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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25027  
Subject: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 2:00 AM
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How many here believe that the initial life form began with a self-replicating strand of rna?
Yes, there is no other viable alternative
I don't bother thinking about this, I just trust the "authorities" that it all worked out somehow
No, it was likely a dna-first world
No, it was likely a protein-first world
No...here's my theory (please share it with us)

Click here to see results so far.

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Author: olRoger One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24113 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 2:27 AM
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This is such a funny question.

Lets vote on the nature of reality and then go meditate.

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24115 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 8:15 AM
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This is such a funny question.

What have you got to lose answering the question? Got something to hide?

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Author: LorenCobb Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24117 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 11:35 AM
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I strongly doubt that the initial life form began with a self-replicating strand of RNA. It's too complex, and too delicate.

It seems very likely to me that the immediate precursor of life is a spherical membrane composed of a lipid bilayer (known since 1964 to arise spontaneously). Inside this protocol there would have to be a soup of chemicals capable of sustaining at least one autocatalytic reaction (these too are known to arise spontaneously).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipid_bilayer
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocatalytic_reaction
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briggs-Rauscher_reaction

The next necessary step, I think, would be an ion pump mechanism that can preserve a chemical gradient between inside the membrane and outside. I am not certain about this, but I believe this too has been observed outside of any laboratory.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NaKATPase
www.nature.com/nature/journal/v481/n7381/full/nature10724.ht...

The change from autocatalytic to encoded reaction is one of degree, not of kind -- encoded reactions are just another form of autocatalysis. I doubt strongly that the first encodings were in RNA. Why make things so complex? It's only necessary to assume some very primitive and inefficient encoding. Evolution takes over from this point.

Energy flows are critical in these processes. That is one reason why I think the best current theory suggests that life may have begun in the extraordinarily energy-rich environment of undersea volcanic vents.

Martin & Russell (2003)
rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/358/1429/59.short

Exactly where in this process did life begin? That may be an unanswerable and possibly meaningless question. It's like looking at the track of a tropical depression, and asking where, exactly, the hurricane emerged from the depression.

Loren

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24119 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 1:39 PM
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I doubt strongly that the first encodings were in RNA. Why make things so complex? It's only necessary to assume some very primitive and inefficient encoding. Evolution takes over from this point.



I'm sorry, but this is so vague as to be useless.

Natural selection, and therefore evolution, simply cannot begin until there is a self-replicating entity. No self-replication, no selection.

As far as your "very primitive and inefficient encoding", what doses that even mean. Either you have an entity that can semi-reliably reproduce itself (if it's not basically reliable, that's not even self-replication), or you don't. You still have not explained what sort of molecule could self-replicate.

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24120 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 1:42 PM
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Why make things so complex?... Evolution takes over from this point.

You speak of evolution as if it is some sort of magical force, that just blows in and creates life.

Without a specific theory, how would you go about trying to falsify it?

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24121 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 1:47 PM
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The next necessary step, I think, would be an ion pump mechanism that can preserve a chemical gradient between inside the membrane and outside. I am not certain about this, but I believe this too has been observed outside of any laboratory.

...Energy flows are critical in these processes. That is one reason why I think the best current theory suggests that life may have begun in the extraordinarily energy-rich environment of undersea volcanic vents.




More vagueness to the point of uselessness.

Of course, the ion pumps (and just about every other molecular process that occurs in a living cell) requires energy, generally as ATP.

But just livin' in volcanic vent doesn't somehow lead to ATP or any energy-rich molecule. It's basically just hot.

Moreover, even where ATP exists, it requires very complex protein enzymes which are able to couple the release of its energy with another reaction which requires energy. So where do those complex proteins come from?

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24122 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 3:14 PM
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Just curious why there are so many recs for LorenCobb, no only one vote on the poll so far?

Do all of you have no opinion, or are you afraid that the weakness of your abiogenesis theory might be exposed?

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Author: LorenCobb Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24123 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 4:32 PM
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cc33: Just curious why there are so many recs for LorenCobb, no only one vote on the poll so far? Do all of you have no opinion, or are you afraid that the weakness of your abiogenesis theory might be exposed?

