Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Is the universe a "living system"? Reply To: Is the universe a "living system"?

Karen Chaffee

Hey, Jon, not so.  (The material in my salon would take years of study) .  In fact, the material in Salon One is covered in much less than one lecture in a first year college chemistry course.  In fact, it is presented in non-majors chemistry-for-poets type classes.  Anyone with a science degree should be familiar with it.  In fact, I kind of rushed through it because I figured everyone would know it.  I can slow down if that’s needed.


The material in my interlude (three families) is really basic easy stuff found in books for popular reading found in Barnes and Nobel.  I took it from the book I referenced, Atom, by Isaac Asimov.  It isn’t hard, it’s just vocabulary, it’s written at a high school level.  It’s a great book, I completely recommend it, Asimov is supurb at explaining stuff.


The stuff found in salon three was completely learned by me by reading popular science books in three weeks in my spare time.  (Which I listed)  Granted, that makes me a non expert, but the material is very worth discussing.  Granted, the material is beyond our understanding, but the basic ideas are understandable.



I know enough about biology to know that the stuff Ursala and Duane are discussing is far more advanced.  Maybe the difference is they are using words that refer to advanced concepts that Ursula understands but Duane doesn’t .



I took some very basic basic basic concepts, (salon one)  but also reviewed them so we could all be on the same page and may be that is why it seems so advanced.   If Ursula did that, your head would spin because the stuff she is doing is advanced.



(Then, yes, I let my nerdy side take over and presented an appendix with a bunch of neat info I compiled.  But that is in the appendix.  Way at the bottom.


(That doesn’t mean I can’t try to do a better job of presenting it.  Like I said, I rushed through the simple stuff because I figured everyone would know it.)



Now, let me mention why I feel it’s so relevant.  Like Ursula, I feel that life evolved all on its own.  In fact I think that carbon nitrogen hydrogen etc _tend_ to form the molecules of life. (As a result of my personal research, which I will explain in a separate post.)   As much as I support Jon and his journey, I’m amazed he (and Duane)  believe that some special guidance is needed to form anything we see (life, trees, bugs, us) from the materials we have (carbon, other atoms, sunshine) .  I believe it’s inherent in the material;  these atoms tend to bond as they do, these life molecules tend to form.



Where Ursula and I diverge is that I am troubled and I ask, why do the atoms behave this way?   And then I discover that every thing was decided in a tiny part of a second, and it makes me wonder why.  Evolution, for me, is a given, requires no mystical explanation, and I am somewhat shocked we are debating it.  Why carbon has the properties it does is another question.



I was going to quibble at the way you dismissed the idea of fine tuning by saying, I don’t hear scientists discussing this.  Well, they do.  The books I read are very main stream popular science books written by main stream scientists.  But if you don’t read about chemistry, then yes, you will miss that interesting discussion.