New evidence that comets could have seeded life on Earth

Mar 05, 2013 by Robert Sanders
New evidence that comets could have seeded life on Earth
Comets like Halley’s can be a breeding ground for complex molecules such as dipeptides. Comets colliding with Earth could have delivered these molecules and seeded the growth of more complex proteins and sugars necessary for life. Courtesy of NASA.

(Phys.org) —It's among the most ancient of questions: What are the origins of life on Earth? A new experiment simulating conditions in deep space reveals that the complex building blocks of life could have been created on icy interplanetary dust and then carried to Earth, jump-starting life.

Chemists from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Hawaii, Manoa, showed that conditions in space are capable of creating complex dipeptides – linked pairs of – that are essential building blocks shared by all living things. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that these molecules were brought to Earth aboard a comet or possibly meteorites, catalyzing the formation of proteins (polypeptides), enzymes and even more complex molecules, such as sugars, that are necessary for life.

"It is fascinating to consider that the most basic biochemical building blocks that led to life on Earth may well have had an ," said UC Berkeley chemist Richard Mathies, coauthor of a paper published online last week and scheduled for the March 10 print issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

While scientists have discovered basic , such as amino acids, in numerous meteorites that have fallen to Earth, they have been unable to find the more complex molecular structures that are prerequisites for our planet's biology. As a result, scientists have always assumed that the really complicated chemistry of life must have originated in Earth's early oceans.

In an ultra-high chilled to 10 degrees above absolute zero (10 Kelvin), Seol Kim and Ralf Kaiser of the Hawaiian team simulated an icy snowball in space including carbon dioxide, ammonia and various hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane and propane. When zapped with high-energy electrons to simulate the cosmic rays in space, the chemicals reacted to form complex, , specifically dipeptides, essential to life.

At UC Berkeley, Mathies and Amanda Stockton then analyzed the organic residues through the Mars Organic Analyzer, an instrument that Mathies designed for ultrasensitive detection and identification of small organic molecules in the solar system. The analysis revealed the presence of complex molecules – nine different amino acids and at least two dipeptides – capable of catalyzing biological evolution on earth.

Explore further: Lockheed Martin successfully mates NOAA GOES-R satellite modules

More information: On the formation of dipeptides in interstellar model ices (ApJ): iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/765/2/111/

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verkle
1.3 / 5 (37) Mar 05, 2013
It's among the most ancient of questions:

Actually, that is totally backwards. The first man never questioned his origins. He knew totally where he was from. And generations to follow also knew.

It is in modern times that atheists have been asking this questions. Some of us don't need to.

LarryD
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 05, 2013
It's among the most ancient of questions:

Actually, that is totally backwards. The first man never questioned his origins. He knew totally where he was from. And generations to follow also knew.

It is in modern times that atheists have been asking this questions. Some of us don't need to.


Not sure that I agree in total. Ancient drawings might suggest that human kind was linked to the 'heavens' in some way and so would 'ask' the question why etc. However, since in ancient times people did worship various deities so in that sense they 'knew' their origin. However 'belief', can and should be questioned by all
Railroad Tom
2 / 5 (28) Mar 05, 2013
Right verkle. Even the first man knew he came from God and the messiah would come and die for his sins. Atheism is a modern development by Obama's anti-christ legion of commies.

Granted, the first humans expressed it all a bit differently, with many gods, fantastical creation stories, and no concept of sin. But really, they were all Christians. Who are we kidding? Only modern liberals question their origin. They are the only real source of evil in the universe.

