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Another "origin Of Life" Story


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#1 hazelm

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:08 AM

https://www.scienced...p Science News)

 

This from Berkeley Lab.  Two blue salt crystals found in meteorites that fell - one in Texas and one in Morocco - in 1998 both contain liquid water and a mix of organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.  .....  There are clues that the crystals may have been seeded by ice- or water-spewing activity on Ceres.

 

Comment.  My woman's intuition  tells me there are a few "yes, buts" to this story.  But that's why I am not a scientist -- "woman's intuition" will get you nowhere in science even if I do believe it has validity.  :-)

 

Comment:  Back to the volcano spewing, I recall a story some time back in which someone was theorizing that life on earth began in volcanoes, not in the seas.  I think it is posted somewhere here.


Edited by hazelm, 11 January 2018 - 06:09 AM.


#2 exchemist

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:53 AM

https://www.scienced...p Science News)

 

This from Berkeley Lab.  Two blue salt crystals found in meteorites that fell - one in Texas and one in Morocco - in 1998 both contain liquid water and a mix of organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.  .....  There are clues that the crystals may have been seeded by ice- or water-spewing activity on Ceres.

 

Comment.  My woman's intuition  tells me there are a few "yes, buts" to this story.  But that's why I am not a scientist -- "woman's intuition" will get you nowhere in science even if I do believe it has validity.  :-)

 

Comment:  Back to the volcano spewing, I recall a story some time back in which someone was theorizing that life on earth began in volcanoes, not in the seas.  I think it is posted somewhere here.

I think by now there is abundant evidence that extraterrestrial bodies can contain traces of a wide variety of the sorts of carbon chemistry we call "organic". The range of compounds found in this case is enormous. I quote from the abstract:-

 

"Associated with these trapped brines are organic compounds exhibiting wide chemical variations representing organic precursors, intermediates, and reaction products that make up life’s precursor molecules such as amino acids. The organic compounds also contain a mixture of C-, O-, and N-bearing macromolecular carbon materials exhibiting a wide range of structural order, as well as aromatic, ketone, imine, and/or imidazole compounds. The enrichment in 15N is comparable to the organic matter in pristine Renazzo-type carbonaceous chondrites, which reflects the sources of interstellar 15N, such as ammonia and amino acids. The amino acid content of the Zag halite deviates from the meteorite matrix, supporting an exogenic origin of the halite, and therefore, the Zag meteorite contains organics synthesized on two distinct parent bodies. Our study suggests that the asteroidal parent body where the halite precipitated, potentially asteroid 1 Ceres, shows evidence for a complex combination of biologically and prebiologically relevant molecules. "

 

But I agree it's far from making claims for extraterrestrial life, or that terrestrial life originated from some of these extraterrestrial sources. Regarding a volcanic origin for life, there is certainly a lot of interest in subsea volcanism, due to the discovery of bacteria tolerant to very hot water and with (I think) a sulphur-based metabolism, around vents on mid-ocean ridges. 



#3 hazelm

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:01 AM

Is it subsea volcanism?  Not the earthbound volcanoes?  I had not noticed that but I do like the idea of a heat source.  Thanks.



#4 exchemist

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:32 AM

Is it subsea volcanism?  Not the earthbound volcanoes?  I had not noticed that but I do like the idea of a heat source.  Thanks.

I think there is space for both hypotheses. We have so little to go on at the moment that we can't say. But obviously the first fossil evidence of of life (even though that starts from much later) comes from sea environments.

 

For me, as a chemist, the interesting thing is these alternative modes of respiration that do not rely on oxygen. Since we think the free oxygen in the air arose as a consequence of life (after photosynthesis had evolved), we need to look at organisms with anaerobic respiration to give us clues as to how it might have started.  



#5 hazelm

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:45 AM

Elsewhere here I mentioned Guy Murchie's "The Seven Mysteries of Life".  He does indeed go into how plants exchange our expired  CO for their expired O.  One of the things he is stressing in the book is how we are all inter-dependent on each other.  I have not gotten far enough yet but he takes this all the way to the entire universe. 

 

So, plants breath in Carbon Dioxide which we exhale while we breathe in Oxygen which plants exhale.   And, yes, there are probably many other kinds of breathing.  For some creatures, breathing may not be necessary at all.  He gives examples where an animal takes a single breath and no more for a long, long while.



#6 Qedlin

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 01:40 AM

This is intellectually insulting. Of course there were some abiotic chemicals on Earth, elements for life are distributed through out the universe, and some do chemically react and combine, but only what is possible based on influent energy levels (unregulated and just as prone to assist as destroy) and entropy. The simple amino acids and sugars found are so minor relative to the extreme complexity of even the simplest life that this does not justify the hyped up article titles. The supposed evolution of chemical complexity is a myth of chemical evolution like Darwin's "warm little ponds" or Oparin Haldane primordial soup. It is faith-based ideology to speculate that any Darwinian processes would be relevant before life even began, but such is the level of escalating desperation within naturalism to resolve even the most minor aspect of the intractable processes within the chaotic mess of naturalistic hypotheses regarding the origin of life.



#7 exchemist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 02:28 AM

This is intellectually insulting. Of course there were some abiotic chemicals on Earth, elements for life are distributed through out the universe, and some do chemically react and combine, but only what is possible based on influent energy levels (unregulated and just as prone to assist as destroy) and entropy. The simple amino acids and sugars found are so minor relative to the extreme complexity of even the simplest life that this does not justify the hyped up article titles. The supposed evolution of chemical complexity is a myth of chemical evolution like Darwin's "warm little ponds" or Oparin Haldane primordial soup. It is faith-based ideology to speculate that any Darwinian processes would be relevant before life even began, but such is the level of escalating desperation within naturalism to resolve even the most minor aspect of the intractable processes within the chaotic mess of naturalistic hypotheses regarding the origin of life.

And yet we know that at one stage there was no life, but now there is. So it arose somehow. The job of science is to seek natural mechanisms by which this could have taken place. 

 

It is idle to argue, on a science forum, that it was impossible without supernatural agency, since such a hypothesis is ipso facto an unscientific one. Supernatural explanations have no place in science. They never have had, since the dawn of modern science at the Renaissance.

 

What you interpret as "escalating desperation" is merely the excitement felt by scientists who feel they are making progress, albeit slowly, towards a better understanding of how abiogenesis occurred.  

 

Whether you like it or not, science will go on researching this fascinating topic.

 

As for the thread being "intellectually insulting", the only thing insulting to the scientific intellect on this thread is your contribution. I suggest you find another forum. This is a science forum, after all. 


Edited by exchemist, 12 January 2018 - 02:34 AM.