I'm afraid we have an impedance mismatch occurring here. I write a post, and then I experience way too much reflected power, at too many frequencies. Frankly, trying to communicate with you is not worth the effort -- nothing gets through.

Your posting style sounded familiar, so I checked back. Yep, you are the same sophomoric purveyor of bombast that I remembered from this thread:

boards.fool.com/the-myth-of-junk-dna-29400397.aspx?sort=whol...

Look, this rhetorical thing you are trying to do just does not work -- you only end up embarrassing yourself, over and over again. It's painful to watch someone destroy himself this way, and it is so pointless. There are better ways of exchanging ideas, far better.

We could have an interesting conversation, even if we disagree on every single point, but this is not the way to do it. I will be happy to exchange ideas with you, but first you have to put down the knife.

Let me know.

Loren
math.ucdenver.edu/~lorencobb
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Aetheling

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24124 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 4:37 PM
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Your poll was so badly worded that I could not pick any answer. You let your agenda slip into the options, making all the answers unacceptable to me.

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24125 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 4:42 PM
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You let your agenda slip into the options, making all the answers unacceptable to me.


Not really.

Last option: explain your proposed mechanism for the first self-replicating life form.

You either have one, or don't. If you do, then why not share it?

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24126 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 4:47 PM
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Look, this rhetorical thing you are trying to do just does not work -- you only end up embarrassing yourself, over and over again. It's painful to watch someone destroy himself this way, and it is so pointless. There are better ways of exchanging ideas, far better.



Not necessarily. Not on a lop-sided board like this.

There's a reason I chose to tackle the subject this way, which would be clearer if/when anyone here ventures to give some specific ideas.

As far as the "embarrassing" stuff, it's easy to judge yourself right when you're on a board with overwhelmingly like-minded people and no moderator. Kind of like the presidential debates as covered by the mainstream media.

Nevertheless, please embarrass me some more by giving a specific mechanism by which you believe an initial self-replicating life form may have arose.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24127 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 5:11 PM
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Not really.

Yes, really.

"I don't bother thinking about this, I just trust the "authorities" that it all worked out somehow"

Condescending, and not unlike the "have you stopped beating your wife" question.

Last option: explain your proposed mechanism for the first self-replicating life form.

I'm a physicist/engineer. I have no "proposed mechanism". Not my field. So I couldn't choose that one either.

As Loren said, if you want to have a discussion, great. But this poll, with the options presented, isn't the way to do it. I only answered at all because you seemed to think people were afraid of the question, when in fact it was not answerable (at least by me) in the form presented. I suspect others felt the same.

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Author: LorenCobb Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24128 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 5:12 PM
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There's a reason I chose to tackle the subject this way, which would be clearer if/when anyone here ventures to give some specific ideas.

Ideas are like underground labyrinths: the entrances may be few and obscure, but inside there are thousands of interlocking passages, meeting from time to time in glorious halls of light and color. One good idea can take decades to explore and evaluate.

Yet on this board you reject out-of-hand every single part of every single idea from the scientific theories of life. You haven't even stepped into the first passageway, and there you are sitting like a stubborn brat, grimacing and crying out for details.

They are all around you, in books, articles, encyclopedias, diagrams, museums, laboratories, and yes, even online blogs and discussion boards. You are stuck at the very edge of knowledge, throwing cowardly tantrums and insulting everyone who tries to help. What kind of behavior is this?

The details lie within the labyrinth. You need to screw up some courage and start exploring.

LC

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24129 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 6:36 PM
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For the record, I chose the last option. I don't have my own model, outside of the idea that whatever the genetic material was, it was probably replicated semiconservatively. It also probably wasn't as nice and need as modern biology. Since there's only one vote besides mine which is probably Loren's, I'd be interested to know which answer you would have chosen.

More vagueness to the point of uselessness.

Wait, are we talking about the Bible (particularly the Genesis account) again? Or maybe the definition of "irreducibly complex"?

Of course, the ion pumps (and just about every other molecular process that occurs in a living cell) requires energy, generally as ATP.


That's not quite true. Arguably one of the most important processes for modern cells, glucose transport is mediated by diffusion through a passive transporter in the vast majority of cells. A number of metals also are imported through channels passively. Passive transport works just fine as long as you can in some way consume or make unavailable the item transported.

