“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”
― Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature
|Three Mechanisms to form life molecules|
A: volcano's and lightning
B: hydrothermal vents
C: clay/silicate templates
"How did life on earth begin some 3.6 billion years or more ago?"And the answer would be
“We don’t really know.”
CHEMICAL MODELS FOR ABIOGENESIS
- Primordial Soup: the early oceans were warm and full of chemicals; these reacted after sufficient time to form the building blocks and then the long chains (improbable reactions, but remember there was a long time for the pot to cook);
- Electrical Synthesis: the building block molecules were formed by electrical discharge—lightning—acting on simple nitrogen containing molecules;
- Clay Template: the building block molecules and long chain molecules were formed by surface reactions on clay, which set structures and catalyzed the reaction;
- Undersea Hot Mineral Vents: hot undersea volcanic vents provided high temperatures to accelerate reactions, minerals to act as catalysts, and lots of inorganic and organic compounds as building blocks
- Panspermia: the building block molecules came from outer space, either planted deliberately by aliens, or by chance from meteors, comets or cosmic dust; the question is, from where did these chemicals or aliens originate?
|Example of spontaneous self-organization:|
milk rings formed in coffee mug left in refrigerator
One primitive example of spontaneous self-organization is shown in the image at the left. It is an example of smoke rings or, more technically, "vortex rings".
The origin-of-life theories referred to above are interesting, albeit speculative since they have not yet been subjected to detailed analysis and empirical proof.
“We know today that both the biosphere as a whole as well as its components, living or dead, exist in far-from-equilibrium conditions. In this context, life, far from being outside the natural order, appears as the supreme expression of the self-organizing processes that occur.”
Ilya Prigogine, Order out of Chaos, p. 175
- First, how were the building blocks of life--amino acids, nucleic acids, phospholipid chains--formed?
- Second, how did these building blocks assemble into the biological polymers--proteins, DNA, RNA, membranes?
- Third, how did these assembled polymers come together to form primitive cells?
"I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded." Isaiah 45:12 (KJV)The evidence for Creation by God, both of the universe and of life, is not given here; however arguments to this are given in other posts on this blog, for example, Are We Special--New Thoughts about the Anthropic Principle, and in my third eBook, Science versus the Church--"Truth Cannot Contradict Truth".