New evidence emerges on the origins of life

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    I'm curious, have they managed to recreate in the lab anything remotely close to a protocell?
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  3. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Wait another million of years and then ask the same question.
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Usually my posts are longer than I planned. In this case I was trying to develop some ideas that have occurred to me as I have read so many Creationist arguments against science.

    Nope. I was concluding that religion is a lie at about the same time Dawkins published his first paper. I never heard of him until many years later. Besides, I resent the word "disciple" insofar as this remark appears to disparage Dawkins, a person who has contributed to the benefit of global knowledge. Someday your life may be saved by a procedure which indirectly arose from his work. So appreciate great minds like his.

    Not even close. I have no need to copy anyone, and if I did I would cite them in italics with a link to the source. I suppose I am not surprised by your statement, insofar as it admits to prejudice as in the above remark.

    It is very hard to steer molecules together. The most phenomenal steering mechanism is the interaction that occurs during synthesis of polymers in the cell. But I was referring to the default state of molecular activity withing the cytoplasm. And yes, Virginia, there is random interaction in all chemical reactions, (here referring to "bulk" level reactions).

    No doubt. And here we can touch on the significance of the cell membrane which introduces a means for ion separation, among other things.

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    This is a rather complex structure unto itself. So consider instead the most primitive cell membrane conceivable.

    The idea is that in the genesis of eukaryotes, new structures evolved which "steer" reactions to some degree, but even in prokayotes, the cell membrane and ctyoskeletal components (microtubules and filaments) would affect ion concentration/diffusion, among other things. Again, I was considering the most primitive state conceivable, in which the only "cause" of reactions is Brownian motion. And the amount of energy in those collisions is a function of the amount of energy incident at the "primordial soup" from all available natural energy sources.

    The energy present in the Earth which gave rise to these reactions (to the formation of compounds dissolved in water and the heat and chemical energy which added to the energy contributing to such reactions, was imparted to the Earth - indirectly - by the Big Bang. That is, this energy emerged from the remnants of super novae which formed the accretion disk from which the Earth emerged.

    For that reason it's perfectly fine to call Brownian motion (and the rest of all biotic energy) the result of stochastic processes.
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I don't think anyone knows what that means. The smallest known genome may be announced during the life of this thread. As of 2013:

    Our results reveal that Nasuia-ALF has the smallest bacterial genome yet sequenced (112 kb), and that the Sulcia-ALF genome (190 kb) is smaller than that of Sulcia
    Synthesizing cells is another thing, obviously. But without a roadmap, it's unlikely any experimenter could set out to accomplish what you are asking. That being said, human-engineered cells (artificially created life; new life forms) were announced several years ago, as you probably know.

    In the case above, it stands to reason that the symbiotic cell co-evolved with insects, which is too late to be useful, unless someone can show that this cell was around (or some similar ancestral cell) since the days of the primordial soup. However, it goes to show that abiogenesis of another kind (in the co-evolution of symbiotic cells within higher organisms) tells us that abiogenesis may be an ongoing process, within that context alone.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The number of stars in the universe has at least at least twenty zeroes. To say that "life doesn't just happen" when there are that many places for it to happen--ESPECIALLY since we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has definitely happened in at least one place--is more than a little idiotic. I don't see how anyone who adopts that position could be called a "serious researcher."
    TruthSeeker likes this.
  9. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    My 9 year old son gets it. He said to me today that we don't evolve but, rather, molecules evolve by organizing themselves better. Our definition of "life" limits our perspective. Sure, molecules can't reproduce themselves, but "they" don't need to. The atomic level of complexity doesn't require a system to codify a "memory", it's too short-lived. All the "memory" they need is in the system. However, once you reach the molecular level, it becomes more exponentially complex and it requires a more sophisticated language that can be passed on for longer periods of time in order to evolve properly. Before RNA and DNA, molecules probably achieved good levels of self-organization, decayed and had to achieve that level again. The RNA/DNA information system allowed them to codify their best arrangements and evolve further over longer periods of time. From this perspective, we are highly evolved and organized collections of molecules.
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    And water evolves by organizing itself into puddles.
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    There are only so many ways to form stable molecules. Start with bonding. Adults will like the first explanation, while kids explain to their parents the details in the second one.

  12. pluto2 Valued Senior Member

    The origin of life is still a mystery.

    We just don't know how inanimate organic molecules became life.

    Also we may need to face the fact that the enigma of the origin of life may never be answered.

    Also we still know very little about how the human body works in general.

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