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How life began...


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#1 fast eddie

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:37 PM

Since I don't find the notion of Intelligent Design a satisfactory explanation, just what is a good encapsulation of the process that resulted in the rise of life on Earth? Are new lifeforms slowly arising from nonlife all the time, and if not, why not? What's a good book on the subject??? 


< He's flippin' off The Man, see...

#2 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:07 PM

I've never really seen a treatment of this that wasn't particularly technical.  Basically, RNA strands likely started randomly being generated by Earth's chemistry 4 billion-ish years ago, and some of them started replicating and taking resources from the nearby environment.  

Eventually, after a few million years, the RNA strands whose instructions involved things like making cell membranes and replicating in a particular way (including the use of DNA and more sophisticated proteins) started to gobble up more of those resources (resources specifically out of vents in the ocean or hot springs; basically mineral-rich sources of water).  Most of this was happening in tidal pools, volcanic ponds, or potentially the ocean floor.

From that point on, the bacteria generated ecosystems and niches which allowed some of them to grow more complex, eventually becoming organisms, and some just kept replicating as bacteria because, hey, it's a living.


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#3 Moving Target

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

What Reb said.

I would add that things looking very similar to cell walls will appear within 48 hours in a test tube if you apply to it what we think were the conditions on primordial Earth.

The jump from fatty acid chains to RNA is a bit of a mystery, as is the jump from procaryotic cells to eucaryotes.

But it seems reasonable to say that given long enough in the Goldilocks Zone round any given star, a self-replicating molecule will organise from simple organic compounds which are ubiquitous in nature, and then boom, it’s only a matter of time before complex life evolves.
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#4 MrSkeptic

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 10:26 PM

I've never really seen a treatment of this that wasn't particularly technical.  Basically, RNA strands likely started randomly being generated by Earth's chemistry 4 billion-ish years ago, and some of them started replicating and taking resources from the nearby environment.  

Eventually, after a few million years, the RNA strands whose instructions involved things like making cell membranes and replicating in a particular way (including the use of DNA and more sophisticated proteins) started to gobble up more of those resources (resources specifically out of vents in the ocean or hot springs; basically mineral-rich sources of water).  Most of this was happening in tidal pools, volcanic ponds, or potentially the ocean floor.

From that point on, the bacteria generated ecosystems and niches which allowed some of them to grow more complex, eventually becoming organisms, and some just kept replicating as bacteria because, hey, it's a living.

 

That can't be right because the Earth is only about 6,000 years old so there hasn't been time for those events to take place. Unless God himself did it.  :o


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They said I could be anything, so I became a disappointment.

 

 


#5 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 12:10 AM

That can't be right because the Earth is only about 6,000 years old so there hasn't been time for those events to take place. Unless God himself did it.  :o

God's a good enough chemist, but given the number of spills, I have to hope he's following proper lab safety procedures.


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#6 The Macallan

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

Plenty of time for all that to happen in 6,000 years. See below handy dandy chart from the Creationist Museum 

 

 

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#7 Slim

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 02:25 PM

Since I don't find the notion of Intelligent Design a satisfactory explanation, just what is a good encapsulation of the process that resulted in the rise of life on Earth? Are new lifeforms slowly arising from nonlife all the time, and if not, why not? What's a good book on the subject??? 

 

Your second question is quite interesting. As far as I can tell the prevailing wisdom is that all life on Earth originates from a single abiogenesis event - because it's all demonstrably related. We share some of our DNA with plant life like rice and grass. All species have a single ancestor, so you're literally related to a mushroom.

 

It's possible that other abiogenesis events occurred, but whatever extremely simple organism may have ensued from them wasn't able to compete for resources with existing organic life. A crude organism that might, in other circumstances, have gone on to spawn an intelligent civilisation might have been eaten by a microbe.

 

The conditions on Earth were very different a few billion years ago, as well.


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#8 Three Eyes

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:57 PM

Well that explains this guy.

 

the_mushroom_man_by_majklpussyk.jpg


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#9 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:45 PM

As far as I can tell the prevailing wisdom is that all life on Earth originates from a single abiogenesis event - because it's all demonstrably related. We share some of our DNA with plant life like rice and grass. All species have a single ancestor, so you're literally related to a mushroom.

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.


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#10 Moving Target

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 06:34 PM

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.


I loved The Invisibles. The bits I understood anyway.

Sure, Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis. Cells to tissues to organs to organisms to families to tribes to species to ecosystems to biosphere. Fritjof Capra talked about this too in The Turning Point.

#11 Slim

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 09:24 PM

You could potentially go one step farther, like Grant Morrison, and conceptualize all life on Earth as extensions of a SINGLE organism.

 

Actually that was what I meant - I'm no expert, but I don't really see how it could be otherwise.






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