trekgeek1
4.7 / 5 (25) Mar 05, 2013
Don't comment or venture on a science website if you think you've already got it all figured out. Making up stories and arbitrarily selecting one of them as "divine truth" doesn't count as figuring it out. It's amazing that given the thousands of religious creation stories you'd be content to select one which possesses no greater evidence than any other and decide that any evidence to the contrary is flawed. Please go back to your church and leave one place on this Earth - this internet, where I can escape your utterly stupid remarks. To quote professor Farnsworth, "I don't want to live on this planet anymore".
Railroad Tom
1.3 / 5 (26) Mar 05, 2013
Oh, it's science that's utterly stupid. If you need reason and facts to understand where you came from, you are already lost. Real truth only comes from faith alone. Knowledge and science are God's way of testing your faith. Believe or burn.
trekgeek1
4.6 / 5 (10) Mar 05, 2013
Oh, it's science that's utterly stupid. If you need reason and facts to understand where you came from, you are already lost. Real truth only comes from faith alone. Knowledge and science are God's way of testing your faith. Believe or burn.


Pretty sure you're trolling. I will no longer feed the trolls.
aroc91
2.4 / 5 (5) Mar 05, 2013
Oh, it's science that's utterly stupid. If you need reason and facts to understand where you came from, you are already lost. Real truth only comes from faith alone. Knowledge and science are God's way of testing your faith. Believe or burn.


Pretty sure you're trolling. I will no longer feed the trolls.


There's a big difference between being facetiously sarcastic and trolling.
Railroad Tom
3 / 5 (12) Mar 05, 2013
Well, I started out mocking verkle, and just continued.

I am considering a hobby of being a religious troll though. Definitely more fun to be one than correcting them.
WittyNickName
3.2 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2013
It restores a lot of my faith in humanity knowing that there are people out there running these experiments. I love reading what comes out of CERN and other advancements.

It also saddens me that people are out there discovering amazing things which will in turn advance humankind, while I sit at a desk trying to eek out a meager living with a somewhat pointless job.

Kinda wish I was religious, it'd make me feel better about myself ! Oh, and you get to read all kinds of good smut.

Here's a bible quote for the morning. Better than 50 Shades of Gray.

"I am against you," declares the Lord Almighty.
"I will lift your skirts over your face.
I will show the nations your nakedness
and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,
I will treat you with contempt
and make you a spectacle." - Nahum 3:5-6

My favourite is "pelt you with filth"...
kochevnik
3.9 / 5 (11) Mar 06, 2013
Well, I started out mocking verkle, and just continued.
You only come up short when you underestimate verkle. He probably has a fine selection of blinders and earplugs. Google engineers are designing a special pair of glasses for him so he can see guardian angels, daemons, heavens, heretics and saints. Don't mock that from which your can greatly profit. Why do you think xtians call them prophets? They change the spelling to fool the uninformed. Bless the profits!
jsdarkdestruction
4.3 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2013
It's among the most ancient of questions:

Actually, that is totally backwards. The first man never questioned his origins. He knew totally where he was from. And generations to follow also knew.

It is in modern times that atheists have been asking this questions. Some of us don't need to.


Your young earth creationist ideology is based on a bunch of old stories adapted from even older myths. Let me ask something you guys love to say, Were you there to witness this magical creation event? was any human currently alive witness to it? if not then according to your own logic it is garbage, although even if you dont take that into account its garbage anyway.
LarryD
3.9 / 5 (12) Mar 06, 2013
One of my strangest experiences was when I was being Confirmed (High Church of England) by the Bishop of Stepney in East London. Up to that point (12-13yrs old) I believed in the Bible. But at the EXACT MOMENT the bishop put his hands on my head I began to doubt. From that moment I questioned continously and decided that I did NOT believe in an 'almighty' and turned to science for My answers. More than half a century has passed by and I haven't changed. I've studied the literature with regard to the Sumerians and it is clear (to me)that many Bible stories were simply adaptations from Sumer.
I do agree that SOME such stories might have helped people respect others and lay down Laws to bring about a responsible society just as today we need traffic laws to ensure which side of the road we should use. Don't forget it was the Roman emperor Constantine who brought together the christian fragments and 'agreed a form of words' that is the basis for modern christianity and he was just a man.
Egleton
2.8 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2013
How fortuitous.
Over on APOD today they showed a picture of a Tardigrade. One wonders if just maybe they got so tough in space. They can repair their own DNA which would be handy in space. They sure look alien.
http://apod.nasa...._960.jpg
Shinichi D_
4.2 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2013
It's among the most ancient of questions:

Actually, that is totally backwards. The first man never questioned his origins. He knew totally where he was from. And generations to follow also knew.

