News Origin Of Life

Life on Earth was inevitable?

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From recent research:

Computer calculations reveal that even by chance, five liposomes in 1,000 could not have trapped all 83 molecules of the assembly. Their calculated probability for even one such liposome to form is essentially zero. The fact that any such liposomes formed and that GFP was produced means something quite unique is happening.

Stano and his colleagues do not yet understand why this happened. It may yet be a random process that a better statistical model will explain. It may be that these particular molecules are suited to this kind of self-organisation because they are already highly evolved. An important next step is to see if similar, but less complex, molecules are also capable of this feat.

Regardless of the limitations, Stano’s experiment has shown for the first time that self-assembly into simple cells may be an inevitable physical process. Finding out how exactly this self-assembly happens will mean taking a big step towards understanding how life was formed.

While these origin of life chemists do not directly say so, they seem to be looking for some sort of law, as opposed to accident, whereby life forms. Christian de Duve is a noted exponent of this view, for example in The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science They are, of course, handicapped by the fact that they cannot be seen to explicitly reject Darwinian thinking. At least they are permitted to properly estimate the likelihood of chance, as long as they do not introduce any concept of design.

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