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Author Topic:   New abiogenesis news article 4/12/02
David unfamous
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 89 (25592)
12-05-2002 12:28 PM


It's fairly layman, but it may be of interest to someone here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2541393.stm

quote:

A new and controversial theory on the origin of life on Earth is causing a stir among scientists.

And one of the implications is that life could be more likely on planets where it was previously thought unlikely to flourish.

The theory claims that living systems originated in so-called "inorganic incubators" - small compartments in iron sulphide rocks.

Proposed by Professor William Martin, of Dusseldorf University, and Professor Michael Russell, of the Scottish Environmental Research Centre in Glasgow, it stands conventional ideas on their head.

Instead of the building blocks of life forming first, and then forming a cell-like structure, the researchers say the cell came first and was later filled with living molecules.

In total darkness
Since the 1930s, the most accepted theory for the origins of cells and therefore of life, claims that chemical reactions in the Earth's most ancient atmosphere produced the building blocks of life which led to the first cells.

In explaining their new theory Professors Martin and Michael Russell outline their problems with the existing hypotheses of cell evolution.

Rather than the building blocks of life originating first and then forming themselves into cells they believe that cells came first.

They say that the first cells were not living cells but inorganic ones made of iron sulphide and were formed not at the Earth's surface but in total darkness at the bottom of the oceans.

Life, they add, is a chemical consequence of convection currents through the Earth's crust and, in principle, this could happen on any wet, rocky planet.

Solar system
Dr Russell says: "As hydrothermal fluid - rich in compounds such as hydrogen, cyanide, sulphides and carbon monoxide - emerged from the Earth's crust at the ocean floor, it reacted inside the tiny metal sulphide cavities.

"They provided the right microenvironment for chemical reactions to take place. That kept the building blocks of life concentrated at the site where they were formed rather than diffusing away into the ocean. The iron sulphide cells, we argue, is where life began."

One of the implications of this idea is that life on other planets or some large moons in our own solar system, like ice-crusted Europa - a moon of Jupiter - might be much more likely than previously assumed.

The research is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.



Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-08-2003 9:03 PM David unfamous has taken no action

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 89 (28715)
01-08-2003 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by David unfamous
12-05-2002 12:28 PM


quote
-----------------------------------------------------------
cell came first and was later filled with living molecules.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Interesting idea, but where did the living molecules come from? The entire cell is alive. Even the outer membrane, the cellular wall, is a complex system of ion pumps, chlorine gates, and ID tags. How could this have evolved?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by David unfamous, posted 12-05-2002 12:28 PM David unfamous has taken no action

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by John, posted 01-08-2003 10:12 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

John
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 89 (28721)
01-08-2003 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by thousands_not_billions
01-08-2003 9:03 PM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
Interesting idea, but where did the living molecules come from? The entire cell is alive. Even the outer membrane, the cellular wall, is a complex system of ion pumps, chlorine gates, and ID tags. How could this have evolved?

It is really just chemistry. I think too many people get hung up on 'living' vs. 'non-living.' Ultimately, it is all made of the same atoms and molecules, all following the same rules.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-08-2003 9:03 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-08-2003 10:43 PM John has replied

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 89 (28725)
01-08-2003 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by John
01-08-2003 10:12 PM


That's true John, good point :-) . But just think of the intricate machinary of the cell. You have power plants, garbage disposal systems, protein factories, ER, messenger cells, transportation systems, and much more. It seems fairly unlikely that all these would combine together in just the right way to create the cellular life. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. ;-)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by John, posted 01-08-2003 10:12 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Primordial Egg, posted 01-09-2003 7:49 AM thousands_not_billions has taken no action
 Message 6 by John, posted 01-09-2003 11:15 AM thousands_not_billions has replied

Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 89 (28739)
01-09-2003 7:49 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by thousands_not_billions
01-08-2003 10:43 PM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
That's true John, good point :-) . But just think of the intricate machinary of the cell. You have power plants, garbage disposal systems, protein factories, ER, messenger cells, transportation systems, and much more. It seems fairly unlikely that all these would combine together in just the right way to create the cellular life. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. ;-)

But why can't cells themselve evolve from simpler "stuff" .... eventually all the way back to very simple self-replicating molecules. Here's a nice article on the origins of life (RNA based), but you should note that there are still several competing theories (including autocatalytic systems - which I wish I understood ), most of which conjectural at present.

PE


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 Message 4 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-08-2003 10:43 PM thousands_not_billions has taken no action

John
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 89 (28743)
01-09-2003 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by thousands_not_billions
01-08-2003 10:43 PM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
That's true John, good point :-) . But just think of the intricate machinary of the cell. You have power plants, garbage disposal systems, protein factories, ER, messenger cells, transportation systems, and much more. It seems fairly unlikely that all these would combine together in just the right way to create the cellular life. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. ;-)

Very little of which you actually need... at least is the form it currently exists.

