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B Did stars come before all life?

  1. May 2, 2016 #1
    If so, what is the evidence? Sources are appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    There are stars older than life on earth.
  4. May 2, 2016 #3

    Ken G

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    It is not thought that you can get life from a universe of almost entirely hydrogen, helium, and dark matter, so you need stars. Essentially all of the rest of the matter comes from fusion in stars.
  5. May 3, 2016 #4


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    Organic chemistry cannot occur in the universe prior to the dispersal of elements, like carbon with more than 4 protons - which are only known to be produced by stars. Any life forms orginating under such circumstances could not, by definition, be organic, hence would not be resemble any life forms currently known to science.
  6. May 3, 2016 #5
    They did. Life needs its building blocks (elements heavier than helium) so they needed to be created first. Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are well known to be products of nuclear synthesis which can naturally occur in midsize stars (like the Sun) or heavier.

    Some stars must've died for life to emerge anywhere. There were stars that died for us.

    But on the other hand, not all stars came before (terrestrial) life, some are younger than dinosaurs (like Betelgeuse), and some are still forming now :)
  7. May 3, 2016 #6
    The first stars consisted mostly of hydrogen and helium both of which are gases in interstellar space, and helium is chemically inert - does not have chemical reactions.
    There may also have been a small amount of Lithium present, which is a very light metal, and if so it would have been in the form of occasional atoms mixed in with the gases.
    Dark matter (whatever it is), if it was present at the time also has no chemical reactions.
    Almost no 'chemistry' would have been possible, and what we call life is based on complex chemistry, very likely to involve carbon (which did not yet exist).
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  8. May 4, 2016 #7


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    The abundances of the chemical elements at the galactic and larger scales is consistent with the Big Bang nucleosynthesis followed by Generation III (Gen 3) star formation which started immediately. The first stars probably formed within 100 million years of the BB. Using this well established (although not "proved" - but the metaphysics of how historical events can be subject to proof is too complex/large to sum up here) model, the only solids present could have been lithum and lithium hydrides, neither of which are capable of forming complex chemicals (hence neither can form the basis of life similar to life as we know it). I'm not sure what kind of references you'd like us to provide; finding primary research which discusses both star formation, planetary formation, and abiogenesis is, it seems to me, like expecting a paper on semi-conductor gap tranport to also discuss alternatives to mastectomies. The term "all life" is either 1. Meaningless or 2.Meant to be short-hand for "life as we know it, carbon based using liquid water as the solvent." Trying to think about life based on, say, magnetic fields during the first, say, 1 million years after the BB, won't be accepted by any science journal for the simple reason that it would consist of (even if it turns out to be true) conjecture built on conjecture built of unsupported and insufficient assumptions - that is, it wouldn't, couldn't be credible. A beginner chould start with something like A Brief History of Time - by Hawking (although there are more recents book on the Big Bang and the evolution of (dynamics of) the Universe), a lot of them bring in topics like God or String Theory and Mulit-verses, none of which are evidence based Science.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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