It is in modern times that atheists have been asking this questions. Some of us don't need to.



They also totally knew, the world is flat. Some still know.
seekerx777
3.7 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2013
This article has NOTHING TO DO WITH *FICTIONAL GOD(S) OR GODDESS(ES)*. If you are uneducated, aka feel the need to talk about God because of this article, then you are not entitled to your own opinion in this matter.

Would trust the *opinion* of a construction worker over the factual statements of a physicists in the matter of space travel? No, you wouldn't.

Stop using the following logic: I don't know, therefore God. That is the complete opposite of SCIENCE and extremely ignorant.

The fact of the matter is that the Chemists from the University of California *HAVE PROOF*. They have PROOF!

IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOLID EVIDENCE OF GOD, then you do not rate an opinion on the matters of science and the origins of life. In other words, you do not rate an opinion. And no, the bible is not evidence of the existence of God.

Now kindly stop embarrassing yourselves by ceasing to spew your ignorance on this article, theists.
Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day.
Birger
4 / 5 (12) Mar 06, 2013
What is it with Americans and creationism? Religious groups in Europe and elsewhere simply accept evolution is "God's way of getting things done" or words to that effect.
Must be some kind of intertwining of religion and ideology.
Also, ironic that the country that was a pioneer in collecting dinosaur fossils has become the center of creationism...
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Anyway, I wonder if the cold traps at the lunar poles might have preserved a cross-section of cometary volatiles from lunar impacts during the last 1 Gyr. Unfortunately, more complex molecules would have been destroyed by the heat of initial impact.
Tausch
3.2 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2013
Theism and deism lack the ingredients you want to cook with.
Even in the broadest sense.
LarryD
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2013
If I am not mistaken wasn't there an experiment three or four decades ago where certain chemical mixtures were placed in a chamber and subjected to simulated lightening storm conditions. Here too, I believe there was some measure of success at producing polymers or long chain molecules. That of course was an attempt to reproduce conditions that might produce amino acids here on Earth.
The point is that this article is just more evidence that the building blocks of life can be produced under extreme conditions. As for '...capable of catalyzing biological evolution on earth.', well...let's not be too hasty eh? One step at a time is fine.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2013
Interestingly dipeptides have been considered as the smallest enzymatically active cofactors in some pathways from the RNA world to the DNA LUCA.

But they are not necessary in the shortest (most likeliest) replicator-to-genetic hereditary pathway known, nor are they necessary in metabolic scenarios of hydrothermal vents. So, nice to know chemical evolution is this productive and diversified, but no major breakthrough.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2013
Creationists should comment on science, it is hilarious and makes deconverts from religion, see Dawkins's Convert's Corner.

It is religions that has speculated in magic answers to "other life" (alves, unicorns, gods, et cetera). Science observes that the inflationary standard universe starts out lifeless but we now observe life, in other words we observe that a natural process is responsible.

@Railroad Tom: No one can "correct" religious trolls, as all anti-science trolls they couldn't care less about what we know and why we know it is correct. But we can point and laugh (and explain if they ask real questions), and by the wonders of human nature, people want to be correct if they have no stake in being liars and/or ignorant, people will observably deconvert from magic beliefs.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2013
@WNN: Personally it isn't the smut as much as seeing how the religious texts support genocide, killings, torture, misogyny et cetera, all the while pretending to offer "morality", that cracks me up and elevates my day.

@LarryD: It is secular morals - democracy, human rights and freedoms - including freedom of religion - that have built this society. In comparison, religion has made some dictatorships (Vatican state, Iran, et cetera) and made some genocides (crusades, condom lies).

