Abiogenesis, Polymerization, Phospholipids and Vesicles

Of course, it’s all about pre-biotic chemistry.


Chemistry.  Remember that? Back then there were about 100 elements, 92 of which actually exist naturally on our planet. As of this writing, there are 118. Did you take chemistry in high school?  College? I’m supposing that very few people, once they ‘taste’ it in high school, choose to repeat that adventure again. Some of us, with aspirations way-beyond our mental capacities, dared to venture into the land of chemistry at the higher levels. Let’s see if I can remember:  General Chemistry I and II plus labs I and II; Organic Chemistry, Organic labs; Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis, plus labs; Physical Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry.

Ah, the memories and the smell of sulfur and the chemical burns and…the poor grades!

So, about that Pacman image above. Nucleotide made up of just 5 of those 118 elements: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and phosphorous. Essentially it is sugar, water, a touch of nitrogen with a sprinkle of phosphorous. Two rather important nucleotides are DNA and RNA.

This brings the story back to pre-biotic chemistry- the chemistry that was ‘lying around’ before life on earth. In other words, other than the dueling creation stories in Genesis, scientists today are experimenting with pre-life chemicals to see if they can create a living, replicating cell.

Here is a simple experiment with fatty acids and water during which the acid molecules rearrange themselves, forming a membrane and ‘capturing’ other materials inside of them.

No magic formula; no lightning; no creation story; no deity. Just ‘lifeless’ molecules rearranging themselves into structures that are seemingly more useful.

No doubt the abiogenesis theory has fundamentalists in an uproar because when all of this is laid out, there is no need to have a creator to do some supernatural magic to create a living cell. The Nobel winning scientist Dr. Jack Szostak,  who is on the very edge of discovering how life began, has a website for further exploration. One of his videos begins with a warning that a fundamentalist has been attacking his video.

website: http://exploringorigins.org/

video: http://youtu.be/U6QYDdgP9eg


5 thoughts on “Abiogenesis, Polymerization, Phospholipids and Vesicles

  1. I am still drawn to Dawkins hypothetical theories he published in his 1979 book, The Selfish Gene. He, at that time, seemed to have a driven, unconscious inspiration, which I believe we all have access to on a instinctual level…the theoretical concepts he published in that book were based on the ideas in the videos, you, Mudrake, have published here. In my universe, the science of meditative discipline, is one of the keys of real knowledge. Einstein and Tesla…two great examples, both had the discipline of knowledge, but the key was genius, inspiration and a moment of transcendence, in which they “saw” through the layers of hypothesis and had a glimpse of an ultimate reality. Religion is such a primitive fear driven response, it is only a natural stage in the development of out consciousness….how we survived as a species, but the evolution of religion happened at different rates, dependant upon the geophysical realities and history of the populations. We are stuck in a primitive fear driven, survivalist tribal desert world mythology that became mutated even more in the harsh medieval world of Europe…for us, religion hasn’t changed much and has stayed fairly static.
    In other parts of the planet, long ago, things had evolved far beyond our simplistic harsh tribal survivalist mythology. At the top of the world, in Tibet, a mythos was evolving that was based on the visions of people who had glimpsed the reality that science is beginning to explain.
    The real reality is more fantastic than anything created by the mind of man, but we are capable of grasping it. The concept of knowledge is accepting that real knowledge is the ability not to ever know anything for certain.

    1. Thank you, Microdot, for your usual excellent insight on this subject. I am particularly interested in your description of today’s religion as a primitive fear driven, survivalist tribal desert world mythology. Indeed it is and oddly surviving here in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

      When one compares the advances in science with this religious mythology, one can only conclude that the ‘fear’ which drives many people to believe the mythology over scientific discovery must surely be deep-seated and quite difficult to overcome. Is it akin to kicking the cigarette habit, do you suppose? Is that why ‘science’ is disdained by fundamentalists? And is the reason why religious schools here in the USA teach their own version of ‘science’ to the children?

      Like nicotine addiction, I cannot fathom such dependency. Neither is in my make-up. Maybe someone will develop a religion patch like the nicotine patch to help those who wish to overcome their terrible addiction.

  2. Sorry I haven’t been able to contribute more lately. My wife just had major foot surgery…It had to do with her former life as a sort of Imelda Marcos wannabee…a lifetime of stylishly obsessive, but ultimately a tragic fashion victim…really, when she had an business expense account for clothes…she left a burning trail of innocent victims in her wake…
    So, she essentially had her foot rebuilt and is going to have to recover for the next few months…I am the chief cook and bottle washer as well as full time nursing staff as well as every other aspect of keeping this rural outpost running…did I say I hated winter? Luckily, for me, my dog doesn’t and keeps me out in the snow, slush and mud deluding myself with the bizarre illusion that I am having fun. Things are sorting themselves out…I am beginning to be able to think again.

  3. All these damn evolutionists trying to say we are related to a tree. Don’t ya know “God” created both us and the tree from……..uh, give me a minute.

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