April 2016 Blog Posts (9)

You Know It When You See It

When trying to decipher the origins of life, there are many paths to follow. Chemical, physical, and occasionally for some, spiritual. For me, one of the most puzzling questions is what exactly defines life? It is a difficult philosophical question that is nearly unanswerable, and often not useful in studying the actual origins of life, but it is entertaining to postulate the different constraints that we place on what is “alive”. One simple designation is “You know it when you see it”, but…

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Added by Akshay Vijay on April 25, 2016 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

You Know It When You See It

When trying to decipher the origins of life, there are many paths to follow. Chemical, physical, and occasionally for some, spiritual. For me, one of the most puzzling questions is what exactly defines life? It is a difficult philosophical question that is nearly unanswerable, and often not useful in studying the actual origins of life, but it is entertaining to postulate the different constraints that we place on what is “alive”. One simple designation is “You know it when you see it”, but…

Continue

Added by Akshay Vijay on April 25, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Dogma and Paradigm Shifts

Considering this week’s discussion on the role of bias and dogma within science, I figured it would be best for me to write my post on the importance of philosophy and hypotheticals in science, especially in a field such as origin of life. This is a subject matter I somewhat understand and hopefully something the rest of might find a tad interesting.

The most prominent thinker is this subject matter, as far as I am concerned, would be Thomas…

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Added by Aidan Orsino on April 25, 2016 at 2:17am — No Comments

Idea: Humans Reproduce through Genetic and Non-Genetic Information

A word to the wise:  This is an incomplete set of ideas, and I welcome criticism and discussion.  After conversing with several individuals, I realized that my ideas were extremely similar to Memetics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme).  Instead of focusing on the Memes themselves, I would like to instead incorporate them in a discussion of the human behavior that lead me to independently believe in…

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Added by Brooke Kubby on April 22, 2016 at 11:44pm — 6 Comments

Are machines considered life?

When one imagines the species that is humanity’s closest ally they might think of man’s best friend, the dog, or his ever trusty steed, the horse. It is easy for humans to consider animals as friends; when we reach out to touch another mammal, everything about it, the warmth of the body, the sound of breathing, the reacting glance, exudes an unmistakable aura of life. It’s no surprise that the distinction between life and non-life carries a significant weight in the eyes of humans; after…

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Added by Charles Wen on April 15, 2016 at 11:58pm — 2 Comments

Life Exists !

Life exists.

This might seem like an obvious statement, but it is important when thinking about the nature of how things exist. Things exists as either a natural low energy state (what scientists refer to as the equilibrium state), or as ordered structures generated in response to the approach of low energy states. Essentially, an equilibrium state references the physical arrangement of the matter within a system after enough time has passed for all transformations to occur,…

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Added by Tucker Ely on April 15, 2016 at 1:42pm — 2 Comments

Why is Life so Complicated?

A friend recently mentioned that the most complex phenomena in all of the universe seem to occur roughly on the length scale of humans. What is meant by this is that we have equations governing the universe as a whole and equations governing interactions between subatomic particles, but much of what we see in everyday life can't be captured by a simple equation. The issue at hand is really what is…

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Added by Jake Hanson on April 10, 2016 at 7:24pm — 2 Comments

Challenges in observational science or why eating more cheese won't help you get a PhD

When we think about scientists, most times one of two images come to our minds: either a lonely (and most likely white-haired) man frantically writing equations on a paper, or someone on a lab coat mixing liquids in test tubes. These stereotypes basically correspond to two of the main types of scientists: theorists and experimentalists.

Broadly speaking theorists develop hypothesis that try to explain how the Universe works while experimentalists conduct controlled experiments…

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Added by Alicia Gonzalez on April 8, 2016 at 3:13pm — 2 Comments

What’s the best approach for solving the origin of life?

What’s the best approach for solving the origin of life?

The origin of life is a very tricky question to answer. I say this not because it is a very interdisciplinary science question (that also uses some philosophy), but because it requires a unique thought process. Researchers within this field have to think outside of the box and come up with explanations for a completely unknown process that, as we know of, only happened once, happened an extremely long…

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Added by Stone Hanlon on April 1, 2016 at 4:09pm — 1 Comment

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