Episode 758 query about relatedness of life on Earth

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Episode 758 query about relatedness of life on Earth

Postby worldslaziestbusker » Wed May 09, 2012 6:43 am

Hello folks
I just listened to episode 758 and heard a caller cite the relatedness of all life on Earth as a potential stumbling block in their thinking on the matter of life arising naturally. While I think evidence of multiple kick-offs would offer a neat means to push creationists even further into the corner they've already painted themselves into, it is not necessary to support current thinking on how life came to the point we observe today.
The best explanation for why life start-up events subsequent to the start of our own genetic descent didn't lead to several distinct genetic models is that the extant forms were/are already using the available resources, crippling any attempt to get things moving. Life may still be starting from scratch in the oceans, right now, but because the niches are already occupied by things able to make more efficient use of the resources it would need to thrive, no-one will ever know.
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Re: Episode 758 query about relatedness of life on Earth

Postby DjVortex » Thu May 10, 2012 5:44 am

worldslaziestbusker wrote:Life may still be starting from scratch in the oceans


That might not necessarily be so. The conditions of the Earth are now radically different from what they were when the first self-replicating molecules formed. It may even be that, rather ironically, the current environment is not proper for such molecules to form.

Also, oxygen is poisonous to any form of primitive cellular life with a metabolism so, once again ironically, the oxygen-rich environment of the Earth would most probably stop any kind of complex self-replicating life-forms with a metabolism from forming. (When in the distant past some organisms started consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, probably due to a mutation, and they proliferated so much that they actually started to efficiently pump the Earth with oxygen, it was almost catastrophic. Only those organism that happened to adapt survived. Good thing too, because multicellular life is probably not possible in practice without a metabolism based on consuming oxygen, which is a very potent fuel.)
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Re: Episode 758 query about relatedness of life on Earth

Postby worldslaziestbusker » Thu May 10, 2012 9:52 am

Hello DJ-vortex
The pre-requisite conditions to bring about life analogous to our own still exist in small pockets in the oceans, but this is beside the point. Other forms of life could arise from different starting conditions. If you concede that life might exist on Europa then you should have no problem with the idea that life might arise in conditions different to those that gave rise to us.
Is that the case?
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