Origin of life

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Modern stromatolites in Shark Bay, Western Australia

The question of the origin of life in the natural sciences is studied in the field of abiogenesis, the study of how life on Earth might have emerged from non-life.

Quotes[edit]

  • The world has arisen in some way or another. How it originated is the great question, and Darwin's theory, like all other attempts to explain the origin of life, is thus far merely conjectural. I believe he has not even made the best conjecture possible in the present state of our knowledge.
  • An example of such emergent phenomena is the origin of life from non-living chemical compounds in the oldest, lifeless oceans of the earth. Here, aided by the radiation energy received from the sun, countless chemical materials were synthesized and accumulated in such a way that they constituted, as it were, a primeval “soup.” In this primeval soup, by infinite variations of lifeless growth and decay of substances during some billions of years, the way of life was ultimately reached, with its metabolism characterized by selective assimilation and dissimulation as end stations of a sluiced and canalized flow of free chemical energy.
  • It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of origin of life; one might as well think of origin of matter. —
  • The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.
  • It is as though a puzzle could be put together simply by shaking its pieces.
  • Evolution is not just "chance caught on the wing". It is not just a tinkering of the ad hoc, of bricolage, of contraption. It is emergent order honored and honed by selection.
    • p. 644
    • Stuart Kauffman (1993) The Origins of Order : Self Organization and Selection in Evolution,
  • You know, my brothers, the nature of our business. The child you see before you, thanks to a talisman stolen from the powers of Earth, is able to take possession of the Blue Bird and thus to snatch from us the secret which we have kept since the origin of life... Now we know enough of Man to entertain no doubt as to the fate which he reserves for us once he is in possession of this secret. That is why it seems to me that any hesitation would be both foolish and criminal... It is a serious moment; the child must be done away with before it is too late...

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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