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Modern thoughts on the origin of organisms.

  1. Dec 22, 2005 #1
    So, I'm a teenager, and have always been interested in precisely how life began on earth. Is there any widely accepted and thuroughly proven theory about how you got from inorganic molecules, or even organic molecules, to the first cell? All I've ever gotten as a respons was pretty much this:

    Earth had a bunch of atoms and molecules before life existed. Through heat/light/electrical energy, these atoms and molecules began to react and bond and whatnot. Eventually, because of the sheer amount of stuff out there, complex things like Amino acids began to form. This kept going on for a while, until you had stuff like RNA, that could self-replicate. Then you had cells.

    There must be a better theory out there...
     
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  3. Dec 22, 2005 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    Google on prebiotic. Of course that is a word from Greek meaning before life, and the modern theory is that a stage of pre-life based on molecules in some way preceded the first appearance of life. You need to be aware that the definitin of life itself, at the boundary like this, is somewhat shaky. We don't consider viruses to be alive, but the things immediately prior to the first protocell might have been very like simple viruses, that is to say protein/RNA molecular combinations.

    Anyway prebiotic is the buzzword used for this epoch and prebiotic evolution is a conjectured evolution of molecules that may have taken place then. It is all conjecture, although there are efforts to make things happen in test tubes that could support different hypotheses.
     
  4. Dec 22, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    As selfAdjoint stated, it's pretty much all conjecture still. This is one area where science does not have answers. Even if we could experimentally induce the formation of life from non-living precursors, we still have no way, at least at this time, of knowing that's how it actually happened when life on Earth came into existence; we could only say it's one way it might have happened.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2005 #4

    iansmith

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  6. Dec 23, 2005 #5

    Phobos

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