How did life originate?

The origin of life is called Abiogenesis [1]. Although creationists continuously deny a naturalistic explanation of origin of life in spite of several models and experiments which demonstrate [2] [10] how life could have originated without any supposed divine intervention, they nonetheless waste a great deal of time trying to discredit or undermine those scientific hypothesis.

Life and Death are subjective terms which we use to describe a more fundamental phenomena - Biology. Biological form in various states exist. We simply describe some of them as living (life).

Biochemically, living systems are separated from other chemical systems by three things [3].

1. The capacity for replication from one generation to another.

Most organisms today use DNA as the hereditary material. RNA may have been the first nucleic acid system to have formed. Nobel laureate Walter Gilbert refers to this as the RNA world [4]. Recent experiments only but lends further support to this hypothesis [5] [11].

Recently scientists inserted over 1 million base pairs of synthetic DNA into Mycoplasma capricolum cells and enabled them to reproduce [6]. The experiment of Dr. Craig Venter suggests, creation of synthetic man-made artificial DNA (Genetic information) that was organized in a lab by humans, are able to provide necessary informations for the cell to replicate. This experiment also shows us life is not something mysterious but rather just complex chemical reactions [7].

2. The presence of enzymes and other complex molecules essential to the processes needed by living systems.

Miller's experiment showed how these could possibly form [8].

3. A membrane that separates the internal chemicals from the external chemical environment.

This also delimits the cell from not-cell areas. The work of Sidney W. Fox has produced proteinoid spheres, which...while not cells, suggest a possible route from chemical to cellular life [9] [10].


References:
[1] Abiogenesis - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

[2] Abiogenesis FAQs: The Origins of Life - Talkorigins.org http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/

[3] Cells Origins http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookcell1.html#origin

[4] RNA world hypothesis - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis

[5] RNA world easier to make - Nature.com http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090513/full/news.2009.471.html

[6] Scientists Create First Self-Replicating Synthetic Life - Wired.com http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/scientists-create-first-self-replicating-synthetic-life/

[7] Craig Venter's research is scary, but not in the way you think - Telegraph.co.uk http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7753609/Craig-Venters-research-is-scary-but-not-in-the-way-you-think.html

[8] Miller–Urey experiment - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller–Urey_experiment

[9] Microsphere - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsphere#Biological_protocells

[10] Chapter 9: Origin of Life http://www.uh.edu/~geos6g/1376/orginlife9.html

[11] First life: The search for the first replicator - New Scientist.com http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128251.300-first-life-the-search-for-the-first-replicator.html
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.

Comments

Finished reading? Then please do LEAVE A COMMENT — whatever you are thinking right now! Peace ツ