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Author Topic:   Is Abiogenesis a fact?
jar
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Posts: 31281
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Member Rating: 2.9


Message 226 of 303 (321878)
06-15-2006 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by mjfloresta
06-15-2006 12:48 PM


Re: there is no appeal to the supernatural
nor do the sciences which I mention above - they too make inferences from observations...there no predictions in archeology, forensics, cryptology, etc...

Sorry but you totally lost me there. There most definitely are predictions in archeology, forensics, cryptology, etc...

Why not? because events that happened in the past can be observed, but how could you "predict" something which has already occured?

You predict what it is you will observe. If an archelogical site was really occuppied during a given period by a given peoples we should see similarities with other sites from the same peoples and same era.

My experince of the ID folk is that they never get to the specifics. They never get to the specifics of what should be seen if ID is true. Until they can come up with something that would differentiate ID from the current evolutionary theory ID is pretty much a pointless waste of time.

Edited by jar, : added requisite spalling arrers


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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mjfloresta
Member (Idle past 4253 days)
Posts: 277
From: N.Y.
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 227 of 303 (321891)
06-15-2006 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by jar
06-15-2006 12:59 PM


Re: there is no appeal to the supernatural
What predictions are there in these subjects?

The points is, the legitimacy of these subjects is not bound to their making predictions (you say they do, I say no) but rather in their making inferences from observations...

You predict what it is you will observe. If an archelogical site was really occuppied during a given period by a given peoples we should see similarities with other sites from the same peoples and same era.

You can say the same thing with ID: I compare two separate organisms and similarities and infer common design just as you infer common descent - two different inferences from the same data..Similarly, the archeologist who observes similarities between two different sites may infer that a given people inhabited both locations but he may conversely infer that the similarities are due to two different peoples sharing similarities due common geography, time period. etc...

Inferences in any science can be wrong or right, and there are usually more than one proposed..the important thing to note is that the inferences (by definition) are specific interpretations of real, concrete data.

The kind of prediction you're looking for is meaningless given the context..Why predict what you will find and then find it? Why not observe what you find and then try to understand the context..


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jar
Member
Posts: 31281
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 228 of 303 (321897)
06-15-2006 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by mjfloresta
06-15-2006 1:19 PM


why ID is silly.
Because prediction is the test of the hypothesis.

If ID wants to be considered science it must move beyond wilfull inference.

You cannot look at a sample and infer design of some entity until you can define how Design would be different than common descent. Looking at the same evidence and just picking your inference is called speculation, SciFi.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 229 of 303 (321899)
06-15-2006 1:34 PM


The topic is abiogenesis
STOP

Let's end this diversion into supernaturalism, and return to the topic.

If you want to discuss the supernatural, then propose a new thread.


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    FutureIncoming
    Inactive Member


    Message 230 of 303 (321912)
    06-15-2006 1:52 PM
    Reply to: Message 217 by randman
    06-14-2006 3:40 PM


    Debating Design, and About Abiogenesis
    OFF TOPIC - DO NOT RESPOND

    Take this discussion to an appropriate topic. This thread is about abiogenesis.

    In Msg #217, randman writes:

    That's an extremely weak response.


    My response is weak? Your response is worthless, without supporting evidence. The facts are plain and simple. Any thing exhibiting a superposition of states will collapse to a particular state when any other thing encounters/interacts with the first thing. That second thing may be a photon which an observer will see, but it does not have to be. Thus an observing mind is not required for quantum events to be resolved, and thus a Designer is not required, for any aspect of the physical Universe's behavior. And the second reason to throw out a Designer is because the offered rationale is absurd. No matter what you think a Designer is needed to Design about Life, you are not explaining how that Designer, an equivalent-to-Life thing, could begin to exist without having the equivalent feature being Designed, leading to the absurdity of an infinite sequence of Designers. You might allow the Designer to Evolve into existence, as an alternative -- but then you have no reason to say that Life could not have Evolved into existece, in the equivalent chemical/abiogenesis way.