Open the hood of your car. Half of what is in there isn't necessary. That is, an engine can be built without many of those components or with more simple versions of some components. You have to think about such possibilities when you think about cell origins and complexity.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-08-2003 10:43 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-09-2003 8:46 PM John has replied

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 89 (28770)
01-09-2003 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by John
01-09-2003 11:15 AM


quote:
Originally posted by John:

Very little of which you actually need... at least is the form it currently exists.

Open the hood of your car. Half of what is in there isn't necessary. That is, an engine can be built without many of those components or with more simple versions of some components. You have to think about such possibilities when you think about cell origins and complexity.


True, but those components are in the car for a purpose. They aren't in there to look good. If you remove them, the car will not be as efficient. The cell is far more complex then the car engine though. Remove the ribosomes, and no more protein is manufactured. Remove the ER, and there is no base for the ribosomes to rest on. Remove the cytoskeleton, and the cell cannot transport proteins. Remove the golgi complex, and no proteins can be packaged for transport. Remove the lysomes, and proteins cannot be recycled. Remove the cell membrane, and the cell ceases to exist. All of these components had to be there at once for the cell to function correctlly.

{Fixed quote box - AM}

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 01-16-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by John, posted 01-09-2003 11:15 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by John, posted 01-09-2003 11:23 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 89 (28778)
01-09-2003 11:23 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by thousands_not_billions
01-09-2003 8:46 PM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
True, but those components are in the car for a purpose.

They are in that particular car for a purpose. You do not have to build a car with all of those components. That is the point. The first cars were much more simple but they worked. And before that the components themselves went from very simple to very complicated.

quote:
They aren't in there to look good.

They are there to make fixing ones car painful, but that is beside the point.

quote:
If you remove them, the car will not be as efficient.

So what? Who said it had to be?

quote:
Remove the ribosomes, and no more protein is manufactured.

Not so. This is not the only possible way to synthesize a protein.

Much of the appeal of this hypothesis arises from the realization that RNA- enzymes (ribozymes) would have been far easier to duplicate than proteinaceous enzymes. Whereas coded protein replication requires numerous macromolecular components (including messenger RNAs, transfer RNAs, the ribosome, etc.), replication of a ribozyme requires only a single macromolecular activity: an RNA- dependent RNA polymerase that synthesizes first a complement, and then a copy of the ribozyme.

http://scienceweek.com/sw021122.htm

quote:
Remove the ER, and there is no base for the ribosomes to rest on.

But with no ribosomes, why need a perch for them?

quote:
Remove the cytoskeleton, and the cell cannot transport proteins.

Prokaryotes have no cytoskeleton. They seem to do alright.

http://www.sigmaxi.org/amsci/articles/99articles/hoppertintro.html

quote:
Remove the golgi complex, and no proteins can be packaged for transport.

Prokaryotes also do not have Golgi Complexes.

quote:
Remove the lysomes, and proteins cannot be recycled.

Ditto. Prokaryotes don't have lysomes.

quote:
Remove the cell membrane, and the cell ceases to exist.

Now you've found a good one. Cell membranes must have been a major milestone, but molecular replication does not require them. Somewhere around this point the line between living and non-living blurs. Like I said, it is all just chemistry anyway.

quote:
All of these components had to be there at once for the cell to function correctlly.

Nope, not the case. I believe what I have posted is correct. If not, someone will correct me.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-09-2003 8:46 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-10-2003 9:19 AM John has replied

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 89 (28801)
01-10-2003 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by John
01-09-2003 11:23 PM


Good point about the Prokaryotes John. But if the first cell was so simple, how did it evolve into a more complex cell? Evolution needs a lot of genetic information, which does not seem to arise by natural processes. Also, how did the RNA arise? You mentioned that it would not matter if a car was less efficient and that the first cars were quite simple. True, but intelligent design --in the form of people--designed more complex and more efficient cars. The simple cars didn't evolve into more complex models. Also, a less efficient cell or organism would be eliminated by natural selection, survival of the fittest. Hope I got this all right. ;-)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by John, posted 01-09-2003 11:23 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by John, posted 01-10-2003 9:57 AM thousands_not_billions has replied

John
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 89 (28811)
01-10-2003 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by thousands_not_billions
01-10-2003 9:19 AM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
Good point about the Prokaryotes John.

quote:
But if the first cell was so simple, how did it evolve into a more complex cell?

There is no clear answer to this right now, but there are answers to how some of the parts may have arose. Chloroplasts, for example, look to have been seperate organisms that developed a symbiotic relationship with another organism and eventually lost its ability to survive and reproduce outside its symbiotic partner. Mitochondria are the same. Look up endosymbiont theory.

quote:
Evolution needs a lot of genetic information, which does not seem to arise by natural processes.

Organisms today carry enormous amounts of genetic informations, but todays organisms have had 4 billions years to accumulate such information. The first organism would not have had nearly as much information.

quote:
Also, how did the RNA arise?

