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Author: Subject: What is the most advanced, complex subject in chemistry?
wackyvorlon
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[*] posted on 1-6-2009 at 09:52
What is the most advanced, complex subject in chemistry?


I was wondering what the really advanced, complex chemistry is. I remember from physics, for example, many people consider differential geometry to be deep voodoo. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 1-6-2009 at 11:20


Off the top of my head...the inverse problem in QSPR,

QSPR Qualitative Structure-Property Relatioships employs data sets of quantum-chemical calculations and advanced statistical methodologies in software to predict physical and chemical properties - even of compounds not yet synthesized. It works.

The inverse problem is to create methodology to rake a set of physical and chemical properties and genereate strures that have those properties - including novel structures not yet prepared.

Think of it.

[Edited on 1-6-2009 by Sauron]




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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 1-6-2009 at 15:59


It's called life.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 11:10


(Or)Not Art as we know it, Mr. Wizard? . .
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GoatRider
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 12:23


Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Wizard  
It's called life.

Life. Don't talk to me about Life.
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 18:39


Life is a chemical reaction with a history. It is complicated, planet changing, and possibly sentient. :-) It's obviously advanced and complex; and at times energetic.

Life is a 'program' that runs in the chemical universe. Our thoughts are programs that run in our brains. Society is a program that runs in the groups of individuals.

I'm just thinking out loud, about what seemed an open ended question.

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by Mr. Wizard]
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 02:42


For simplicity, let's just call it a slow oxidation. . .
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franklyn
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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 13:17


Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Wizard  
It's called life. [ etc ]

Oh now you got me going.
Life can hardly be classed as chemistry or else then
chemistry could be classed as stellar nucleosynthesis.

At low level biological chemistry is inanimate as is
any other non biological reaction. Some how, combined,
inanimate processes give rise to animation. Chemicals
react only if circumstances favor that occurance, they
do not decide on their own to do so or not. Animatism
is the mystical notion that nothing is inanimate and
everything has " Life Force ", good luck isolating that
in a bottle.
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Sedit
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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 13:52


Quote:
Life can hardly be classed as chemistry

Nonsence. Everything about life is based around the mobilization and conversion of one chemical to another thru the actions of specific enzymes and electrochemical signals.

Quote:
Some how, combined,
inanimate processes give rise to animation. Chemicals
react only if circumstances favor that occurance, they
do not decide on their own to do so or not.


And thats the slight difference between life and lower level organic reactions. The whole process of an organism gives it the means to function in a variety of conditions by altering its synthetic path thru the food(chemicals) it ingest, the ambiant temperature (it will burn more ATP to generate heat), and its overall resources available to it. This is not a mystical concept and it should not be hard for anyone educated in chemistry to picture an extreamly complex chemical reaction that has the ability to self sustain it self for years on end. In all simplicity life apears to be a runaway oxidative reaction that sooner or later consumes the subtrates needed to sustain it.

Could go way deeper into the topic because biochemistry is an absolutely fasinating subject but for now its just my two cents.







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franklyn
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[*] posted on 4-6-2009 at 21:42


By your criterion then the animate images one can view on a
computer screen are themselves alive. So now chemistry exists
in 2 dimensions ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
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[*] posted on 4-6-2009 at 21:54


Are you joking or serious?

Because there is nothing close to that in what I said. Where are you comming up with two dimensional chemistry.

You can believe that life is some sort of mystical happening if you must but please don't try to convince me of it. Physics is physics and it WILL be a matter of time before life is created in a lab and that will be alot sooner then most folks think. Why is the concept of a chemical reaction that can not find equilibrium so mysterious to some?





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franklyn
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[*] posted on 4-6-2009 at 23:08


While action in it's own interest is more so a property of organisms
rather than very simple bacteria which can be manufactured from
chemical constituents (all that is absent is the the funding to do so)
I will cut to the chase and start there.
Does Iron rust of it's own free will ? If not , then it is not animate,
and that property is not to be found in it's chemical activity.
The presence of animation may be ascribed by the number one, and
the absence of animation by the absence of the number one, a zero.
No matter how many zeros you add together you will not arrive at the
sum of the number one, except that if you do, then the number one
came from other than your addition of zeros.
So if animation is not implicite in it's chemical parts from whence
cometh animation.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2009 at 11:13


Jumpgate construction. What? Organic technology! Heh. Sorry, I grew up on Babylon 5.