    Here are a few more Points to be added to those already in #147, #150, and #151.

    21. Stable molecules will tend to persist, as mentioned in Point 16, but less-stable molecules can randomly obtain a degree of
    protection if they manage to loosely link to the more stable ones. That is, a disruption might come in from any direction, but if the nearby more-stable molecule blocks the disruption, then the "shadowed" less-stable molecule persists a little longer.

    22. A loose grouping of molecules constitutes a crude degree of organization, and an energy-rich environment will naturally promote more-stable organizations over the less stable.

    23. The more stable an organization is, the more complex it is capable of becoming.

    24. Thanks to the principles of feedback, it becomes possible for simple chemistry, energy, and Time to combine in ways that drive molecular organization toward enormously complex dynamic stability -- which is Life, of course.

    Details still need to be worked out. I hope to post something about nucleic acids in the not-too-distant future.

    Edited by FutureIncoming, : No reason given.

    Edited by AdminNWR, : off topic


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    FutureIncoming
    Inactive Member


    Message 231 of 303 (323694)
    06-20-2006 1:37 AM


    About Abiogenesis
    Continuing from Points made in Messages #147, #150, #151, and #230, here's hoping I'm not yet making a fool of myself.

    25. The well-known designators "DNA" and "RNA" have in common the letters "NA", which stands for "nucleic acid". Here is a link to some basic information about them: http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewer.php?mid=63 Technically, the phrase "nucleic acid" normally applies to those huge huge molecules, but in theory it could also apply to very abbreviated versions of those molecules. Per the definition of a protein in Point 16, nucleic acids cannot really be called proteins. They are not directly built up from amino acids like polypeptide chains. Instead, they are built in a similar way from a different kind of specific/generic organic molecule, called a "nucleotide". That is, just as two amino acids can combine to form the first part of a polypeptide/protein chain, so can two nucleotides combine to form the first part of a nucleic acid chain. And, just as there are many kinds of amino acids, yet Life tends to mostly use a modest number of them, so can there be a variety of nucleotides -- and Life tends to use a small subset of them (five or so).

    26. Relevant as preparation for the next Point, and as an extension of Points 7 and 13, remember that the two portions of a "monomer" molecule, which can link to form a "polymer" molecule, can be physically rather different. In proteins the peptide bond forms between an amino portion and a carboxylic acid portion; in nucleic acids a phosphate portion combines with a sugar portion. In either case, if an enzyme exists to encourage a reaction that builds a molecular chain, that enzyme/protein can have an "active site" that holds onto one of the two portions, and lets the other portion dangle. That other portion could be extensively connected as part of a chain, of course; the enzyme only needs to hold onto the part that it can actually manipulate. So, when a new monomer comes along that the enzyme can influence, to join the end of the chain that it is holding, the result of the reaction is a new molecular structure that no longer fits in the active site of the enzyme. In most cases the enzyme is then free to float away, someday to encounter another end of a molecular chain, to attach yet another loose monomer from the Primordial Soup.

