Thread: On the Origin of Life on Earth

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  1. #1 On the Origin of Life on Earth 
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    An Amazon of words flowed from Charles Darwin's pen. His books covered the gamut from barnacles to orchids, from geology to domestication. At the same time, he filled notebooks with his ruminations and scribbled thousands of letters packed with observations and speculations on nature. Yet Darwin dedicated only a few words of his great verbal flood to one of the biggest questions in all of biology: how life began.

    The only words he published in a book appeared near the end of On the Origin of Species: "Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed," Darwin wrote.
    The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg

    Darwin believed that life likely emerged spontaneously from the chemicals it is made of today, such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. But he did not publish these musings. The English naturalist had built his argument for evolution, in large part, on the processes he could observe around him. He did not think it would be possible to see life originating now because the life that's already here would prevent it from emerging.

    In 1871, he outlined the problem in a letter to his friend, botanist Joseph Hooker: "But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed."

    Scientists today who study the origin of life do not share Darwin's pessimism about our ability to reconstruct those early moments. "Now is a good time to be doing this research, because the prospects for success are greater than they have ever been," says John Sutherland, a chemist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He and others are addressing each of the steps involved in the transition to life: where the raw materials came from, how complex organic molecules such as RNA formed, and how the first cells arose. In doing so, they are inching their way toward making life from scratch. "When I was in graduate school, people thought investigating the origin of life was something old scientists did at the end of their career, when they could sit in an armchair and speculate," says Henderson James Cleaves of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. "Now making an artificial cell doesn't sound like science fiction any more. It's a reasonable pursuit."

    Raw ingredients

    Life--or at least life as we know it--appears to have emerged on Earth only once. Just about all organisms use double-stranded DNA to encode genetic information, for example. They copy their genes into RNA and then translate RNA into proteins. The genetic code they use to translate DNA into proteins is identical, whether they are emus or bread mold. The simplest explanation for this shared biology is that all living things inherited it from a common ancestor--namely, DNA-based microbes that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago. That common ancestor was already fairly complex, and many scientists have wondered how it might have evolved from a simpler predecessor. Some now argue that membrane-bound cells with only RNA inside predated both DNA and proteins. Later, RNA-based life may have evolved the ability to assemble amino acids into proteins. It's a small step, biochemically, for DNA to evolve from RNA.

    http://carlzimmer.com/articles/index...from=&ucat=11&
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    An Amazon of words flowed from Charles Darwin's pen. His books covered the gamut from barnacles to orchids, from geology to domestication. At the same time, he filled notebooks with his ruminations and scribbled thousands of letters packed with observations and speculations on nature. Yet Darwin dedicated only a few words of his great verbal flood to one of the biggest questions in all of biology: how life began.

    The only words he published in a book appeared near the end of On the Origin of Species: "Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed," Darwin wrote.
    The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg

    Darwin believed that life likely emerged spontaneously from the chemicals it is made of today, such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. But he did not publish these musings. The English naturalist had built his argument for evolution, in large part, on the processes he could observe around him. He did not think it would be possible to see life originating now because the life that's already here would prevent it from emerging.

    In 1871, he outlined the problem in a letter to his friend, botanist Joseph Hooker: "But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed."

    Scientists today who study the origin of life do not share Darwin's pessimism about our ability to reconstruct those early moments. "Now is a good time to be doing this research, because the prospects for success are greater than they have ever been," says John Sutherland, a chemist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He and others are addressing each of the steps involved in the transition to life: where the raw materials came from, how complex organic molecules such as RNA formed, and how the first cells arose. In doing so, they are inching their way toward making life from scratch. "When I was in graduate school, people thought investigating the origin of life was something old scientists did at the end of their career, when they could sit in an armchair and speculate," says Henderson James Cleaves of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. "Now making an artificial cell doesn't sound like science fiction any more. It's a reasonable pursuit."

    Raw ingredients

    Life--or at least life as we know it--appears to have emerged on Earth only once. Just about all organisms use double-stranded DNA to encode genetic information, for example. They copy their genes into RNA and then translate RNA into proteins. The genetic code they use to translate DNA into proteins is identical, whether they are emus or bread mold. The simplest explanation for this shared biology is that all living things inherited it from a common ancestor--namely, DNA-based microbes that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago. That common ancestor was already fairly complex, and many scientists have wondered how it might have evolved from a simpler predecessor. Some now argue that membrane-bound cells with only RNA inside predated both DNA and proteins. Later, RNA-based life may have evolved the ability to assemble amino acids into proteins. It's a small step, biochemically, for DNA to evolve from RNA.

    http://carlzimmer.com/articles/index...from=&ucat=11&

    I would doubt there are many Atheists here. Most would dismiss your thread as bunk.

    You know, fuck science and all.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    I would doubt there are many Atheists here.
    Yeah, we're all raging fundies like Fred Phelps.

    Most would dismiss your thread as bunk.
    You'd be surprised, asshole.

    You know, fuck science and all.
    No, just fuck you and all. Evolutionary "science" is more about dogma than actual science.

    And I get to say one of my favorite lines: "Fruit flies and bacteria remain fruit flies and bacteria."
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

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  4. #4  
    NeunElfer SuperMod hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    I would doubt there are many Atheists here. Most would dismiss your thread as bunk.

    You know, fuck science and all.
    Wrong again.

    I am an atheist, and a moderator on CU. And I am by no means the only atheist here.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Wrong again.

    I am an atheist, and a moderator on CU. And I am by no means the only atheist here.
    Nope, not the only one.

    Ringo, you'll find that most Atheists here would rather associate with "fundies" then Atheists like you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    Nope, not the only one.

    Ringo, you'll find that most Atheists here would rather associate with "fundies" then Atheists like you.
    LOL.

    Why would an Atheist want to associate with fundies instead of another Atheist ?

    The fundies think you are an idiot who is going to hell.
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  7. #7  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    LOL.

    Why would an Atheist want to associate with fundies instead of another Atheist ?

    The fundies think you are an idiot who is going to hell.
    At least for THEM - there is hope
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  8. #8  
    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    LOL.

    Why would an Atheist want to associate with fundies instead of another Atheist ?

    The fundies think you are an idiot who is going to hell.
    Because people like you are idiots.

    I'd rather have a conversation with someone who truly understands what the Constitution entails in the 1st Amendment then jack asses who try to twist it to fit their warped idea's.
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  9. #9  
    NeunElfer SuperMod hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    LOL.

    Why would an Atheist want to associate with fundies instead of another Atheist ?

    The fundies think you are an idiot who is going to hell.
    You need to check your pre-packaged misconceptions at the door. You're just regurgitating DU talking points, instead of coming up with anything original, and it really is not that interesting.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ringo View Post
    LOL.

    Why would an Atheist want to associate with fundies instead of another Atheist ?
    They'd rather associate with "fundies" than liberal morons like yourself.

    The fundies think you are an idiot who is going to hell.
    No, actually, we don't.
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

    Stinger:
    "I was... ordered to drop my pants, bend over and spread my cheeks."
    --RagingInMiami achieving the DUmp's highest level of nirvana
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