It is just chemistry. I can't tell you how it arose. No one can right now. But all you need is a replicating molecule to get the system started. Given half a billion years in a warm chemical rich environment it isn't hard to imagine. Look up abiogenesis and RNA world.

quote:
The simple cars didn't evolve into more complex models.]

Right, because cars don't mate and make babies. It is an analogy to make a point.

quote:
Also, a less efficient cell or organism would be eliminated by natural selection, survival of the fittest.

Leaving the more efficient molecules and cells behind. That is, leaving the cells we are familiar with today, 3.5-4 billion years later.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-10-2003 9:19 AM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-11-2003 8:32 PM John has replied

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 89 (28883)
01-11-2003 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by John
01-10-2003 9:57 AM


quote:
Originally posted by John:

There is no clear answer to this right now, but there are answers to how some of the parts may have arose. Chloroplasts, for example, look to have been seperate organisms that developed a symbiotic relationship with another organism and eventually lost its ability to survive and reproduce outside its symbiotic partner. Mitochondria are the same. Look up endosymbiont theory.


There are many problems with the endosymbiont theory. A good look at them is found at http://aig.gospelcom.net/docs2/4341_endosymbiont.asp Hope this helps. :-)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by John, posted 01-10-2003 9:57 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Coragyps, posted 01-11-2003 8:48 PM thousands_not_billions has taken no action
 Message 13 by John, posted 01-11-2003 11:48 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

Coragyps
Member (Idle past 4 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 12 of 89 (28884)
01-11-2003 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by thousands_not_billions
01-11-2003 8:32 PM


Wow! That little piece is remarkably free of any real content, even for a Batten article! I don't really even follow the happenings in endosymbiont research, and I've seen four or five papers in Science in the last couple of years showing findings that are pretty hard to explain in some other way. Why, for example, do mitochondria have a double-thick membrane, if not that the inner one was "theirs" and the outer one that from the vacuole that took the first one in? Why do chloroplasts look so much like cyanobacteria at a molecular level?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-11-2003 8:32 PM thousands_not_billions has taken no action

John
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 89 (28887)
01-11-2003 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by thousands_not_billions
01-11-2003 8:32 PM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
There are many problems with the endosymbiont theory. A good look at them is found at http://aig.gospelcom.net/docs2/4341_endosymbiont.asp Hope this helps. :-)

coragyps is right. There isn't much on that page that can be called information.

Take this for example.

For example, how could the enveloped cells reproduce in close synchronicity?

The implication is that enveloped cells can't reproduce in sync with their hosts. The problem is that hundreds of modern parasites and symbionts do just that. The question is vacuous.

Or this.

How did lateral gene transfer into the nucleus take place when the nuclear membrane is designed for the passage of mRNA (out), and to contain DNA?

Remember the prokaryotes? There is no nuclear membrane with which to contend.

Or this.

If DNA were passed between the engulfed cell and the host cell, would not the host respond by degrading the foreign DNA, because it would detect it as a virus?

Are not modern symbionts and parasites successful at avoiding the immune systems of the hosts? Again, only a smidgen of common sense shows how vacuous this is.

Then there is this dramatic conclusion.

Furthermore, they have the same Designer!

I almost missed it as it came from nowhere and there is no attempt to support the claim.

This is simply a lie.

The endosymbiont idea was severely dealt with in the 70s and early 80s, and should have died.

The idea is quite strong and genetic evidence is making the case stronger as time passes.

Try again my friend.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com

{Fixed 1 shaded quote box - Adminnemooseus}

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 01-12-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-11-2003 8:32 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-12-2003 9:44 AM John has replied

thousands_not_billions
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 89 (28900)
01-12-2003 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by John
01-11-2003 11:48 PM


Here is another website about the issue. The endosymboint theory seems to state that prokaryotes were ingested by other species to form eukaryotic cells. Am I right? ;-)

http://www.freenet.edmonton.ab.ca/create/articles/eukary.html


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by John, posted 01-11-2003 11:48 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by John, posted 01-12-2003 12:45 PM thousands_not_billions has replied

John
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 89 (28910)
01-12-2003 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by thousands_not_billions
01-12-2003 9:44 AM


quote:
Originally posted by thousands_not_billions:
Here is another website about the issue. The endosymboint theory seems to state that prokaryotes were ingested by other species to form eukaryotic cells. Am I right? ;-)

http://www.freenet.edmonton.ab.ca/create/articles/eukary.html


Yeah, something like that.

This site also is pretty much devoid of real information. It sounds harsh but don't read creationist sites. They are nothing but propaganda. The arguments contained essentially assume that the original eukaryotes are just like modern ones. This assumption is absurd.

Try reading these:

http://www.msu.edu/course/lbs/145/luckie/margulis.html

http://www.geocities.com/jjmohn/endosymbiosis.htm

Also, look up Paramecium bursaria. It is a modern organism in just the sort of symbiotic relationship with another organism that endosymbiosis proposes.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-12-2003 9:44 AM thousands_not_billions has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by thousands_not_billions, posted 01-13-2003 9:28 AM John has replied

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