If life got started so quickly back then—and there is no evidence of it ever just getting started somehow, time after time, since then—either life was an event triggered from outside nature as we know it or it was implicit in the Big Bang (but that would point to some kind of encoded information).
Talk: What if the discoveries of science actually lend support to belief in God?
The researcher’s analogy is interesting (more like building a cathedral than knocking over a row of dominos). If the origin of life were like knocking over a row of dominos, life would be coming into existence ex nihilo, easily and often. That is assuredly not what we find.
His struggle to bring reality to“sci-fi” origin of life research is Intro of the Walter Bradley Center’s inspiration for our work on AI: The Bradley Center hopes to have a similar effect by promoting more general knowledge of fundamental issues around “thinking computers and questions around the real effects of technology on human well-being. A friend […]
If we discover life on Mars and it turns out to be a lot like life on Earth, as Davies suggests, will that be experienced as an achievement or a disappointment? It certainly won’t prove anything like what some have hoped. Heck, it won’t even prove that We Are NOT Alone…
Note: “ The hypothetical RNA World does not furnish an adequate basis for explaining how this system came into being, principles of self-organisation that transcend Darwinian natural selection furnish an unexpectedly robust basis for a rapid, concerted transition to genetic coding from a peptide·RNA world.”
From the paper: “… these analyses offer no support for the homology of sponge choanocytes and choanoflagellates, nor for the view that the first multicellular animals were simple balls of cells with limited capacity to differentiate.”
In a world where some believe that consciousness must be a material thing, perhaps it’s not surprising that others seek to see information as a physical quantity. Computer scientist Robert J. Marks would ask, what is the weight difference between a full CD and an empty one? Could we start there?
A Nobelist (1967), he was among other things an origin-of-life chemist and in that capacity he authored Eigen’s paradox
What’s shocking is the hype. Essentially, the team created some amino acids and “Some researchers believe these could combine (like Legos) and create further complex molecules which could then be a precursor to life.”
Georgia Tech biochemist Loren Williams was recently named co-leader of NASA’s new consortium to tackle origin of life: Did life on Earth originate in Darwin’s warm little pond, on a sunbaked shore, or where hot waters vent into the deep ocean? And could a similar emergence have played out on other bodies in our solar […]
The meeting focuses on origin of life.
We’ve often heard that there were billions of boring years in the history of life (the Boring Billion). Maybe not so boring.
The microbes that metabolized practically anything back then just to stay alive didn’t appear to want to do much else. Yes, it’s an old question why they didn’t (couldn’t?) Or maybe they even did. But based on the history of the last half-billion years, there should be an answer.
The more we know, the more insights we can have, sure. But it’s not always clear what specific things truly extreme life forms can tell us about the more common ones. Maybe the message is more general, that life forms try their hardest to survive every circumstance. But what is it they have that rocks don’t?