Joined: May 2006
With all my reading in the past couple weeks I've been kicking around an idea and since MichiganRuss has posed the question I'll let it rip. Just to caution it is fairly radical. What if life is DNA, RNA and proteins?
I don't mean composed of but actually that is the only configuration that is life. We're looking at scenarios of a primitive self-replicating molecule but we have no evidence that such a molecule can exist or ever has. Just to be clear I'm not talking about crystals or polymers but a molecule that truely facilitates its own replication. In fact, every form of life on the planet meets this criteria and we even have cases that partially meet this criteria and we do not consider them "alive" (viruses and prions). This could be proof of common descent or just more simply that all life requires this configuration to be alive. Even in our search beyond the planet we're looking for life similar to what we have here. Would we even recognize life that wasn't compsed of DNA, RNA and proteins?
Just a thought and certainly not a popular one but what really got it going for me is the fact that there are no other forms (or never have been as far as we know) of life on the planet. Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that in the past 3-4 billion years something new would have developed from the DNA, RNA, protein framework and we'd see a branch that was similar but different. Wouldn't evolution and selection nearly guarantee this outcome unless such a configuration just flat out didn't function?
Anyway, thought I'd show you guys what this background reading had done to my already crazy brain.