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[*] posted on 19-6-2009 at 11:44


Quote:
Does Iron rust of it's own free will ? If not , then it is not animate,


Franklyn to answer that question it would take a 10 page theological writeup of the definition of free will which still after thousands of years is something that is still not agreed on and is more then likely the source of confusion here. If we define it in the context of physics and matter behaving as it should in a given enviroment then yes it does rust on its own "free will".

Rust is also animated as far as the reaction physics allow it to be. On exposure to oxygen iron will undoubtedly form iron oxide and slowly peel away from the surface and fall to the ground. This is animation it started at point A and ended at point B.

The chemistry of life being many more factors complex then this reaction allow for a much greater degree of motion between points A and points B but none the lest the physics stay the same. When an object is birthed it begins to react to its enviroment and changes its body chemistry immediately so that it will conform more to its surroundings.

Question Franklyn: When an object is hot and you touch it do you have the free will to hold your hand there until you hand is completely chared off? Or is the electrochemical reactions in your body forcing you to do something your not thinking about by withdrawing your hand from a heat source?





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franklyn
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[*] posted on 19-6-2009 at 22:42


Quote: Originally posted by Sedit  

Franklyn to answer that question it would take a 10 page theological writeup of the definition of f"free will".


Fair enough, this is largely a matter of defining the question.

Quote: Originally posted by Sedit  

Question Franklyn: When an object is hot and you touch it do you have the free will to hold your hand there until you hand is completely chared off? Or is the electrochemical reactions in your body forcing you to do something your not thinking about by withdrawing your hand from a heat source?


I don't know. You might pose that to Gorden Liddy who used
to do that experiment all the time.

The refusal to accept the fact of what is plainly in evidence piques me.
I will state it succintly , life or animation as I call it, has nothing what
so ever to do with chemistry. Chemicals and their actions are just the
place keepers like the chips one puts on top the cards of a Bingo game.
You could use anything else you please instead, there will not be any
chemistry on the table, but you would still be playing B I N G O.
Unless you believe one can only be playing Bingo when one uses chips.
Arguing as you do that " life " comes from chemistry is like asserting
that cities are the resultant outcome of cellular mitosis.

Sorry to dispel your cherished notion, but chemistry, is after all just a
very minor sub branch of mechanics. Any chemical reaction can be
simulated by a machine analog. One can conceive a vast array of
desmodronic cams which exactly replicate the action of any chemical
interaction. This does not suppose in any way that cams are alive,
though they may be quite lively at times.

Animation is an organization of information which persists against
entropy. It happens in our case to be embedded in a substrate of
protein colloids. The mechanism ( machine ) which carries this
organization of information is irrelevant. We know that the
substance which makes up a person or any organism is completely
replaced in its entirety over an interval of a few months at most.
Clearly we are not the stuff of which we are made, nor their
fundamental interactions, that is only the functional framework,
lifeforms persist in some other context.

Consider a vast industrail complex of chemical plants that exactly
replicates the physical and biological functions, metabolism, of the
simplest cell which is alive such as algae or mitochondria.
The complex is entirely autonomous and solar powered so that no
intervention is required once it is turned on.
Is this chemical plant analog of a cell alive ? If not, why not ?
what does the cell have that the plant does not. What is the test
that determines the certification of life. If you have no answer,
you assert something to be fact without being able to explain how.
That is the definition of faith. You are substituting one catechism
with another psuedo scientific one.

Our chemicals who art at large,
hallowed be they name.
Thy order come.
Thy will be done,
in the test tube as is at large.
Give us this day our daily product
And forego our Gibbs free energy
as we forego entropy against us.
And lead us not into wonder, but
deliver us from inquiry.
For thine is the order,
and the power, ever stirring
for ever and ever
Amen

.
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 19-6-2009 at 23:44


The failure to explicitly exclude the life sciences from the original query in this thread, doomed this thread from the start.



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Saerynide
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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 00:19


Quote: Originally posted by Sauron  
The failure to explicitly exclude the life sciences from the original query in this thread, doomed this thread from the start.


hahha :D

I also feel that life, is something entirely beyond chemistry.

That is not to say that there is a god, but that there is simply a force about living organisms that cannot be explained by kinetics and thermodynamics alone.

Chemical reactions, though they can be self sustaining, do not "try" to fend off equilibrium. Living creatures actively try to keep from dying. They actively seek food and escape predation. Animals also seek pleasure, which is not a necessity for sustaining the chemical reactions of life.

