness, I'm not much bothered about where it all began, as I believe it has always existed.
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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:56 am

It's not the kind of question Buddhists usually bother with, as their interest is the origin of suffering, not 'the origin of it all'. That said, I think Buddhists obviously recognise that there's a distinction between sentient beings and insentient objects, but I don't think it matters much where that difference originates. It's simply something to recognise and respond to.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:08 pm

"According to the Aggañña Sutta,[4] which relates the Buddhist legend regarding the evolution of the world, the appearance of greed in the primordial beings — who at that time were self-luminous, subsisting on joy, and traversing in the skies — caused the gradual loss of their radiance and their ability to subsist on joy and to move about in the sky. The moral degradation had effects on the external environment too. At that time the entire earth was covered over by a very flavorsome fragrant substance similar to butter. When beings started partaking of this substance with more and more greed, on the one hand their subtle bodies became coarser and coarser. On the other hand the flavorsome substance itself started gradually diminishing. With the solidification of bodies differences of form appeared; some were beautiful while others were homely. Thereupon conceit manifested itself in those beings, and the beautiful ones started looking down upon the others. As a result of these moral blemishes the delicious edible earth-substance completely disappeared. In its place there appeared edible mushrooms and later another kind of edible creeper. In the beings who subsisted on them successively sex differentiation became manifest and the former method of spontaneous birth was replaced by sexual reproduction.

Self-growing rice appeared on earth and through laziness to collect each meal man grew accustomed to hoarding food. As a result of this hoarding habit, the growth rate of food could not keep pace with the rate of demand. Therupon land had to be divided among families. After private ownership of land became the order of the day, those who were of a more greedy disposition started robbing from others' plots of land. When they were detected they denied that they had stolen. Thus through greed vices such as stealing and lying became manifest in society. To curb the wrong doers and punish them a king was elected by the people and thus the original simple society became much more complex and complicated. It is said that this moral degeneration of man had adverse effects on nature. The richness of the earth diminished and self-growing rice disappeared. Man had to till the land and cultivate rice for food. This rice grain was enveloped in chaff; it needed cleaning before consumption.

The point I wish to emphasize by citing this evolutionary legend is that Buddhism believes that though change is a factor inherent in nature, man's moral deterioration accelerates the process of change and brings about changes which are adverse to human well being and happiness."

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:03 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:36 am
I tend to think of it in terms of energy rather than evolving forms.
right... ...interesting ideas here all around. so although some earth butter is probably the best resolution of a (any) problem, i turn, not unlike his holiness the dalai lama, to the reality of science and the concomitant reality of Buddhism in everyday life. no gap there. if there is one, we should close it, again, a theme from his holiness the dalai lama of tibet.

so, riddle me this buddhists, what is the relationship of evolving (and conservation of) energy and the terms "subtle body" and "subtle mind" that are suppose to be the extent of our personal experience after death in the intermediate state? is that one in the same thing, e.g. heat energy or molecular bonding energy, whatever that is, "A molecular, or covalent bond, is formed when atoms bond by sharing pairs of electrons. This sharing can occur from atom to atom, or from an atom to another molecular bond." doah! ...or, are you taking the direction that wayfarer takes here, that all of this atomic, sub, atomic, science, even theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, etc... is the banal phenomenal world of duality and has nothing to do with the real stuff of buddhism, the golden mind, and its suffering/its causes/cessation of suffering/path to the same?

because i have a hunch, that all of that stuff we see and measure is very much part of all that we are/ever will be.... no? or do you believe in god?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:53 am

are you asking about how awareness interacts (arises) with matter?
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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:10 am

Like some ghost in a machine..... :rolling:
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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Vasana » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:25 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:07 pm

Question, could it be that the boundry living/nonliving is contrived? I mean take iron, created (only?) in a supernova, it changes when it reacts with oxygen (also created in supernovas) and rusts. That is a lot of what it means to be alive. So could it be that the missing link(s) between organic molecules and "life" are sitting right under our noses, just that they look(ed) dead?
Yup.

"Consider one definite molecule. It is part of nature. It has moved about for millions of years. Perhaps it started from a distant nebula. It enters the body; it may be as a factor in some edible vegetable; or it passes into the lungs as part of the air. At what exact point as it enters the mouth, or as it is absorbed through the skin, is it part of the body? At what exact moment, later on, does it cease to be part of the body? Exactness is out of the question. "
— Alfred North Whitehead

“In a chemical sense, we really blend in with the people around us like spilled paint; your molecules and mine are continually drifting off the surface of our skin, breathed out of our noses, flaked off hair and scalps. Individuals don’t have sharp edges. We blur into each other’s space like perfume molecules wafting from an open bottle.”
— K.C.Cole

“The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant.”
— Bernard Wolfe

"I would like you to show me, if you can, where the line can be drawn between an organism and it’s environment. The environment is in you. It’s passing through you. You’re breathing it in and out. You and every other creature."-
— Wendell Berry

"Where do I begin and end in space? I have relations to the sun and air which are just as vital parts of my existence as my heart."
— Alan Watts