    27. One of the more interesting protein enzymes is called "polymerase". It acts to encourage nucleotides to combine together. More, it acts to make a copy of an existing nucleic acid chain. Please note that in a Lifeless environment, there is no hurry involved, in encouraging molecules to do things. We can easily imagine some randomly-formed nucleic acid chain, not a very long chain, floating in the Primordial Soup, and we can perhaps imagine some randomly-formed polymerase-type molecule encountering it, eventually. So the polymerase protein/enzyme latches onto the nucleic acid chain, and does nothing more until some particular nucleotide happens along. The active site of the polymerase is deformed according to the place on the nucleic acid chain where it is attached, so only a certain type of nucleotide will be attracted to the polymerase. Once that particular molecule happens by, it is held by the active site, but its mere presence also distorts the polymerase. This distortion shifts the place where the polymerase has latched onto the nucleic acid chain. (In the simplest imaginable type of polymerase, we could picture a ring-shaped molecule, or a fat doughnut, that "rolls" along the nucleic acid chain.) That next nucleotide in the chain then distorts the polymerase in a way that enables a second active site to attract another particular nucleotide from the Primordial Soup. Eventually that nucleotide happens by, and the polymerase can connect it with the first one, and let the first one loose as described in Point 26. Also, another shifting/rolling of the position of the polymerase along the nucleic acid chain occurs, which allows that first (and now freed-up) active site to become the site that is influenced by that third nucleotide in the nucleic acid chain, readied to attract a new/third particular nucleotide/monomer from the Primordial Soup. Eventually, of course, the polymerase enzyme rolls off the end of the first nucleic acid chain, having created a new chain, NOT necessarily an exact duplicate (the simpler the enzyme, the more corrupt the copy is likely to be), and the enzyme is free to randomly encounter another nucleic acid chain and repeat.

    28. In the preceding Point, I have tried to stress simplistic forms of certain complex phenomena associated with Life. I do not see such complexity being described as cannot happen at random in a rich Primordial Soup, given enough Time. Also, it is a fact that nucleic acid chains are considerably more fragile than polypeptide chains. Very long nucleic acid chains will be rare in the Primordial Soup. And in an energy-rich environment, they might be expected to decay nearly as fast as random polymerase enzymes happen to copy them. There is a great opportunity here, for nucleic acid chains to randomly become associated with some sort of protection, as mentioned in Point 21.

    29. One other type of enzyme can be expected to form in the Primordial Soup. This one would be similar to polymerase, but instead of using its attachment-points along a nucleic acid chain to construct a new nucleic acid chain, this would construct a polypeptide chain from loose amino acids in the Soup. Life incorporates such enzymes as the tool for "reading" RNA information, using it to contstruct proteins. But in the simplest/earliest form, nothing so fancy as meaningful information would exist in any nucleic acid chain. There would simply be the "transcriptase" mechanism, a random enzyme having certain properties. Nevertheless, when this mechanism becomes associated with the vast variety of nucleic acid chains that would be forming and decaying in the Primordial Soup, we can suspect an equally vast variety of polypeptide chains starting to be formed, as well. A chain that might pure-randomly include only the commonest amino acids in the Soup is not the kind of chain that we would normally expect from this mechanism. It will hold onto a partly-constructed polypeptide chain and only allow a particular amino acid to join the chain. So, protiens that might rarely be formed, directly in the Soup, might far more easily be formed as a random result of this nucleic-acid-reading mechanism. Well, what if some of these newly-common protiens turn out to be "protectors" for nucleic acid chains, eh?

    To be continued.

    Edited by FutureIncoming, : added the word "transcriptase"

    Edited by FutureIncoming, : Transcriptase normally "reads" RNA, not DNA.


      
    FutureIncoming
    Inactive Member


    Message 232 of 303 (324190)
    06-21-2006 3:14 AM


    About Abiogenesis
    Continuing Points made in Messages #147, #150, #151, #230, and #231...

    30. In partial answer to the question at the end of Point 29, one way that a nucleic acid chain can obtain a small amount of protection from random disruption is for it to find a "mate". Remember that a DNA molecule is made up of two separate chains, that happen to mesh together. The two chains are not linked by ordinary chemical bonds; they are only linked by "hydrogen bonds", a low-level electrostatic attraction between otherwise-independent molecules. It's my guess that shortly after the earliest polymerase enzyme came along to start making lots of bad copies of short nucleic acid chains, significant numbers of those chains "found" each other and linked to form short DNA segments. These double-helix structures expose their "backbones" to the world, their strongest features. They also became unavailable to polymerase, for making more copies. The greater degree of common-ness that they obtained by pairing up to become more stable and more complex, is now offset by a slowed rate of production, as "bare" nucleic acid chains became rarer in the Primordial Soup. (And RNA chains, even if two of them cannot form a double helix, they can find mates with unmatched DNA chains.)