There's at least one lab working on testing the hypothesis that an early life form might have been a genetic molecule whose replication was enhanced by a small molecule catalyst. They basically shake up a mixture of the "genome", catalyst, and lipid component to produce membrane bound "genomes". When they add monomer, the monomer can freely diffuse into and out of the "cells", but when they're incorporated into a copy of the genome, they can no longer diffuse out of the cells. This basically creates a gradient to maintain a net flux of monomers into the "cell". No fancy transporters or ATP needed. Just some basic chemistry.

But just livin' in volcanic vent doesn't somehow lead to ATP or any energy-rich molecule. It's basically just hot.

Methane and hydrogen sulfide aren't energy rich molecules? You might want to tell the modern-day organisms that rely on these molecules for energy that they're doing it wrong.

-Anthony

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24130 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 7:14 PM
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Methane and hydrogen sulfide aren't energy rich molecules? You might want to tell the modern-day organisms that rely on these molecules for energy that they're doing it wrong.

You're talking about a sophisticated organism. The subject of this post is the initial life form. Completely different issues.


That's not quite true. Arguably one of the most important processes for modern cells, glucose transport is mediated by diffusion through a passive transporter in the vast majority of cells.



How is that any different than selective diffusion...which is passive. "Transport" would seem to suggest active. Active requires coupled energy.

Wait, are we talking about the Bible (particularly the Genesis account) again? Or maybe the definition of "irreducibly complex"?

I said nothing of either of those.

But, yeah, you are all open to non-bias discussions.

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Author: Umm Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24131 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 8:11 PM
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"You're talking about a sophisticated organism. The subject of this post is the initial life form. Completely different issues."

It is the moving of goalposts like this why no one answered the initial poll. They saw right through you. You are not fooling anyone but yourself.

Perhaps a bit more honesty on your part would get you and your "polls" a bit more respect.

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24132 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/19/2012 9:07 PM
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All you regulars here must have some proprietary system of communication, as you're all using many words to say nothing.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24134 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 1:55 AM
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Exactly where in this process did life begin? That may be an unanswerable and possibly meaningless question. It's like looking at the track of a tropical depression, and asking where, exactly, the hurricane emerged from the depression.


I like that Analogy ...
hard to imagine the transition from non-living to
living is a Bright Line

But then, I don't believe the Ferrets one day said
Let there be cyanobacteria!

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Author: ItsGoingUp Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24135 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 2:43 AM
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cc33,

I would have thought you would have gotten a clue from your experience on the Apple board. There you began (just as I see here) in bloviating from ignorance. When dismissed or challenged you doubled down on your opinions, no matter how wrong. Eventually you seem to have become a bit more educated and a bit more thoughtful, so now your posts are occasionally worth reading.

Maybe you should once again try listening for a while. I'm afraid the problem is that here too people are talking so far over your head that you don't know how to usefully contribute. You'll learn much more if you listen rather than argue. And the chance of you saying anything that is useful to anybody here is vanishingly small, so you may as well save your typing.

People aren't dismissing what you say because it's unpleasant, but rather because it is ignorant and foolish. Eventually you'll learn to tell the difference. I know you can learn because I've seen it and you're obviously not stupid, just not nearly as smart as you think you are.

-IGU-

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24138 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 9:27 AM
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I like that Analogy ...
hard to imagine the transition from non-living to
living is a Bright Line


Except for those who can only think in terms of voila! moments. If something is complex, how could it possibly be the product of simpler steps? A star forming from space gas and dust? No way!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219105324.ht...

"While the ribosome is a complex structure it features a clear hierarchy that emerged based on basic chemical principles," says Sergey Steinberg, a Université de Montréal biochemistry professor who made his discovery with student Konstantin Bokov. "In the absence of such explanations, some people could imagine unseen forces at work when such complex structures emerge in nature."

I've always been fascinated by prions. A non living infection, that propagates by transmitting the misfolded protein state to properly folded proteins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prion

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Author: DirtyDollie Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24140 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 10:32 AM
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There's no option for "Yes, but there are other viable alternatives". That would be my choice.

