A New Chemical 'Tree of The Origins of Life'

A fluffy article, but links to the original


This is really cool!!! The article is fluffy but the key facts (about the paper) are fine. Thanks for the post!


This caught my attention because it follows how I think about OoL as a mathematical problem. There are building blocks and lots of combinations (combinatorics).

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When scientists manage to produce viable life from inanimate matter, wake me up. Meanwhile, all they’re doing is blowing smoke and chasing fairies at the bottom of the garden.

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So I take it you’ve seen life wished into existence?

Yes, and I think researchers often times do themselves a disservice by focusing on these sorts of highly purified synthetic routes. The origin of life is much more plausible to have involved a large mess of interacting compounds. I’ve never bought into the assumption that the messy chemistries would prevent interesting further evolution of the system.

It seems to me it’s always just been sort of assumed that the chemistry has to lead to more or less pure RNA first, and then proteins later as we know them from life, and then these have to sort of assemble into something like a cell. And any pathway of synthesis that does not lead directly to RNA and proteins is sort of assumed to be irrelevant, or to cause the evolution of some chemical system to run off in a wrong direction indefinitely, or halt entirely.

It seems to me this has always just been an assumption based on dubious premises. What does anyone really know about the long-term behavior of such hugely complex chemical systems under may different hosts of conditions and cycles? Next to nothing:

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This is pure laziness. Why disparage the efforts of those who seek to solve these ancient puzzles, if you don’t intend to support their research in any appreciable way.

Protein chemists and other concerned experts have been trying for over 50 years to fully understand the intricacies of protein folding. Some progress has been made, but many questions remain. These questions drive scientific research. Let me ask, if life is created in the lab, what will you do next?


Hello everyone!! It’s nice to be here. This is my first comment. I am somewhat of a layman with regards to most of the scientific topics discussed here.

Investigating the origin of life is exciting and really important. The day we create life, I wonder what future trajectory that would push humanity on. Interesting article by the way @Rumraket


Welcome to the forum @Michael_Okoko! :slight_smile:

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44 posts were split to a new topic: Biblical skepticism of the Origin of Life

I read a long article on the history of abiogenesis experiments a few days ago. They’ve wished life into existence quite a few times, but we’ll probably be able to uncover the complexity of a cell faster than we can use computers to figure out how to build it.

And then scientists have to make those chemical bonds without a designer even though they’re the ones setting up the experiment. :thinking:

And then scientists have to make those chemical bonds without a designer even though they’re the ones setting up the experiment.

And so? I can perform a racemization reaction in the lab to show people how it works, but racemases (a class of enzymes) catalyze such reactions without my aid. Recapitulating a naturally occurring process in the lab doesn’t prove special creation.


That doesn’t make any sense. Scientists are trying to recreate conditions in the laboratory as they think they occur in nature, to see what would happen given those conditions. It doesn’t make sense to then complain that scientists set up the experiment when they are trying to recreate natural conditions to study them.

What you could say is that perhaps they’re setting up the experiment wrong because it’s not correctly mimicking natural conditions. That would be a valid criticism. But it doesn’t make sense to complain merely about the fact that scientists are setting up experiments. Of course they are, they have to to understand certain phenomena.

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Designed experiments are fundamental to research. This allows the experimenter to control factors that may influence the result. That experiment can be repeated, changing one factor at a time to find which ones matter. This is how cause can be discovered and confirmed.

I wouldn’t pester you about this except that it’s such a very important method in science. You must have been exposed to this idea in a science class at some point, but you may not have realised why it is so important.


I got that, but if you have a mind controlling an experiment to create life, you have proved a mind is needed to create life. But they haven’t gotten close to that. If life happened by chance, why aren’t we seeing single cells arise in natural processes still today? Maybe it’d be better to search for that in an ocean or pool somewhere rather than life on other planets since we already have life here.

It’s quite different to believe God can do so rather than inanimate matter. You’re not even invoking a mind, but matter acting on matter.

Ok, they’re not mimicking natural conditions if they do it in a lab.

My point was they’re not even close. Being unable to replicate a naturally occurring process is quite different from being able to.

How do you know they aren’t? Where have you looked, what instruments did you use?

My point was they’re not even close.

This is a bold claim, how do you know?

Being unable to replicate a naturally occurring process is quite different from being able to.

I don’t understand your point here, please rephrase.

Third Law of Creationism:

It’s an example of the dishonest tactics creationists use to avoid accepting evidence that contradicts their beliefs. Not a good look.

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