“Our existence is not so much individual as it is emergent from an inconceivable profusion of intimacies, relations, exchanges and ineffibles... nearly all of which are as invisible to our language and tradition as they are to ordinary awareness. And yet ordinary awareness is one of the results of their fusion. We are alive ‘in a constellation’ of relationships... physical, historical, emotional, temporal... endless domains of them. We do not live merely in a body, in a place, and yet, it is »from this position that our experience is rendered tangible, coherent, and relatively... linear.”
— Darin Stevenson

"Every moment of experience is contingent on a vast complex of myriad conditions. Nothing exists in and of itself as ‘this’ or 'that,’ 'self’ or 'other.’ Everything is what it is only in relation to what it is not. To recognize this emptiness is not to negate things but to glimpse what enables anything to happen at all."
— Stephen Batchelor

"Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves."
— Nagarjuna

" Recalling the principle of interdependence, we can expand our sense of ourselves beyond the narrow limits of our own body and experiences, to encompass everything our life connects to.Interdependence is our reality, whether we accept it or not. In order to live productively within such a reality, it is better to acknowledge and work with interdependence, wholeheartedly and without resistance. This is where love and compassion come in. It is love that leads us to embrace our connectedness to others, and to participate willingly in the relations created by our interdependence"
— HHKarmapa17 OTD
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:36 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:53 am
are you asking about how awareness interacts (arises) with matter?
.
.
.
yes, that is right. great way to put it.... lets be specific/simple... how about instead of awareness, lets say mind. So that could be any of the 12 links of dependent origination as well as enlightened mind (clear light, subtle most level of mind after death, etc..). but lets also include the subtle body as referenced in the tibetan book of the dead.

so with mind (and after-death-subtle-body), is there any causal relationship with energy and or matter? is there any compositional relationship (e.g. mind is made of light energy)? or is mind only and always emptiness itself (no conventional display, only dependent origination, only absolute truth, signless, without origination and cessation)?

:heart:
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue May 01, 2018 7:21 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:36 am
...is there any causal relationship with energy and or matter? is there any compositional relationship (e.g. mind is made of light energy)? or is mind only and always emptiness itself...?
Mind is said to have three qualities:
1. Emptiness = it has no color or shape, etc.
2. Clarity = like space in a room that has no smoke in it. In other words, free ob obscurations
3. Luminosity = it doesn't need an external lighting system! In other words, if you think of something, like a cat, you can see the cat in your mind.It's not darkness.

As far as a causal relationship, that depends on who you ask, and in what context you mean,
and whether you are talking about relative or absolute truth.
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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by tomschwarz » Fri May 04, 2018 6:50 pm

about rocks being "alive" and there being a very logical and gradual process from that to say bacteria or algae, here his holiness the dalai lama implies the same, see 1:50:50

i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Supramundane » Mon May 21, 2018 6:29 am

My thinking on this subject is that there is only one logical explanation to the state of affairs that we find ourselves in on Earth.

as you mention, the bewildering difficulty in creating life in a laboratory. life is abundant on Earth; all the conditions are here; and yet we cannot. why not? we can create organic material but not living material.

i think the only answer is that (1) life came from a different planet --- the space-seed theory, but this is only pushing back the enigma of life, kicking the can down the road and not answering how it came to be; or (2) there is a second possibility that is quite frightening actually but seems absolutely compelling, in my view.

option (2) is that there is and has only ever been ONE life form on earth, and that is the simply reason why it cannot be created in a lab. the Ocean is the mother of us all and is the only life form on Earth; all sentient beings are one, born of the Ocean. We are one entity with billions and billions of faces. The differences between us, the diversity of life, etc. are simply expediencies to ensure survival.

so the question is not 'who am I' but rather 'who are we' !

Buddhism ---especially Mahayana Buddhism --- basically came to this same conclusion but through an intimate examination of the (not) self and not of the natural world.

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by tomschwarz » Tue May 22, 2018 1:17 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:29 am
or (2) there is a second possibility that is quite frightening actually but seems absolutely compelling, in my view (...) that there is and has only ever been ONE life form on earth.
)), sure, a lot more that a billion faces, but sure. Agreed on all points. But why is mother ocean not included as YASS (yet another space seed)?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Jesse » Tue May 22, 2018 4:13 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:07 pm
Hello friends,

We know about algae and bacteria. And we developed from them (enter dependent origination/emptiness). And we know that although scientists can make organic moleculess from inorganic molecules, we still cant make "living" things from "inanimate" ones....

Question, could it be that the boundry living/nonliving is contrived? I mean take iron, created (only?) in a supernova, it changes when it reacts with oxygen (also created in supernovas) and rusts. That is a lot of what it means to be alive. So could it be that the missing link(s) between organic molecules and "life" are sitting right under our noses, just that they look(ed) dead?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 83966.html
Previous work by Floyd Romesberg, a chemical biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, showed that it was possible to expand the genetic alphabet of natural DNA beyond its current four letters: adenine(A), cytosine(C), guanine (G) and thymine(T).

