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Was first life’s biggest threat … water?


So some say:

The emerging evidence has caused many researchers to abandon the idea that life emerged in the oceans and instead focus on land environments, in places that were alternately wet and dry. The shift is hardly unanimous, but scientists who support the idea of a terrestrial beginning say it offers a solution to a long-recognized paradox: that although water is essential for life, it is also destructive to life’s core components.

Surface lakes and puddles are highly promising, says David Catling, a planetary scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “There’s a lot of work that’s been done in the last 15 years which would support that direction.”

Michael Marshall, “How the first life on Earth survived its biggest threat — water” at Nature

If we are looking for random generation of life, we must default to puddles if oceans don’t work, right?

Good point! Water is nearly a universal solvent. Graham Cairns-Smith's Clay Hypothesis was an attempt to reduce or eliminate the effect of water, but he was hooted down. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160823-the-idea-that-life-began-as-clay-crystals-is-50-years-old After all, we don't want to be reminded that the Bible says that God created the first human from clay and cloned the other one, do we? That would be ideologically unacceptable. -Q Querius
The oft-quoted cliché: Wherever (implicitly anywhere in the universe) there is water, there will be life. The reality is that water is a quite corrosive substance. We usually don't recognize that because living organisms are optimized to cope with it. RalphDavidWestfall
Hope springs eternal; the materialists will never give up. If it's not Darwin's warm pond, then its deep ocean vents, or mica sheets, or tidal pools, or comets, or other worlds, or whatever. There will always be some other environment they can place their hopes on. Of course, they never do experiments that show significant results, but they hype up insignificant results to sustain their preconceptions, and then hope for the big breakthrough - always just around the corner. Fasteddious
This isn't really a new emphasis. Tidepools have always been a favorite target for "spontaneous generation" theories. There's one obvious problem. Supposedly it takes a billion years for random mutations and natural selection to develop life, then another billion to evolve various forms of life. Tidepools don't last two billion years. The life that starts in a puddle will have to pause its evolution every few days or months and wait for the next rainy season, which may never come in this particular spot. So these "prebiotic" entities will need to evolve tardigrade-like adaptability, or spores and seeds, FIRST before they can get around to all the other stuff like DNA and energy efficiency. polistra
Nature reports that DNA was produced. It wasn’t. 2 DNA equivalents of RNA were produced, that’s it. A non-story. Belfast

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