New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

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New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu May 01, 2014 12:53 pm

No design needed: nonbiological parallels of some metabolic pathways found, catalysed by iron. Bioinorganic chemistry - you've go to love it!
A finding of "metabolic products" in unused culture media sparked studies of synthetic Archean water, where numerous such molecules were found - including an RNA precursor.
The substances to be "metabolised" had to be added though and so far no discovery of the reverse reactions.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25471-spark-of-life-metabolism-appears-in-lab-without-cells.html
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Re: New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu May 01, 2014 4:26 pm

This is pretty much the same story though my previous post said relatively little about the supplied link. I have not read all the material in vast detail as I'm quite busy and also my brain hurts if I try to read it too quickly. But Markus Ralser - mentioned in New Scientist - is one of the authors of the paper that Steven Novella recently blogged about.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3492
Should YECs or ID proponents post something trying to rubbish the finding or conclusion I will set aside time to take a closer look at the arguments in case my brain can make better sense of it than it has done to date (I note Brian's comments above). It seems we are looking at spontaneous metabolic processes, which may perhaps be synonymous with 'prebiotic evolution' (prebiotic in the chemical not the nutritional sense).

Here is an 'official' summary of the paper in question:
http://www.embo.org/news/research-news/ ... in-of-life
I think the following paragraph is particularly key:
"The observed chemical reactions occurred in the absence of enzymes but were made possible by the chemical molecules found in the Archean sea. Finding a series of reactions that resembles the “core of cellular metabolism” suggests that metabolism predates the origin of life. This implies that, at least initially, metabolism may not have been shaped by evolution but by molecules like RNA formed through the chemical conditions that prevailed in the earliest oceans."
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Re: New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu May 01, 2014 6:14 pm

Sorry Ashley, I missed your previous post. I'm sure this story will run and run... and no doubt provoke new credibility-stretching dismissals from the creationists.
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Re: New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat May 10, 2014 9:23 pm

Says the ex-NASA ideologue:
"Some guys at Cambridge are also looking for ways to get metabolism going before life. They examined how some metabolic-like reactions could occur without enzymes. They swept a little follow-up problem under the rug. PhysOrg, however, tacked it on at the end: “How the first enzymes adopted the metal-catalyzed reactions described by the scientists remains to be established.” New Scientist provided no such reader warnings in its optimistic coverage of this “spark of life” scenario with its “happy accident” leading to the complex life we know today." (He provides links.)
http://crev.info/2014/05/origin-of-life ... speration/

Apparently the various astrobiologists cited (not just at Cambridge) sound a little like the prophets of Baal as in 1 Kings 18. I hadn't thought of that.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... ersion=ESV

However, the prophets of Baal were slaughtered on the spot. Rather a drastic solution, however tempted the YEC ideologues might feel.
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Re: New, serendipitous, abiogenesis finding

Postby Brian Jordan » Wed May 14, 2014 8:58 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:Says the ex-NASA ideologue:
"They swept a little follow-up problem under the rug. PhysOrg, however, tacked it on at the end: “How the first enzymes adopted the metal-catalyzed reactions described by the scientists remains to be established.”
God of the ever-diminishing gaps. It's getting to be like the old saw about each filled fossil gap creating two new ones.
And just as an aside, how does this supposed difficulty shorten, rather than lengthen, the age of the universe? Surely it means there was even more ground to cover in 6000 years.
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