@Egleton: All organisms that are adapted to desiccation, whether tardigrades or D. radiodurans, are good at gene repair and therefore hardened against radiation. (D. radiodurans repair functions have been phylogenetically traced to adaptations for desiccation.)

@Birger: Evolutionary creationism ("theistic evolution") is still creationism, with magic and all. No relation to the process, which outcome is only the vestment for the creationist trojan horse.
verkle
1.6 / 5 (18) Mar 06, 2013
Don't comment or venture on a science website if you think you've already got it all figured out.


I am a scientist, and love to read and think about science. It is my heart's passion. I don't have science all figured out. That's the neat part about science. I love to find out more.

My worldview, though, is different than many of yours. I don't believe that evolution is science, but weak man's attempt to figure out where he came from. I believe that we had a beginning. That is how I approach science. And that is how countless scientists in the past 500 years also approached science. It is nothing new.

event
4.4 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2013
I am a scientist, and love to read and think about science.


My worldview, though, is different than many of yours. I don't believe that evolution is science, but weak man's attempt to figure out where he came from.

Those two claims are contradictory. How can you both claim to be a scientist and think that evolution is bunk??

I believe that we had a beginning. That is how I approach science.

That doesn't sound like a scientific approach to me. You start with a gut belief and then you reject facts (evolution) to support your preconceptions? That's anti-scientific.
LarryD
5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2013
Unlike verkle I am not a qualified scientist, just a layman, but I do appreciate his previous comment. Good science is not about faith it's about Curiosity; what makes this do that? How does that work? What if...?and so on. I too have a 'thirst' for knowledge. For me evolution doesn't answer many of my questions but that's another story. Unlike my younger life there are now so many young people trying to find out what 'makes things tick' and there is now a wide range of technology to help. If that is someone's definition of 'a know all' that's fine, verkle you keep reading and finding out. Curiosity didn't kill Schrodinger's cat it was the poison.
But the present article is bound to stir up lots emotion from those who have other ideas but that's good because it keeps debate going and I prefer debate rther than being burnt at the stake. Argue, yes and stand up for your convictions but don't flog others for doing the same. Always be ready to change if clear evidence suugests change.
event
5 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2013
For me evolution doesn't answer many of my questions but that's another story.

I'm curious, which questions do you have that evolution doesn't answer to your satisfaction?
WittyNickName
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 07, 2013
I'm not a scientist, and I cannot claim to even be in the same mental category is some of the lowly researchers who work on projects and don't even get mentioned.

So a lot of these things for me are faith based. I read up as much as I can and try to understand as much as well. But there is a point where I need to put a bit of faith in the scientist.

But this is where science and religion are very different. A scientist (of ANY field) who publishes something ground breaking have massive amounts of evidence before they conclude anything. And, other people can argue against it and challenge the evidence. If it turns out the original conclusion was wrong, more testing is done until we find the right answer. It's a win win situation for humanity.

The fact that outcomes are revised is not because science is weak, but shows the continuous search for knowledge. True knowledge is power, not some mumbo jumbo "I don't know, therefore God" which actually just f###s things up.
RoamingRob
1 / 5 (9) Mar 07, 2013
comets are NOT dirty snowballs..... they are basically electrically charged rocks.... do some research on the electric model for comets.... it works!!!
LarryD
5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2013
For me evolution doesn't answer many of my questions but that's another story.

I'm curious, which questions do you have that evolution doesn't answer to your satisfaction?

Yes sorry about that, I think maybe what I wrote was misleading. I do not support 'intelligent design' or any type of religious involvement. It seems to me that whatever evolutionary process to place with other animals (say Birds for example) didn't take occur in humans. Although there is much evidence of various bipeds evolving from one state to another Homo Sapiens seem to have appeared rather suddenly and uniquely. There are generally several (or many) species of most animals except for those that were some how isolated from the rest of the world. It would seem that animals even larger than humans diversified yet human history doesn't seem to have done that. Another question is what process caused such a large increase in the cranial capicty where Homo erectus had double that of ancestors (cont)
LarryD
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2013
cont.
I am aware of the classification of Homodinoidea etc. but I understand that researchers conclude the female common ancestor with similar genetics lived around 200,000 years ago. Somewhere along the line some remarkable change in DNA occurred which allowed humans to develop more quickly.
Ha, sometimes I wonder if today that development has stopped
event
5 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
It seems to me that whatever evolutionary process to place with other animals (say Birds for example) didn't take occur in humans.

