04 August 2007

I must be a glutton for punishment

I've commented at UncommonlyDense again. The conversation isn't quite as heated this time around... at least not yet, anyway. BarryA referenced a talk at the TED conference by David Bolinski, one of those who worked on the animation The Inner Life of a Cell. He used one of Bolinski's comments to say that, since life needs molecular "machines" to survive, this poses a problem for abiogenesis. I made the case that just because something is necessary now, doesn't mean it has always been necessary:

BarryA: “If no life is posibble without these nano-machines, where did the nano-machines come from?”

Easy. Life as we know it might rely on the these biological machines, but that has not always been the case. As supply evolves, so does demand. Just as these biological machines were evolving to more accurately and efficiently do their jobs, the rest of the cell’s machinery was evolving to more efficiently utilize them.

Consider the automobile: without automobiles, American society as we know it would not be able to survive. But that doesn’t mean American society has always needed automobiles. Nor when the automobile was invented did we instantly plant a nationwide network of superhighways. Transportation technology has been evolving, as has our reliance upon said technology.

I was eventually pressed for evidence that older life forms got by with less sophisticated cellular machinery. In my research, I turned up this pretty impressive kinesin phylogenetic tree. Just imagine how much work went into accumulating and interpreting all that data... and to think the IDiots among us would have us discard all that research as irrelevant!

We'll see if that conversation goes anywhere... but I'm not counting on it.

You know my biggest mistake on the UD comments? Using the name "Hawkeye." Until now, that nickname has been associated solely with friends. It's unnerving to be referred to as "Hawkeye" by people who are most assuredly NOT my friends.

So to balance out that bad mojo... Hello, friends. My name is Aaron, but you can call me Hawkeye. ;-)

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