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February 22, 2018

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Dirty Secrets of...Life: Paul Davies at the 5th FQXi Meeting [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Aug. 19, 2016 @ 15:50 GMT
Updated on 11 November 2016. Video of Paul Davies' talk is now up. More video is available on FQXi's youtube channel.

From 19 August 2016:

Greetings from Banff, Alberta, where FQXi is currently holding its 5th international meeting.

Paul Davies
The first session summarised the “dirty secrets of science”: cosmology, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, life, artificial intelligence, and consciousness.

Free Podcast

Physicist Paul Davies reveals the "dirty secrets of life." From the 5th FQXi conference.


Go to full podcast

The FQXi pixies are working hard to bring you all the great content from our speakers and participants as fast as we can. First up, we have audio from Paul Davies talking about what we know — and what we don’t — about the origin of life. Is it as easy to explain as we might have been led to believe? Do we need to factor in quantum effects to understand it? Is Darwinian natural selection enough to explain what’s going on? Is Lamarckism dead? (Note: To be extra classy this year, we're conducting the conference in B&W.)

You can listen to his talk here. (We were running short on time, in case you’re wondering about the abrupt cut at the end.)

You can also read more about some of the ideas he discusses on the site. Carinne Piekema has written about evidence for quantum effects in biology (bird brains and in our noses), and how living organisms may use quantum processing to predict the future, and you can also listen to Susanne Still and Luca Turin talking about these issues on past editions of the podcast too.

There will be more audio, video and posts to follow soon. Stay tuned.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 19, 2016 @ 16:14 GMT
Wonderful article dear Zeeya,the evolutive biology is fascinating,I have classed anaimals and vegetals.We see a complexification on this Arrow of time so fascinating.I imagine the combinations Inside our universe with all these galaxies, stars and planets.We are not alone,it is sure.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Aug. 20, 2016 @ 16:05 GMT
Thank you Steve.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Sep. 2, 2016 @ 20:42 GMT
This is a really interesting, thought provoking talk. I found 'Dirty secret number 5' especially interesting. Describing the latent potential for new phenotypes within the pool of organisms of different genotype (expressed as the same phenotype.) There was also discussion of epigenetics elsewhere in this talk. That makes me think: Epigenetics can alter the reading of the genetic code, by altering the DNA folding, giving different expression. That alteration of folding could reveal the genetic differences between the organisms and allow the different new phenotypes to be revealed. During environmental changes differences in diet and stress levels (there could be a number of different stressors) of parent organisms could provide those internal conditions leading to epigenetic changes in DNA folding within the gametes. This is something that could be investigated using a (short life span) phenotypically similar population with a diverse genetic makeup subjected to changes in conditions to see if several different new phenotypes can be produced from it.

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Billy Milburn wrote on Sep. 2, 2016 @ 08:31 GMT
Very interesting post!Paul Davies touches on the themes that should be actively discussed as there are so many secrets that are kept by scientists and never revealed to us, humans, such as cosmology, gravity, in particular life, consciousness and artificial intelligence with the help of which we cannot simply live, those are internet, computers, robot machines, smartphones and other equipment.For real, we can purchase things online, receive college essay help, order food and communicate being at the other end of the world.

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 11, 2016 @ 14:10 GMT
Second Law of Thermodynamics: Obviously False

As a rule, scientists are silent about violations of the second law of thermodynamics, no matter how convincing they are. Here is a perpetual motion machine of the second kind published in a prestigious journal (no reaction at all from the scientific community):

Electricity generated from ambient heat across a silicon surface, Guoan Tai,...

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Pentcho Valev replied on Sep. 13, 2016 @ 18:05 GMT
Second Law of Thermodynamics: Obviously False (2)

Catalysts can shift chemical equilibrium, which is fatal for the second law of thermodynamics:

"A small, closed, high temperature cavity contained two metal catalysts (rhenium and tungsten), which were known to dissociate molecular hydrogen (H2) to different degrees (Figure 1). (Rhenium dissociates hydrogen molecules into atoms better...

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 13, 2016 @ 19:05 GMT
Hi Mr Valev,

But the points of equiibrium are always reached with an evolutive entropy??? let's take all conversions of work and vice versa or let's take the stirling engine.All the works of Carnot to Clausius or Planck shows us this universal law of thermo.All experiments of combustion or refrigeration are Under this second law.It is the real relevance of one of my favorite equation which can be optimised and extrapolated with gravitation and also with the 3 motions of quantum sphères.If you take a simple example of refrigeration with cold and hot water and a condenser more a compressor more an evaporator and some valves ,you can see by yourself that this second law is correct.The subtil thing is to understand the entropy concept and the disorders and equilibriums.That permits to encircle the reversibilities and irreversibilities.Now if we go more far we can consider the absolute entropy with gravitation but it is an other story.Regards

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Pentcho Valev replied on Sep. 15, 2016 @ 15:35 GMT
The second law of thermodynamics is OBVIOUSLY violated by pH-sensitive polymers:

"When the pH is lowered (that is, on raising the chemical potential, μ, of the protons present) at the isothermal condition of 37°C, these matrices can exert forces, f, sufficient to lift weights that are a thousand times their dry weight."