In 2014, Romesberg and colleagues created a strain of E. coli bacteria that contained two unnatural letters, X and Y.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Rick » Tue May 22, 2018 4:19 pm

Another way to look at it:

Life (living organisms) is the primary entity, non-living matter/energy serves to complexify, strengthen, and spread life.

I'm not endorsing or denouncing this view, just sharing it. (Mine is more: A "living" organism is a temporary sub-process within The Grand Process, just like a wave is a temporary arising of the ocean.)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Supramundane » Wed May 23, 2018 1:49 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:17 pm
Supramundane wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:29 am
or (2) there is a second possibility that is quite frightening actually but seems absolutely compelling, in my view (...) that there is and has only ever been ONE life form on earth.
)), sure, a lot more that a billion faces, but sure. Agreed on all points. But why is mother ocean not included as YASS (yet another space seed)?
There is something particular about water; chemically speaking it is organic, and yet we can drink it. the same cannot be said about magnesium or soil, etc. On an atomic level water is unique in that there are trillions of interactions going on that you don't see in other molecules. water is a precursor to life, it is said, but is it not possible that the Ocean can come alive? It may just be that it is the intermediate state between organic and inorganic and this explains why life cannot simply be created in a lab or petri dish.

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed May 23, 2018 2:15 am

Supramundane wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 1:49 am
There is something particular about water
^^^

And peculiar.

In the case of the first case, Beggars,
we have the case of the untamed,
untrained,
uneducated common man;
untamed to the ways of the Sorcerers,
untrained in the craft of the Sorcerers,
uneducated in the lore of the Sorcerers;
untamed to the discipline of the aristocrats,
untrained in the manners of the aristocrats,
uneducated to the teachings of the aristocrats;
He takes water for water.
Taking water for water,
he conceptualizes water.
He thinks about water.
He thinks of water
in whatever ways he thinks of water.
He thinks in terms of "My"
with regard to water.
He takes delight in water.
How come?
Because this matter is not fully understood by him, so I say.


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Being without love would be the most appalling torment - the Inferno itself! [...] [A]ll those who have chosen the way of depersonalisation are unable to cry and [...] they have dry eyes for ever. For it is the personality which cries and which alone is capable of the "gift of tears".

Anonymous, Powell, Robert, and Hans Urs Von Balthasar. Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. New York: Jermy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2002.

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by DNS » Wed May 23, 2018 4:54 am

Apparently there is no consensus among scientists regarding the origin of life on earth. There are a lot of theories out there including the primordial soup and others, but if those were true, why wouldn't have scientists created life in a lab, without using any donor clone DNA or material?

One of the theories that sounds pretty plausible is Panspermia.
Panspermia is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, comets, planetoids, and, also, by spacecraft in the form of unintended contamination by microorganisms.

The panspermia hypothesis does not attempt to explain how life first originated, but merely shifts it to another planet or a comet. The advantage of an extraterrestrial origin of primitive life is that life is not required to have formed on each planet it occurs on, but rather in a single location, and then spread about the galaxy to other star systems via cometary and/or meteorite impact. Evidence to support the hypothesis is scant, but it finds support in studies of Martian meteorites found in Antarctica and in studies of extremophile microbes' survival in outer space tests.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis#Panspermia
Sounds similar to something we've read before . . .
“He recalls to mind his various temporary states in days gone by – one birth, or two or three or four or five births, 10 or 20, 30 or 50, a 100 or a 1,000 or a 100,000 births, through many cycles of cosmic contraction and cosmic expansion . . . Now there comes a time, when sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period of contraction, this world-system passes away. And when this happens beings have mostly been re-born in the World of Radiance, and there they dwell made of mind, feeding on joy, radiating light from themselves, traversing the air, dwelling in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. Now there comes also a time, friends, when sooner or later, this universe begins to re-evolve by expansion.”

(Digha Nikaya 1, Brahmajala Sutta)
That is, that life exists on some planet in a solar system and eventually dies out. The planet becomes mere asteroids and rubble, traveling through space and eventually some of the simple life fragments crashing into a new solar system, new planet, re-evolving so to speak, re-constituting into life again in a different (world) solar system.

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Re: The origin of "life" on earth

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 23, 2018 8:42 am

I’ve always liked that panspermia idea. There was a famous albeit somewhat eccentric astrophysicist by the name of Fred Hoyle, who along with Chandra Wickramasinghe published a book on the idea in the nineteen eighties called The Intelligent Universe. He said that there are vast clouds of proto-organic matter drifting through interstellar space, and that when the conditioners are right it begins to evolve. He argued that organic material and even viruses arrive on comets. I even like the name - panspermia - suggestive of the idea of comets being celestial sperm, and fertile planets like ova.

Image

I straight away found it a ‘creation myth’ I could get behind. Wickramasinghe is still active, he has returned to his native Sri Lanka and continues to advocate for panspermia, although I don’t think he is very well regarded by the mainstream.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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