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.”
So if the value of oxygen is dose-dependent, life probably had even less time to work with to become large and complex.
Organic chemist Royal Truman: I found the ad hominems vulgar and no substitute for an understanding of what Prof. Tour has been explaining. The evidence Prof. D. presented was ridiculously superficial and misleading. If I were him, I’d get rid of this video, since this is a pure gift for Prof. Tour.
Sewell: I cannot think of anything in all of science that can be stated with more confidence than that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could not have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones.
The article is an interesting summary of the various hypotheses on offer but it’s not like there are any big breakthroughs. However, actual breakthroughs are hardly the point. From a materialist perspective, the point is to keep up the pursuit of a random, non-intelligent origin of life. That’s all the success that is really required.
Well, that’s good news for the hope of finding life on other planets! But researchers hoping to rush in and save Darwinism should know that if the earliest organisms could photosynthesize, an intelligent origin of life is virtually certain.
Paul Nelson: … unless I misunderstand (always a live possibility), we’re back to postulating a “freak environment,” meaning the OOL explanation is a one-off event after all. The chemical determinism of hundreds of thousands, or millions of alkaline chimneys operating in parallel disappears, and we’re back to one very lucky setting.
Marshall favors horizontal gene transfer as a key method of early development because ancestor–descendant evolution is a “very slow” (42:25) evolutionary process. HGT among multiple independent lineages, by contrast, allows a “vast exchange of information,” thus sharing innovations and leading to faster development. Okay. And in the midst of all that, Dawkins’s Selfish Gene got lost in a crowd somewhere and was never heard from again.