Why does it seem that way to you? Which lines of evidence makes you think that humans are any different than any other animal?

Homo Sapiens seem to have appeared rather suddenly and uniquely.

How so? The early homonid line leading all the way to anatomically modern humans (some 200k years ago) is pretty well established in the fossil record now.

There are generally several (or many) species of most animals ... It would seem that animals even larger than humans diversified yet human history doesn't seem to have done that.

Hominids have diversified into many forms over a handful of million years. The only remaining brach is us. But even that wasn't always the case. We cohabited the planet not so long ago with Neanderthals and even more recently with the 'Hobbit' (homo floresiensis).
event
5 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2013
Another question is what process caused such a large increase in the cranial capicty where Homo erectus had double that of ancestors

The precise cause isn't known (causes don't fossilize well :)), but there are a number of plausible hypotheses including a better, higher protein diet due to more meat eating, especially animal bone marrow. This provided an energy spike which would allow the brain to get bigger (despite the associated energy costs).

A more upright posture helps freeing the arms from locomotion and shapes the hands into more precise tool manipulators. Upright walking also uses less energy and so wider territories could be explored and exploited.

Then there are social groupings leading to better co-operation and communication which leads to language, culture and belief systems and it snowballs from there.
LarryD
5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2013

Hominids have diversified into many forms over a handful of million years. ... not so long ago with Neanderthals and even more recently with the 'Hobbit' (homo floresiensis).
Yes, that's what I mean '...not so long ago...' Be honest, compared to other animals Homo has diversified very little. Birds for example number in the thousands of present day species and the same goes for fish, dinosaurs well over a thousand. The primates diversified to a lesser extent but still more than Homonoids. Only when we consider the Ape family does brain complexity become obvious and yet from there we emerge as a single species. We are the only species that have certain characteristics lacking in the other species. why do you suppose that is?
No. I am not suggesting 'divine intervention' and I would ask others not to use my questions as evidence 'of God'. (cont.)
LarryD
4 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
(cont)
So, event, What process selected a certain portion of primates to evolve a single species with characteristics lacking in all of the others? If it was something dramatic like that which caused the extinction of dinosaurs why isn't there evidence of it? What was the apparently subtle process that Nature chose to evolve a single dominant species yet didn't affect any other species living around at the same time?
event
5 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
Agh, 1hr between comments!

As I say, this narrative cannot be fossilized to be unearthed one day, but there are so many point details which act as markers that a logical developmental story can be told.

Furthermore, even living great apes exhibit many, many traits that we once would have called uniquely human, such as: emotions, empathy, co-operation, intelligence, self-awareness, sense of fun and pleasure, etc, etc.

Ha, sometimes I wonder if today that development has stopped

Not really. Just look at all the morphological differences between the human races today. That's occured in less than half the time that modern humans have been around.

Further, there are people living at high altitudes which have significanly more efficient respiratory systems and/or higher hemoglobin concentrations (for oxygenation) than those living at sea level. They have bigger lungs to take in more of the thin air. These are changes wrought relatively recently due to environmetal adaptations.
event
5 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
Be honest, compared to other animals Homo has diversified very little. Birds for example number in the thousands of present day species

We haven't branched into different species, but there are countless morphological and physiological differences between races. Given enough time and isolation, those differences would no doubt lead to speciation. But that isn't likely to happen as we are anything but isolated and intermingle all the time across all geographies.

If we colonize other worlds, then we will almost certainly have different human species, in time.

You can also look at animals alive today that haven't changed since the age of the dinosaurs and beyond (eg: Horsetails, Monkey Puzzle Tree, Nautilus, Horseshoe Crab, Coelacanth, Platypus).

