Sewell: In reality, to be really self-replicating like living things, it would have to go get its own cardboard, so maybe it would need wheels and an axe to cut down trees and a small sawmill to make cardboard out of wood…
Isn’t this origin-of-life speculation more like science fiction than like science?
At Phys.Org today, a press release indicates that scientists have fashioned a type of stand-in for natural cells which can ‘mimic’ some of their functions/properties. The title of the PR is: “Scientists create artificial cells that mimic living cells’ ability to capture, process, and expel material.” Should we add this to the Miller-Urey experiment as Read More…
At The Scientist: In fact, if the new fossil finds are confirmed to be sponges, “they would be not just the oldest sponges; they would be the oldest animals,” Riding points out. To find any fossil more than 200 million years older than previous animal fossils “is significant,” he says.
Imagine these kinds of objections being made to origin of life claims in a science journal! “The common justification that “natural selection would do the job, one way or another” is not tenable as a scientific argument, and less so the further away the corresponding chemistries stand from each other.” Isn’t this heresy? Natural selection is supposed to be omnicompetent.
Well adapted to the believability of mainstream claims. The thing to see here is that origin of life is history, not science. That point is often missed. Science is about how laws act in nature; history is about the details of what actually happened. If you want to know how life originated, you want to know history. It may or may not be accessible. We might never know how life originated for the same reasons as we may never know whether Neanderthal man had a religion. Anything anyone says on the subject is conjecture or ideology, not evidence.
It’s not entirely clear that these were life forms but if they were, it’s further evidence that life got started pretty much when the planet cooled and not, apparently, as a result of some long, slow, Darwinian process.
Coppedge: The paper in Geophysical Research Letters by I.B. Smith et al., “A Solid Interpretation of Bright Radar Reflectors Under the Mars South Polar Ice” (GRL, 15 July 2021, DOI: 10.1029/2021GL093618) says that clay is a sufficient material to account for the observations. The water interpretation is problematic, because “the amount of dissolved salt and heat required to maintain liquid water at this location is difficult to reconcile with what we know about Mars.”
Life seems to have got started as soon as the planet cooled. Curiously, unlike bacteria, Archaea do not cause disease in humans.
At The Scientist: “Now, in a study published today (July 28) in Nature, Elizabeth Turner, a geologist at Laurentian University in Canada, identified structures in 890-million-year-old fossils of organisms similar to modern bath sponges, potentially pushing back the emergence of the animals to at least that long ago.”
Researchers: The microfossils have a carbon-rich outer sheath and a chemically and structurally distinct core, consistent with a cell wall or membrane around intracellular or cytoplasmic matter.
If life’s beginning was a historical event rather than a natural law, it may never be possible to recover the exact sequence of steps. That would be true no matter what we believe about anything else about the universe.
Jeremy England: Far from being a freak event, finding something akin to evolving lifeforms might be quite likely in the kind of universe we inhabit – especially if we know how to look for it.
On the Design Disquisitions YouTube channel, I’ve posted a new video where I recommend several books of interest, specifically pro-ID literature. Most of the suggestions may be familiar to you, but hopefully there are a few that you’ve not read before. I also give a brief summary of the content of each book. I don’t Read More…
From the intro: “Miller and Anderson boil it all down and argue that Tour is right and Farina wrong on multiple levels.”