And yet though animals do try to stay alive most of the time, they also have the choice to lay down and die. People commit suicide all the time, and domestic animals sometimes starve themselves to death when their owners die.

So it cannot be argued that life is "programmed" to survive, because we have the ability to override our programmed instincts. Though usually people can't help yanking their hand from a hot surface, some people can if they try hard enough. Take the monk who set himself on fire. Though instinct would tell him to cry and flail in pain, he managed to sit silently still until the very end. Maybe the monk is an extreme case, but disequilibrium tells us not to cut our veins or leap from buildings, yet plently of people do it each year.

Thus, we cannot say that life arises from a series of reactions that coincidently sum up to a self-sustaining cycle that avoids equilibrium. Once a chain reaction starts, it only ends when it runs out of reactants. It does not ever say to the universe "hmm... ok I've had enough of this. Time for me to stop here" and break the cycle on its own. Living creatures, on the other hand, do. They have the power to continue the cycle, staving off equilibrium, or to end it early. That is something chemistry can never accomplish on its own.

It might not be god, but there is definately another force that drives life.

[Edited on 6/20/2009 by Saerynide]




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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 02:12


I would say that the most advanced, complex subjects in chemistry are:
(1) Calculations of the structures and spectra and enthalpies of formation of large molecules using multi-body quantum-mechanical solutions of the Schrödinger equation for molecular-orbital theory; and
(2) determination of the molecular and crystal structures of large molecules by means of single-crystal X-ray diffractometry.
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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 07:18


John, you first postulated problem will eventually fall to raw computer power and advances in software'\\The second sounds merely technological.

Saerynide your post id judt the sort of psuedoscientific prattle I was hoping to see excluded from this thread. Your premise is: we don't understand life yet so therefore we cam mever understand life, smf yhst id ridiculous on its face.

Save the cracker barrel philodphical homilies for the pulpit or sitting round the pot bellied stove at the general store. This is a SCIENCE FORUM and I say there is nothing man is not meant to know.




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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 07:51


"you first postulated problem will eventually fall to raw computer power and advances in software'"

Not to mention possibly new math *might* be needed. :) Last I looked they were investigating at possible ways to exploit the problem structure to make the thing less dependent on brute-force.

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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 08:32


Quote: Originally posted by Sauron  
Saerynide your post id judt the sort of psuedoscientific prattle I was hoping to see excluded from this thread. Your premise is: we don't understand life yet so therefore we cam mever understand life, smf yhst id ridiculous on its face.

Save the cracker barrel philodphical homilies for the pulpit or sitting round the pot bellied stove at the general store. This is a SCIENCE FORUM and I say there is nothing man is not meant to know.


I don't know what prompted such a response, but I do know this: I never said we can never understand life, nor did I ever hint that there was anything man was "not meant to know."

If you think I am trying to preach the existence of god or a soul or anything metaphysical of that sort, I can tell you that science is my only religion.

There are many things we do not understand and which science has not been able to explain yet. That does not mean to say that science can never explain them - it only means we have not found the answer yet. Evolution should have eliminated homosexual animals, and yet gay monkeys have been observed in the wild. That doesn't mean Darwin's theory of evolution is wrong, but instead that it is incomplete. We don't understand time travel, and we have not yet found the Higgs boson. It's just a matter of whether our science and technology is good enough to answer those questions. In fact, I can't wait for the LHC to produce some results.

So we have not found the answer to why organisms are alive. Someday, we will find the driving force. But with only the chemistry we have now, we cannot reproduce life - we need something more, another theory, another driver, more than kinetics and thermo alone perhaps? That's all I said.

We understand how a neuron works. The neuron alone is not self-aware, but a group of neurons forming a brain creates consciousness, and we don't understand why yet. We can't stick a bunch of neurons together in a petri dish and hope to get a self-aware entity - at least not with our current understanding of biology. But I'm sure in the future, we will find a theory that explains it all.

Edit: And yes, I think I would agree the hardest field in chemistry would probably have to do with molecular orbital theory and maybe predicting bulk properties using stat mech (at least they're the hardest I've ever been exposed to :D, and no, I didn't like them very much).

[Edited on 6/20/2009 by Saerynide]




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[*] posted on 20-6-2009 at 08:49


"Amswer hazy, ask again later" says the 8-ball.



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