    31. Eventually a new enzyme (a polypeptide protein) will happen along. It may already have existed in the Primordial Soup by this time, but didn't happen to do much. Remember that an enzyme is only effective when the task it is able to do, exists to be done! This particular enzyme is an "unzipper", that gets into one end of a double helix and splits it partly apart. The section of exposed innards are now accessible by a polymerase enzyme. However, most of those random polymerase enzymes will not be the right shape to work right, to copy one strand of this structure. That's because the unzipper is in the way. Only a more complicated form of polymerase will work here, to "push" the unzipper along, as it makes its copy of a strand of the double helix. We can imagine the Primordial Soup having a great many bottlenecked partly-split double helices floating about, with unzippers and polymerase enzymes connected but nonfunctional, due to being in each other's way. We also can recognize that the opened-up double-helix is more vulnerable to disruption. And there is a fair amount of molecular complexity in that vicinity, that can be torn apart and reformed differently, when some disruption comes along, like a K-40 radiation zap! (Two nucleic acid strands, one unzipper enzyme/protein, and up to two primitive polymerase proteins, one hooked to each nucleic acid chain.) How long will it take for an unzipper-pushing polymerase molecule to be randomly formed, in a Soup full of bottlenecked potential?

    32. The preceding Question, in a way, points at how "molecular evolution" can happen in a lifeless environment. The "Natural Selection" here is the tying-down and eventual destruction of ineffective molecules, while the effective ones gradually accumulated in the Primordial Soup. And why, you might ask, would a molecule loose in the Soup not be as subject to a random radiation zap as a tied-down molecule? The answer is, it would be as subject, in the Soup, to a random radiation zap. However, a tied-down molecule is by definition part of a big heavy complex molecule, and gravity is going to tend to pull it to the bottom of the Primordial Soup. And in the Early Days of a World, most of the rocks at the bottom of the Soup are igneous rocks like granite and basalt, relatively rich in other radiation-emitting substances, like uranium, thorium, and radioactive "daughter" nuclides. So greater opportunities exist for tied-down molecules to get zapped, and to re-enter the Soup as smaller and even differently-formed pieces.

    33. With the arrival of an unzipper-pushing polymerase enzyme, most of the components for a "distributed" and slow kind of Life-form now exists. Some modestly long DNA helices can start to exist, due to the stability and protection they obtain from having that shape. An unzipper randomly/eventually comes along and starts unzipping it. A polymerase randomly/eventually comes along and gradually makes a copy of one of the two chains (as appropriate nucleotides are encountered), pushing the unzipper all the way through the double helix. A transcriptase randomly/eventually comes along and gradually makes a protein from the new-made nucleic acid chain (as appropriate amino acids are encountered). Eventually, at random, this protein is going to be one of those three enzymes. If it is an unzipper, then a greater proportion of DNA strands in the Primordial Soup will become "ready" for copying by polymerase. If it is a polymerase, then a greater proportion of "readied" DNA strands will have both strands copied, not just one. (If the copies are relatively good copies, then the two strands can link to make a whole new DNA molecule --isn't a copied DNA molecule the most basic result of Life In Action?) And if the randomly produced enzyme is a transcriptase, then an almost-literal explosion of transcriptase enzymes will start to float away from that place in the Primordial Soup, making more random proteins from random DNA strands, as they go. Eventually, at random, all three types of enzymes will be getting preferentially produced throughout the Primordial Soup; their existence "feeds back" into their production, per Point 24, along with the three modest DNA molecules, now classifiable as "genes", associated with those enzymes.

    To be continued? Perhaps I should wait for some feedback about all this speculation, before going farther out onto a limb. Are there any glaring holes in the logic, or errors of fact in the data, so far presented? Thanks in advance!