We are the only species that have certain characteristics lacking in the other species.

And other species have characteristics that we lack. So? Other species have been successful for far longer than we have.
LarryD
3 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2013
event, I do appreciate your comments, believe me. But my fundamental question about why Nature selected one animal to surpass all the others isn't answered. WE are special! Capable of investigating the Cosmos as well as the Quantum realm and all within a comparively short time of 200,000 years. That's an incredible leap. As you quite rightly point out other species didn't evolve (the croc is an example)and your other comment about some of our species being able to live in extreme conditidions. But that isn't about evolution, yet, that's is about Humans being adaptable (which might indeed evolve further in x thousand years). This only supports what I've written (and asked)! Just what happened in those prehistoric times that changed the direction of one set of bipeds and make them special?
Sorry about time delay but I live in Thailand so I suspect we are many hours apart as it were. My lunch time could be your bedtime ha ha.
humy
not rated yet Mar 08, 2013
I am totally unimpressed by this link for the same reason why I am never impressed by the all-to-common suggestion that the organic chemicals necessary for life came from outer space -simulations of the early-Earth clearly show that all the necessary organic chemicals for the first protocell to form would have spontaneously formed on the Earth without any of it required to come from outer space.

Also, the amounts of those necessary chemicals spontaneously formed on the Earth would surely dwarf the amounts coming from outer space! That's because these chemicals would have been continually generated all over the globe!
And, in addition, I would guess that much if not very nearly all of the complex organic chemicals from outer space would be just destroyed by the intense heat when the meteor/comet enters the Earth's atmosphere and then either blows up in the atmosphere or blows up on the ground!

So please reject the link's hypothesis for the older more scientific one!
humy
5 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2013
Sorry, my post appeared to have been mysteriously deleted so I posted it again only to find it came back!
event
5 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2013
event, I do appreciate your comments, believe me.

Thanks, I am also enjoying the exchange.

But my fundamental question about why Nature selected one animal to surpass all the others isn't answered.

I think part of the difficulty you are having is how you're framing your question.

For example, in the above quote you seem to be needlessly anthropomorphising nature, as if it has a will and a goal. Nature didn't select 'us' for anything as such (except to survive). We were just able to exploit a niche that opened up better than most other animals at the time. If the reign of the dinosaurs didn't come to an abrupt halt, it's debatable that we would even be here asking the question as to why we are 'special'. Instead, it might have been an intelligent saurian! Or not.

Different ages had different dominant species. My point is that I think the premise of your question is a little flawed, which skews your expectations.

I'll address the second part of your comment next.
event
5 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2013
WE are special! Capable of investigating the Cosmos as well as the Quantum realm and all within a comparively short time of 200,000 years. That's an incredible leap.

Yes it is. But those things are important to us, so our 'specialness' is a form of selection bias.

A catfish cares nothing about the cosmos or QM or computers because those things are not what is important to it. They must think of us as very limited creatures when we enter their murky world. We are poor swimmers, blind to the thousands of chemical signatures dissolved in the water nor can we extract oxygen from it, we're unable to sense subtle ground and aquatic vibrations or bio-electrical signatures of other creatures.

Yes, we are special in some sense, but so too are all the other species in ways that are important to them. The evolution of high intelligence is but one adaptation among countless others that helps a species survive. But it's certainly not an endpoint and it need not even have evolved at all.
Amr Striker
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 09, 2013
- What's the difference between conditions on earth and conditions in space?? You could not proove that the life on earth was created by earth conditions by chaos and entropy not by god. So, you escaped from this problem by saying that life was created in space.Thats means that u say the conditions in space has brain or mind and has goal which is creating life. u say also the same thing u escaped from!. the second law of thermodynamic says" in a system, it's impossible to create a system or reduce entropy without external effect". the external effect in this case is God.
- Space may have good conditions for generation of amino acids, but it's impossible to create a molecule by chance. there must be an external effect or Mind called "God".
- They said that they found organic molecules, not life , insect or fossil !
- the scientists performed the experiment in the lab, they made the conditions and formed the organic acid, not let it be formed by chance.Scientists were the external effect
LarryD
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2013

event
'I think part of the difficulty you are having is how you're framing your question.