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Steve Dufourny wrote on Sep. 13, 2016 @ 09:36 GMT
The evolution is a foundamental.It is in classing that I found my theory of spherisatio.I was fascinated by the polarisations of evolution H....CNO.......CH4 HCN NH3 H20 H2C2 ......INE ASE Amio acids...........I have learnt the works of Darwin and Lamarck and others like the synthetic evolution...Darin was for the natural selection.Lamarck was for the intuition and will.Forexample if a giraffe is a girraffe it is due to its will wanting to have a longer neck for food for example.This animal has encoded informations of adaptation.Evolution is fascinating when we analyse the gravitational codes and the informations of evolution.The combinations are infinite in fact considering 3 main systems of encodings.The gravitational stable coded series, not linear encoding photonic and spheronic informations.The darwinism and lamarckism like others are for me in the pure standard model.Thermodynamical heat due to photons and electromagnetic informations permits these combinations.Now of course about the gravitational stable series,it is more complex like the spheronic informations furthermore.We die electromagnetically speaking ,not gravitationaly.We arrive at a difference between the evolutive souls if I can say and the electromagnetic adaptative evolution on a point of gravitational stability.It is two subtil things different.But of course we have already difficult to understand all these encodings, electrom.What I find relevant is to harmonise these ecosystems with all the créations and the potential of polarisations of informations.We could help the evolution simply with a good harmonisation of complementary interactions between animals, vegetals and minerals.Our brians are Tools of evolutive harmonisation simply.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 13, 2016 @ 15:09 GMT
Dear Merali,

I have observed that the real observable Universe must be of the simplest physical construction obtainable, and the simplest visible observable construction that can be seen by any real observer am unified infinite surface that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

The dirtiest secret of scientists like yourself is your utter inability to understand reality. Infinite visible surface could never have had an invisible origin. Visible life could not have had an invisible origin.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 17, 2016 @ 15:15 GMT
Athel Cornish-Bowden 1998: "Can a catalyst shift the position of an equilibrium? No. Absolutely not if it is a true catalyst present at very low concentrations. If it is present at a concentration comparable with that of one or more of the reactants then it may appear to shift the position of equilibrium by mass action effects. However, when it does this it is acting as a reactant, not as a...

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 26, 2016 @ 15:00 GMT
Entropy Is Not a State Function (Thermodynamics Is Not Even Wrong)

"Entropy is a state function" is a fundamental theorem in thermodynamics. Clausius deduced it from the assumption that any cycle can be disintegrated into small Carnot cycles, and nowadays this deduction remains the only justification of "Entropy is a state function":

"Carnot Cycles: S is a State Function. Any reversible cycle can be thought of as a collection of Carnot cycles - this approximation becomes exact as cycles become infinitessimal. Entropy change around an individual cycle is zero. Sum of entropy changes over all cycles is zero."

"Entropy Changes in Arbitrary Cycles. What if we have a process which occurs in a cycle other than the Carnot cycle, e.g., the cycle depicted in Fig. 3. If entropy is a state function, cyclic integral of dS = 0, no matter what the nature of the cycle. In order to see that this is true, break up the cycle into sub-cycles, each of which is a Carnot cycle, as shown in Fig. 3. If we apply Eq. (7) to each piece, and add the results, we get zero for the sum."

The assumption on which "Entropy is a state function" is based - that any cycle can be subdivided into small Carnot cycles - is almost obviously false. An isothermal cycle CANNOT be subdivided into small Carnot cycles. A cycle involving the action of conservative forces CANNOT be subdivided into small Carnot cycles.

Conclusion: The belief that the entropy is a state function is totally unjustified. Thermodynamics is not even wrong.

Pentcho Valev

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Pentcho Valev replied on Sep. 28, 2016 @ 17:40 GMT
"Entropy always increases" is another nonsensical mantra in today's schizophrenic science. This statement (which, according to A. Eddington, holds "the supreme position among the laws of Nature") is in fact a theorem deduced by Clausius in 1865:

Jos Uffink, Bluff your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, p. 37: "Hence we obtain: THE ENTROPY PRINCIPLE (Clausius' version) For every nicht umkehrbar [irreversible] process in an adiabatically isolated system which begins and ends in an equilibrium state, the entropy of the final state is greater than or equal to that of the initial state. For every umkehrbar [reversible] process in an adiabatical system, the entropy of the final state is equal to that of the initial state."

Clausius' deduction was based on three postulates:

Postulate 1 (implicit): The entropy is a state function.

Postulate 2: Clausius' inequality (formula 10 on p. 33 in Uffink's paper) is correct.

Postulate 3: Any irreversible process can be closed by a reversible process to become a cycle.

All the three postulates are totally unjustified - clever scientists are well aware of that:

Uffink, p.39: "A more important objection, it seems to me, is that Clausius bases his conclusion that the entropy increases in a nicht umkehrbar [irreversible] process on the assumption that such a process can be closed by an umkehrbar [reversible] process to become a cycle. This is essential for the definition of the entropy difference between the initial and final states. But the assumption is far from obvious for a system more complex than an ideal gas, or for states far from equilibrium, or for processes other than the simple exchange of heat and work. Thus, the generalisation to all transformations occurring in Nature is somewhat rash."

Pentcho Valev

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Oct. 2, 2016 @ 15:40 GMT
Sadi Carnot Against the Second Law of Thermodynamics

In 1824 Sadi Carnot deduced the prototype of the second law of thermodynamics from a postulate that eventually turned out to be false:

Carnot's (false) postulate: Heat is an indestructible substance (caloric) that cannot be converted into work by the heat engine.

Consequence (prototype of the second law of thermodynamics)...

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Nov. 11, 2016 @ 17:00 GMT
Bumping this post because we have now added video from Paul's talk to FQXi's youtube channel:

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