The water world theory from Russell and his team says that the warm, alkaline hydrothermal vents maintained an unbalanced state with respect to the surrounding ancient, acidic ocean — one that could have provided so-called free energy to drive the emergence of life. In fact, the vents could have created two chemical imbalances. The first was a proton gradient, where protons — which are hydrogen ions — were concentrated more on the outside of the vent’s chimneys, also called mineral membranes. The proton gradient could have been tapped for energy — something our own bodies do all the time in cellular structures called mitochondria.
The second imbalance could have involved an electrical gradient between the hydrothermal fluids and the ocean. Billions of years ago, when Earth was young, its oceans were rich with carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide from the ocean and fuels from the vent — hydrogen and methane — met across the chimney wall, electrons may have been transferred. These reactions could have produced more complex carbon-containing, or organic compounds — essential ingredients of life as we know it. Like proton gradients, electron transfer processes occur regularly in mitochondria.
“Within these vents, we have a geological system that already does one aspect of what life does,” said Laurie Barge, second author of the study at JPL. “Life lives off proton gradients and the transfer of electrons.”
As is the case with all advanced life forms, enzymes are the key to making chemical reactions happen. In our ancient oceans, minerals may have acted like enzymes, interacting with chemicals swimming around and driving reactions. In the water world theory, two different types of mineral “engines” might have lined the walls of the chimney structures. More.
So the exact right genetic codes and protein machines to read, repair, and copy them and carry out all the activities for life can be explained by “minerals may have acted like enzymes, interacting with chemicals swimming around and driving reactions.” And life is not now popping up everywhere because…?
Acceptance of free-floating speculation for decades on end as “science” for no other reason than that it is naturalist is harmful to the concept of science—unless what we mean by science is “whatever promotes naturalism.” Why, one wonders, do proponents of naturalist atheism not become nervous about the use of this sort of silliness to promote their beliefs? Readers?
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)
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