    Edited by FutureIncoming, : Added slowness to Point 33


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    inkorrekt
    Member (Idle past 4341 days)
    Posts: 382
    From: Westminster,CO, USA
    Joined: 02-04-2006


    Message 233 of 303 (334346)
    07-22-2006 6:30 PM
    Reply to: Message 13 by SuperNintendo Chalmers
    12-29-2005 2:55 PM


    Re: Definitions would help
    How do we define life? Our text books only give the characteristics of living organisms. What is it actually?
    This message is a reply to:
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    inkorrekt
    Member (Idle past 4341 days)
    Posts: 382
    From: Westminster,CO, USA
    Joined: 02-04-2006


    Message 234 of 303 (334591)
    07-23-2006 6:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 232 by FutureIncoming
    06-21-2006 3:14 AM


    Re: About Abiogenesis
    Is it not marvellous? This is marvellous because of the complexity of the genetic apparatus. If this is not complex, what is a complex system?
    This message is a reply to:
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    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 20119
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 3.8


    Message 235 of 303 (334665)
    07-23-2006 10:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 233 by inkorrekt
    07-22-2006 6:30 PM


    Re: Definitions would help
    How do we define life? Our text books only give the characteristics of living organisms. What is it actually?

    good question.

    see Definition of Life for some info and discussion of the relative merits.

    Enjoy.


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    NOT JULIUS
    Member (Idle past 2734 days)
    Posts: 219
    From: Rome
    Joined: 11-29-2006


    Message 236 of 303 (368240)
    12-07-2006 3:24 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by SuperNintendo Chalmers
    12-28-2005 7:03 PM


    Life from Non-Life is Not Reasonable
    Supernintendo wrote:
    So can we consider abiogensis a factual occurence based on available evidence?

    I beg to disagree. I do not think that abiogenesis--concept of life originating from non-life--is rational. Common observation says that babies come from mothers, chicken from eggs, etc. Life from life.

    This concept is not rational in that it is "transferring the burden of proof". Like saying: "a unicorn exist since no one can disprove that it does not".

    For me to believe that life would come from non-life, scientists have to create a living thing (say a fly or worm), out of a non-living thing like a stone.

    I think this issue was already settled by previous scientists like Pasteur. In one simple experiment where maggots where observe on a cheese, some nuts said; 'there goes your proof--life from non life'. Pasteur covered the cheese and no maggots came out. Of course we now know that maggots were there because flies laid eggs on that cheese.

    Your Judean Governor,
    Pilate_judas


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    Neutralmind
    Member (Idle past 4383 days)
    Posts: 183
    From: Finland
    Joined: 06-08-2006


    Message 237 of 303 (368243)
    12-07-2006 3:34 PM
    Reply to: Message 236 by NOT JULIUS
    12-07-2006 3:24 PM


    Re: Life from Non-Life is Not Reasonable
    I think this issue was already settled by previous scientists like Pasteur. In one simple experiment where maggots where observe on a cheese, some nuts said; 'there goes your proof--life from non life'. Pasteur covered the cheese and no maggots came out. Of course we now know that maggots were there because flies laid eggs on that cheese.

    I think some evo folk are gonna go postal :D

    I don't know much of abiogenesis but I know enough to say that scientists don't suppose the first life arose from cheese.


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    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 238 of 303 (368245)
    12-07-2006 3:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 236 by NOT JULIUS
    12-07-2006 3:24 PM


    Re: Life from Non-Life is Not Reasonable
    I do not think that abiogenesis--concept of life originating from non-life--is rational. Common observation says that babies come from mothers, chicken from eggs, etc. Life from life.

    Well, plants come from seeds, but plants are much, much larger than could possibly be contained by a seed. Where does all that extra stuff come from?

    From the soil, of course, and you can grow a plant on nothing living whatsoever - just some minerals and chemicals that can be produced completely synthetically. So, clearly, the plant is employing nonliving matter as part of its living structure.

