The essence and origins of life. What is it? Yes, we can define characteristics that differentiated the living from the non-living. The building blocks of life are still not the same as a simple virus. Do you think new forms of life "become living" these days?. Do you think that the conditions to form new life simply do not exist anymore? Evolution can not even begin until something (still yet unknown to us) happens first. Do you think we will ever discover the recipe?
Awwe bummer )pun intended)...My reference is that Moses saw god's "Hiney."
Exodus 33: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
The point is that the bible god is not just a spirit to many, he has physicality. I know many Christians that believe that.
APPARENT physicality. Like I said, nobody got to poke and pinch his hiney. He appeared to them but didn't invite them to test whether he was physically real or just a vision.
RE: "He is a master of apparitions." - Naah, just a good ventriloquist.
Robert - it all has to do with who's telling the story.
The first five books were written by four separate authors, over a 4-5 hundred year period. The group known as the Yahwist (J) Source, because they almost always spoke of him as Yahweh, wrote around 950 BCE, in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and created an anthropomorphic god, who took strolls in the Garden of Eden, "in the cool of the day" (the A/C was on the fritz in heaven, and you know how much it costs to fix those!), and let Cain backtalk, ("Hey, Dude - am I my brother's keeper?"), while the Elohist (E) Source, known for referring to the big guy as Elohim, wrote from the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 850 BCE, bringing their work with them to Jerusalem in 722, when they escaped the Northern Kingdom when it was overrun by Assyrians in that year. The two works were then joined into a single work, JE.
After the fall of Jerusalem in the 500's, a third group, known as the Priestly (P) Source, held in captivity in Babylon, decided that the reason the Jews had had such screwed up luck over the previous couple of hundred years, was because they had moved too far away from their god's original intentions, so they rewrote much of what the Yahwist Source had written, removing the human aspect that they felt caused people to have less respect for him because he seemed too much like themselves, and gave him a more ethereal, spiritual window dressing, believing that their work, as in Orwell's 1984, would replace the Yahwist's version, essentially rewriting the perceived history of the Jewish people - didn't happen. Instead the group who redacted the various versions, and wove them as best they could into a patchwork quilt, often put the Yahwist's version and the Priestly version side by side, not wanting to piss off god in case they chose the wrong version, creating conflicting stories, such as the two versions of the creation, the first written by the Priestly Source and the second, by the Yahwist group, as well as the stories of how many animals went into Noah's boat, The Minnow, and many others.
RE: "Do you think we will ever discover the recipe?"
I'm not sure why we'd want to.
While not the same as creating life, we currently have the means, through genetic engineering, to manipulate existing life, and most humans I know are not even to be trusted with doing that. Until we, as a species, gain a great deal more wisdom, possibly we should leave the life-creation business to nature.
I had a chemistry set as a kid, and I threw chemicals together at random just to see what would happen. Luckily, I didn't blow our house up, but the memories of that experience give me reason to believe that possibly we have some more maturing to do before we start playing, "What if --?"
I recall, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, that the "monster" was in fact not a monster at all, but the victim of Victor Frankenstein's egoistic ambition. And from "Jurassic Park," there's Jeff Goldbloom's line, "Just because you could do it, doesn't mean you should."
The recipe - natural laws allowing for combinations of chemicals and matter to arrange themselves in ways that allow for stability and, ultimately, replication.
"Do you think we will ever discover the recipe?"
Yep ... I do, and I hope its in my lifetime.
Your question reminds me of the Milton the Monster song
I don't think it could happen again on today's earth. The environment is very different (the atmosphere now has oxygen in it; it did not back then), and any bunch of pre-biotic molecules would be delicious food for an already existing microbe long before they could form life.
If some cataclysm were to wipe out all life on earth (and it would have to be one huge catastrophe to get all the extremophiles) then yes, it could happen again.
Will we ever discover how it did happen? That's a very good question. Right now we don't even have a scenario that could have been the right one--i.e., one that has been demonstrated to take you from point A (simple molecules) to point B (life) in an environment like the early earth--or in any environment for that matter.
If we came up with one, or two, or a dozen (and I think we will, someday), I am not sure we'd be able to tell which one is the one that actually happened.
Even pointing to a proposed scenario and pointing out that step #364 is a phenomenally unlikely reaction that could only happen once in a trillion years on a planet like earth would NOT be enough to rule it out, as there are almost certainly billions of planets not unlike planet earth was back then, in the universe, and that would work out to it happening once every thousand years, somewhere. In fact some scientists expect that the final answer will be that there is some really unlikely step in the chain--it would help solve Fermi's paradox, wondering where all the aliens are.
Fermi's paradox. Regardless of mathematical speculation, the evidence suggests strongly we won't be visiting any space neighbors to borrow a cup of space goo.
For all practical purposes we are alone crawling on the surface of a spinning rock floating in the vastness of space, surrounded by smaller flying rocks trying to kill us.
We have only been able to transmit a signal into space for a couple of hundred years, in that time we have had two world wars, numerous armed conflicts, come close to nuclear annihilation, and had zero periods of global peace.
Currently we are systematically destroying the ecosystem that supports our ability to live on this rock.
All this indicates to me that:
1. The Universe allows for the development of intellectual biological life (we are proof of that).
2. Life capable of making radio waves is rare (not hearing radio waves from any non-earthly source is proof of that).
3. Space is vast and it takes time for radio waves to travel, it takes 100,000 years to cross just our own galaxy. Which means for an intelligence on the other side to hear us, they will need to be listening 100,000 years from now.
4. Species go extinct (99.99 percent of all the species every to exist on this planet being extinct is proof of that). So will we. How long will we be here transmitting and listening?
Conclusion: Life is rare, the time frame we have been transmitting and receiving radio waves is short in the Cosmic time frame and the distance is large. Basically it doesn't matter, we had better take care of ourselves because we can't call the Inter-Galactic Triple A for help, went we run out of gas. :(
I don't think we will ever get further than Mars, and even then only to explore it, not to set up any kind of permanent encampment there. It's just too dangerous a place. If we did set up so some researchers or workers (miners?) were to stay for long periods, they'd have to spend it underground because of the danger of gamma rays. It'd be like living in antarctica during winter where you spend most of the time indoors, only going out bundled in bulky protective clothing. Only, it'd be worse...