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We are trillions of tiny machines


From Mars.

Picture of the Planet Mars According to a paywalled review in New York Review of Books:

Today, driven by ongoing technological innovations, the exploration of the “nanoverse,” as the realm of the minuscule is often termed, continues to gather pace. One of the field’s greatest pioneers is Paul Falkowski, a biological oceanographer who has spent much of his scientific career working at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and biology. His book Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable focuses on one of the most astonishing discoveries of the twentieth century-that our cells are comprised of a series of highly sophisticated “little engines” or nanomachines that carry out life’s vital functions. It is a work full of surprises, arguing for example that all of life’s most important innovations were in existence by around 3.5 billion years ago-less than a billion years after Earth formed, and a period at which our planet was largely hostile to living things. How such mind-bending complexity could have evolved at such an early stage, and in such a hostile environment, has forced a fundamental reconsideration of the origins of life itself.


Joe Kirschvink argues that Earth’s rocks are the wrong place to look for the
nanomachines’ origins. He is a leading proponent of the seemingly radical theory that the nanomachines, and perhaps life itself, originated on the ice caps and glaciers of ancient Mars. The case is fleshed out fully in A New History of Life, and recent discoveries are building an impressive body of supporting evidence. NASA’s Curiosity lander, for example, has found evidence for ancient Martian streams and ponds: billions of years ago Mars probably had an ocean, as well as land and ice caps. The red planet may have offered a far less hostile environment for assembling naked strings of RNA than Earth. Kirschvink also points out that
space travel by early life is not improbable. Mars is small, so its gravity is weak compared with that of Earth. Asteroids could therefore have thrown up a lot of rocks capable of escaping Martian gravity. And we know, through experiments, that meteorites originating from Mars can reach Earth without being sterilized.

But if the nanomachines did originate on Mars, where might they have crossed the “Darwinian threshold” and become truly living things?

So long as they are thinking in terms of a “Darwinian threshold,” we can more or less forget about them getting anywhere with the topic.

Why origin of life is such a conundrum

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Of related interest: Here is one of my favorite quotes from Paul Falkowski:
The Microbial Engines That Drive Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles - Falkowski 2008 Excerpt: Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. - Paul G. Falkowski - Professor Geological Sciences - Rutgers http://www.genetics.iastate.edu/delong1.pdf Biologically mediated cycles for hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and iron - image of interdependent 'biogeochemical' web http://www.sciencemag.org/content/320/5879/1034/F2.large.jpg Microbial Mat Ecology – Image on page 92 (third page down) http://www.dsls.usra.edu/biologycourse/workbook/Unit2.2.pdf
The overall principle of long term balanced symbiosis, which is in fact what we have with the overall long term biogeochemical cycles of the earth, is a very anti-random chance fact which pervades the entire ecology of our planet and points powerfully to the intentional craftsmanship of a Designer. Please note that if even one type of bacteria group did not exist in this complex cycle of biogeochemical interdependence, that was illustrated on the third page of the preceding site, then all of the different bacteria would soon die out. This essential biogeochemical interdependence, of the most primitive different types of bacteria that we have evidence of on ancient earth, makes the origin of life ‘problem’ for neo-Darwinists that much worse. For now not only do neo-Darwinists have to explain how the ‘miracle of life’ happened once with the origin of photosynthetic bacteria, but they must now also explain how all these different types bacteria, that photosynthetic bacteria are dependent on, in this irreducibly complex biogeochemical web, miraculously arose just in time to supply the necessary nutrients, in their biogeochemical link in the chain, for photosynthetic bacteria to continue to survive. Of related note: tectonic activity must be fine-tuned with the bacteria to a certain degree too!
The Goldilocks principle: New hypothesis explains Earth's continued habitability - March 19, 2014 http://phys.org/news/2014-03-goldilocks-principle-hypothesis-earth-habitability.html etc.. etc..
And yes, completely contrary to Darwinian thought, the biogeochemical interdependence between these different types of bacteria are extremely stable and ancient
Geobiologist Noffke Reports Signs of Life that Are 3.48 Billion Years Old - 11/11/13 Excerpt: the mats woven of tiny microbes we see today covering tidal flats were also present as life was beginning on Earth. The mats, which are colonies of cyanobacteria, can cause unusual textures and formations in the sand beneath them. Noffke has identified 17 main groups of such textures caused by present-day microbial mats, and has found corresponding structures in geological formations dating back through the ages. http://www.odu.edu/about/odu-publications/insideodu/2013/11/11/topstory1
Mung @2,
The Darwinian threshold is crossed when “it just happened, that’s all” becomes replaced by “it just happened, that’s all, and that’s a fact, Fact, FACT!”
Oh. I finally get it. And the multiverse FACT (not multiverse "theory," it has crossed the threshold, too) proves they are right about everything! Thanks, Mung! harry
So long as they are thinking in terms of a “Darwinian threshold,” we can more or less forget about them getting anywhere with the topic.
Sometimes I feel like a zookeeper who's wondering when the chimps in the cage are going to figure out how to stack up the boxes to reach the ripe bananas hanging from the ceiling. Mapou
Let me explain the Darwinian threshold to you IDiots. The Darwinian threshold is crossed when "it just happened, that's all" becomes replaced by "it just happened, that's all, and that's a fact, Fact, FACT!" The Darwinian threshold exists somewhere in that nebulous undefined space where "we cannot assert it is a fact" somehow transitions into "we can assert it is a fact." Morons. Mung
A excellently chosen thread for themes in YEC/ID creationism criticisms. Mind bending complexity they say. AMEN. So early they say AMEN. Fundamental reconsideration of origin of lifeAMEN. Don't look in the rocks AMEN Okay the mars ice thing is crazy. useful though to say they are always guessing and looking for better guesses. Not very sciency. Indeed aMEN that it could only be that the complex structures beneath our bodies would of had to evolve first. so fast it up evos. Evolution always taught complexity came later and primitive first. yet better investigation shows this couldn't be. These guys are usefull possibly yahoos but make points creationists would be fired in schools for. Robert Byers

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