Category: Origin Of Life

The Scientist asks, Should giant viruses be the fourth domain of life?

Eukaryotes, prokaryotes, archaea, … and viruses? more

Last universal common ancestor was “a sophisticated cellular organism”

From The Scientist: Not Darwin’s “primordial form” more

Origin of life: Is RNA world overlapping with self-organization theory (because it is otherwise impossible?)

The big question in origin of life is really “Can we wring information from matter — shake the bit out of the it?” Or is it the other way around, as the great physicists would have it: The bit creates the it. But can that happen without an existing intelligence? more

RNA world would work if only life were simpler?

One supporter calls it calls it “ the worst theory of the early evolution of life (except for all the others).” Indeed, the very same people who called RNA world “the molecular biologist’s dream” also called it “the prebiotic chemist’s nightmare.” more

Earth’s crust cooled only 160 million years after solar system formed, says new Australian zircon study

Researchers: The only physical evidence from the earliest phases of Earth’s evolution comes from zircons, ancient mineral grains that can be dated using the U–Th–Pb geochronometer. more

One thing naturalism has done for origin of life studies: Eliminated the sell-by date

There is no point at which, all natural options having been exhausted, we are free to reconsider naturalism. Naturalism is not just a tool of science, it is its only justification. more

Origin of life researchers, approaching 2014 conference, sound glum about progress

The difficulty is that, depending on how one defines the task, it may be impossible. They may be looking for things that did not happen, or in ways those things couldn’t have happened. more

Applying Moore’s law to the origin of life gets us …

… to “life originated long before Earth.” Did we really mean to take Moore’s Law that seriously? more

Early universe warmed up later than needed for “Big Bang-era” life?

New finding doesn’t support the “warm early universe.” more

Is defining life an instance of a key consciousness problem?

The hard problem, that is, of “qualia”: The things we all know about and can discuss, whose limits are generally understood, but no one can define? If “life” is a quale (plural is qualia), a technical definition will never exist. more

Does this make sense? We cannot even define life, but still …

… we are sure it must be a fully natural event that just sort of happened. Or else a fully natural event that just had to happen. Right after the Big Bang, if that’s the time frame needed. more

Paper dates origin of life at 9.7 billion years ago

Clearly, there was not enough time for life to get started on Earth, given current assumptions. Otherwise, this sort of theorizing would not be treated with such respect. more

Life originated only fifteen million years after the Big Bang?

Well, the universe was warmer then … astrophysicist offers. more

Origin of life: Deadly fuzzwords attack in force

Do I think progress can be made? Maybe. But there is one thing we have to do first: Stop kidding ourselves. more

Interplanetary dust aided start of life on Earth?

The fact that interplanetary dust arriving on Earth has been shown to include water and organics is interesting, but it’s unclear that it is significant. more

Rob Sheldon on new origin of life theory: Testimony to power of self-promotion?

It isn’t at all obvious that life actually wants maximum entropy production. more

New theory sees origin of life as inevitable, and Darwinian evolution a special case

One biological physicist says the new theory makes him think that the distinction between living and non-living matter is “not sharp.” more

We know too many ways life could have got started?

All the acceptable ways make assumptions that don’t work out. One way that worked would have been enough. more

Origin of life researchers say they are one step closer to RNA world

Informed sources note that the molecule can replicate other template RNAs if it is given activated nucleotides, the right buffer, and other advantages. more

What would you advise this researcher to do? To read? To ask?

Remember Rosie Redfield, who questioned NASA’s (since widely dismissed) claims for arsenic-eating bacteria? more

« Previous PageNext Page »