    Life from nonlife? Life does that all the time. And we know from a hundred other experiments (beginning with the synthesis of urea in the 1800's) that the fundamental chemistry of life is no different than the chemistry of minerals and the like. Babies come from mothers, yes, but I weigh much, much more than my mother. Clearly I'm composed of quite a bit of stuff that didn't come from her.

    I think this issue was already settled by previous scientists like Pasteur.

    Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation of maggots and bacteria, not abiogenesis or the RNA World model. Do you really think that we haven't learned anything more about biology since Pasteur's work in the 1800's? Or is it your contention that Pasteur is to be taken as the last word on all matters biological?


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    New Cat's Eye
    Inactive Member


    Message 239 of 303 (368247)
    12-07-2006 3:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 236 by NOT JULIUS
    12-07-2006 3:24 PM


    Re: Life from Non-Life is Not Reasonable
    Supernintendo wrote:
    So can we consider abiogensis a factual occurence based on available evidence?

    I beg to disagree. I do not think that abiogenesis--concept of life originating from non-life--is rational. Common observation says that babies come from mothers, chicken from eggs, etc. Life from life.

    Assuming you agree that in the past there was a point in time where there was no life on earth and that there is life on earth now, there are two possibilities for the emergence of life on earth.

    1) Abiogenesis
    2) Extraterrestrial Interference

    Extraterrestrial includes God, intellegent aliens, a comet infected with life, etc.

    Excluding something extraterrestrial, is there any other way life could have arrose besides abiogenesis?

    For me to believe that life would come from non-life, scientists have to create a living thing (say a fly or worm), out of a non-living thing like a stone.

    Well that is a little extreme IMO. The very first life forms were presumably very simple. Probably something we could hardly call 'life', just some simple replicators or something. We know that cells are made of atoms and that very simple life is basically just chemical interactions. If the chemicals needed for the first replicators were present in the early days of the earth, why don't you think they could have formed something that could be considered life, by definition?

    Forming a worm from a stone isn't even in the same ballpark.

    I think this issue was already settled by previous scientists like Pasteur.

    His experiments didn't disprove abiogenesis, contrary to misunderstood oppinions on them. They were a lot different than the 'life' that abiogensis talks about and the conditions of the early planet that led to abiogensis.


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    NOT JULIUS
    Member (Idle past 2734 days)
    Posts: 219
    From: Rome
    Joined: 11-29-2006


    Message 240 of 303 (368262)
    12-07-2006 5:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 238 by crashfrog
    12-07-2006 3:44 PM


    Re: Life from Non-Life is Not Reasonable
    Crashfrog wrote:
    Well, plants come from seeds, but plants are much, much larger than could possibly be contained by a seed. Where does all that extra stuff come from?
    From the soil, of course, and you can grow a plant on nothing living whatsoever - just some minerals and chemicals that can be produced completely synthetically. So, clearly, the plant is employing nonliving matter as part of its living structure.

    I don't understand your logic. Just because plants derive their nutrients (nitrogen, etc) from the soil does not mean that plants come from these compounds. No! It just means that plants use this as food.

    Life from nonlife? Life does that all the time. And we know from a hundred other experiments (beginning with the synthesis of urea in the 1800's) that the fundamental chemistry of life is no different than the chemistry of minerals and the like. Babies come from mothers, yes, but I weigh much, much more than my mother. Clearly I'm composed of quite a bit of stuff that didn't come from her.

    Still I don't understand. Your mother gave you birth. You ate a lot more than her, that's why you get bigger than she is. Plain and simple. But, to say that you come from the many foods that you eat is stretching your imagination too much.

    Similarly just because I contain carbon dioxide and iron, just as a rock contains carbon dioxide and iron does not mean I come from a rock!

    Ah, I guess here is where the fallacy comes in. Observe the difference between wrong and right conclusion

    Premise (P1) Rocks contain carbon and iron
    P2: Man contains carbon and iron

    Wrong Conclusion: Therefore man comes from rock.

    Right conclusion: Therefore, Rocks and man share some common elements (carbon, and iron)


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