For example, in the above quote you seem to be needlessly anthropomorphising nature, as if it has a will and a goal...'

Yes, good point.
In short that is what I expect of Nature but without the 'will'. To me Nature does have a goal, a singular one, adapt to maintain life. Where one species fails another comes along and fills the gap. So in that sense I suppose I have mis-framed my question.
I agree with you that each period had some animal that was dominant but none of seem to have suffered a real big leap. What kind of Environmental factor gave the Hominoids the mental advantage? whatever it was it specific to the Homonoids.
But agreeing with your comments now provides me another question. If each period has a dominant species what/who is next?
humy
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 09, 2013
- You could not proove that the life on earth was created by earth conditions by chaos and entropy not by god.

Amr: No one is trying to prove that the life on earth was created by "chaos and entropy not by god". Just for starters,"chaos and entropy" are not the most relevant thing here but rather chemistry and physics is. And no self-respecting good scientist these days would be "trying" to prove life was NOT created by a god -we fortunately have got past the age of ignorance and superstitious long ago where so many people stupidly assume that, whenever they don't have the answer, a god must have something to do with it!
To say that they are "trying" to prove a god did not create it is like saying they are "trying" to prove the tooth fairy did not create it -no rational person would think god made it and any person who thinks god made it is far too out of it to be worth helping or reason with.
DonGateley
2.8 / 5 (5) Mar 09, 2013
The age of the hospitable Earth is such a significant fraction of the age of the universe that I've never quite understood the motivation to look outward for the source of life.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Mar 09, 2013
The steady state Universe model of AWT considers, that the galaxies are condensing from dark matter clouds (essentially from neutrinos and photons) and they do evaporate again into neutrinos and photons like some giant density fluctuations of hypothetical dense gas. During this process the traces of organic life would disperse too so they could seed the life at the newly formed generation of cosmic objects condensed. So I'm rather opened to concept of panspermia events - after all, in similar way, like the Fred Hoyle, who didn't believe in Big Bang theory too (despite he gave its official name paradoxically).
LarryD
5 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2013
ValeriaT, mmm...ultimately life did come from the universe, well that is the laws of the universe. The laws would determine the formation of the Earth thereby producing a planet at an opportune distance from the Sun and so on. Would the BB be relevant? Once things were in motion...It would seem likely that what happened in our SS could happen in others but that is speculation even though more planets are being discovered. Organic molecules formed in space could hardly become more complex there and would require favourable conditions like those on Earth. But then this suggests that those conditions might already be producing the basic molecules of life on Earth.
Another point might be that it would require large numbers of such molecules from space to shower the Earth to increase the probabilty of some reaching the surface. I don't know if there is evidence of that but someone might.
Dr_toad
Mar 09, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
LarryD
not rated yet Mar 10, 2013
LarryD, please don't feed the troll. Any minute now he'll start explaining how the Aether is necessary for life.

Yeah, you may be right. Said my bit anyway, so I'll be signing out...of this article that is.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2013
ValeriaT, mmm...ultimately life did come from the universe, well that is the laws of the universe
No such law exists, sorry. I'm just considering it possible, but IMO it's still fully opened question. Even if the cosmic space would be full of proteins, it still wouldn't mean, that the life at the Earth couldn't evolve independently.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2013
Another question is what process caused such a large increase in the cranial capicty where Homo erectus had double that of ancestors (cont)
The leap to sentience was anything but natural. It occurred in the context of technology and tribes.

Tribes composed of individuals who were better at communicating, cooperating, planning, and executing complex strategies against rival tribes, would prevail in conflict against them. These tribes were overrun, the males killed, and the females absorbed.