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Author: DirtyDollie Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24141 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 10:39 AM
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You speak of evolution as if it is some sort of magical force, that just blows in and creates life.

There was no implication that evolution creates life. Evolution is a simple concept: random variations from generation to generation create variety in organisms. The best suited organism to its environment has the best chance of propagating its genes and therefore the variations that distinguish it from its peers.

How is there anything in that whcih doesn't make perfect logical and demonstrable sense?

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24142 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/20/2012 5:04 PM
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Methane and hydrogen sulfide aren't energy rich molecules? You might want to tell the modern-day organisms that rely on these molecules for energy that they're doing it wrong.

You're talking about a sophisticated organism. The subject of this post is the initial life form. Completely different issues.


I don't see why. Available energy is available energy. Do you have any evidence to support your assertion that the initial life form(s) couldn't use protons from hydrogen sulfide?

Could the life have initially used hydrogen sulfide as a proton/energy source? Fortuitously, Cell just published a paper hypothesizing that:

Volume 151, Issue 7, 21 December 2012, Pages 1406–1416

Harnessing energy as ion gradients across membranes is as universal as the genetic code. We leverage new insights into anaerobe metabolism to propose geochemical origins that account for the ubiquity of chemiosmotic coupling, and Na+/H+ transporters in particular. Natural proton gradients acting across thin FeS walls within alkaline hydrothermal vents could drive carbon assimilation, leading to the emergence of protocells within vent pores. Protocell membranes that were initially leaky would eventually become less permeable, forcing cells dependent on natural H+ gradients to pump Na+ ions. Our hypothesis accounts for the Na+/H+ promiscuity of bioenergetic proteins, as well as the deep divergence between bacteria and archaea.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867412...

There is a lay summary on Nature's website:

http://www.nature.com/news/how-life-emerged-from-deep-sea-ro...

That's not quite true. Arguably one of the most important processes for modern cells, glucose transport is mediated by diffusion through a passive transporter in the vast majority of cells.

How is that any different than selective diffusion...which is passive. "Transport" would seem to suggest active. Active requires coupled energy.


In Biology "transport" is merely the movement of a molecule accross a membrane. Transport can be active, meaning transport against a concentration gradient (although there are a few cases where active transport is performed in the direction of the gradient to speed up the rate of transport), or passive, where transport is in the direction of the gradient. "Selective diffusion" just means a channel is involved (as opposed to diffusion of the molecule through the lipid membrane, which happens with some hormones).

I'm still wondering how you would have answered your own poll.

-Anthony

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24146 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/21/2012 1:54 AM
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I've always been fascinated by prions. A non living infection, that propagates by transmitting the misfolded protein state to properly folded proteins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prion




yes.. fascinating critters.

non-living, but does some of the Interesting that the living do.

when i was in highSchoo* --same was said of viruses



* i'm often amazed as the 'New' Science since my HS days, but then think, maybe just that my HS teaches were behind the curve

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Author: Windchasers Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24148 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 12/21/2012 11:59 AM
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But just livin' in volcanic vent doesn't somehow lead to ATP or any energy-rich molecule. It's basically just hot.

No, it is not "basically just hot", not even close. There are large chemical energy gradients between the vents and the nearby ocean. These provide the "food" that a cell might be able to eat.

IOW, heating up water doesn't make it any more useful from a "food" perspective. What comes out of the oceanic vents isn't just hot water, but nutrient-rich, calorie-rich water.. if you've got the metabolism to take advantage of it.

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Author: khalou Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24292 of 25027
Subject: Re: Poll: First Life Form Date: 4/7/2013 1:47 AM
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All you regulars here must have some proprietary system of communication, as you're all using many words to say nothing.

I recognize your methodology of inquiry because I once employed it. You have a particular point to make and are trying to make it but the board isn't responding to that point. Instead, everyone is responding from their varied positions of experience and understanding and none are really focusing on your point.

I was also unsuccessful with this methodology.

I was, as well, pretty steamed by that.

But it isn't the fault of the readers. You have a point to make and you need to make it much clearer. If you could ask a pointed question you would get a better answer.

I know you think you already have, but try again.

k

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