Joined: May 2002
This Disko Whore seems to think that they know something about origin of life research.
In a very short form;
Short amino acid chains (10> X < 20) have been shown to easily form abiotically.
Even better, alternating D- and L- amino acids in short peptides forms a helical molecule.
Better yet, such molecules are easily found as membrane pores in archaea, and marine bacteria.
Membranes readily form from abiotic lipids.
Still more better, these pores can establish charge gradients. These are metabolisms.
Mapping these peptides into a PNA, or RNA establishes a genome.
Holding a genome within the membrane establishes a cell.
There is no particular problem with terrestrial abiogenesis, even with the far more demanding criteria used in the sciences as opposed to creationism.
However, there is nothing in evolutionary biology that depends on knowing the origin of life.
Here is all that Darwin had to say about the origin of life in his Origin of Species.
| “ I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lessor number. |
Analogy would lead me one step farther, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences. ... Therefore, on the principle of natural selection with the divergence of character, it does not seem incredible that, from some such low and intermediate form, both animals and plants may have been developed; and, if we admit this, we must likewise admit that all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some one primordial form. But this inference is chiefly grounded on analogy, and it is immaterial whether or not it be accepted. No doubt it is possible, as Mr. G. H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants.”
And, from the book’s last sentence;
“There is grander in this point of view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one ; ....”
So I note that Darwin was consistent in his opinion that there were few first life forms, and merely a possibly that there could have been only one. Also note that Darwin is little interested in the issue using well under one page of text from a 450 page book.
From the 6th edition,
“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved. “
Charles R. Darwin, in a letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker (1871) wrote, "It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are present, which could ever have been present. But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. "
Later in the same letter, he observed,
"It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter."
Edited by Dr.GH on Feb. 27 2008,19:35
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."
L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"