This accelerated the unnatural development of the human brain. It became too large to birth safely, and so requires midwives. It is energy-hungry and prone to defect and damage. It begins to deteriorate soon after maturity.

It became able to envision its own impending decrepitude and death, and so needs palliatives like religion, music, and drugs to distract most iterations and prevent insanity. As it is, most iterations would not survive in the wild.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2013
- They said that they found organic molecules, not life , insect or fossil !
- the scientists performed the experiment in the lab, they made the conditions and formed the organic acid, not let it be formed by chance.Scientists were the external effect
-You bet. And when they do create life (and they WILL) you superstitionists will be very embarrassed. And indignant.

Oh and this prediction is not based on 'faith', as faith is belief DESPITE evidence. No it is based on increasing confidence that science can do these sorts of things because of what it has accomplished so far.

Religion explains nothing; not the least of which being why the book your god wrote fails so miserably to explain the world he supposedly created.
wsmith1213
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2013
Going from dipeptides to a living single celled organism is a massive jump. Look at a diagram of a single celled organism, it is extremely complex and did not happen by accident. It was engineered. Evolution? If you had the ability to put living organisms on a planet you wouldn't definitely have some mechanism for change. If you're really good, you would have that system able to respond to environmental challenges without requiring you to do anything. That is evolution.
WittyNickName
5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2013
Thoroughly enjoying the discussing, even more so than the article so thanks guys.

With regards to evolution and people thinking humans are special, I think a lot of people are seeing it the wrong way.

I've seen a few times people saying something to the effect of "humans are special and therefore we survived". I think that's a bit backwards. I see us as special BECAUSE we survived.

Nature is not a sentient being, it has no morals or concept of who is special and who is not. Nature is not nice and pretty. It is chaos, and eternal struggle to survive, millions of species at war with each other for a place to eat, sleep, shit and breed.

Sometimes a balance is found, where each species manages to reproduce as quickly as it dies. And then occasionally something will happen to tip the scales in favour of one. In our case, the branch that lead to modern man.

We are not special and therefore we survived. We're just damn lucky. That's the only thing special about us.
humy
5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2013
Going from dipeptides to a living single celled organism is a massive jump. (wsmith1213 quote)

No, it is not. The first protocell would have none of the molecular complexity of modern life.
it is extremely complex and did not happen by accident.

The complexity created by evolution is not an "accident" but rather is an inevitable process given the right conditions.

Note that evolution is not a theory of the origins of the FIRST life thus evolution cannot be wrong because it doesn't explain the origins of the first life any more than the theory of how the sun works can be wrong because it fails to explain how lions hunt in packs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2013
Going from dipeptides to a living single celled organism is a massive jump
-And yet it happened, and science will eventually tells how it happened. Only they have the tools to do this.
Look at a diagram of a single celled organism, it is extremely complex and did not happen by accident. It was engineered.
Horseshit. You look at a diagram and conclude what somebody else told you to conclude. You have neither the training nor the experience to interpret what you are looking at. And neither do they.

They are however very skilled at convincing you that they DO possess these skills, because they can draw on centuries of experience in deceiving people like you.

And they offer wish-granting and eternal life in return for your acquiescence which after all makes it very hard for you to resist doesn't it?

You may not like what science has to say, not the least of which being 'We don't know yet'. Too bad. Many find comfort in the fact that it is REAL.
NickFun
4 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
I'm a Buddhist and I firmly believe in cause and effect. Evolution suits me just fine.
kochevnik
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
If you are uneducated, aka feel the need to talk about God because of this article, then you are not entitled to your own opinion in this matter.
Religionists do NOT have their OWN opinion about their gods. They copy and paste from an authority, and then become warriors for their master's vaporware meme
J P P
not rated yet Mar 19, 2013
Nice to see the science finally catching up to Star Trek!

The idea that planetary life originated and evolved from the contributions of comets was presented in Star Trek Voyager in 1997 (season 4, episode 9, "Year of Hell" part 2).

:D