Friday, 4 November 2011

Origins of Life - ignoring extra-terrestrial dimensions

Origins of Life: The Primal Self-Organization - new book edited by Richard Egel, Dirk-Henner Lankenau and Armen Y. Mulkidjanian, who ask:

 “Why cannot life scientists and geochemists reach consensus on how cellular and organismal life most likely has emerged and settled on this planet? The biggest gap in our understanding persistently separates bottom-up inferences (from tentative primordial conditions on early Earth) and anthropic top-down extrapolations.”
Yet a still bigger gap is the refusal to contemplate extra-terrestrial primordial conditions

The final epilogue chapter spotlights another still pending problem - the inherently complex nature of pre-cellular organization before the consolidation of integral genomes.  Focus on that problem might help direct attention to the adaptability of procarya to extreme environments, including extra-terrestrial, shown by space-hardiness of bacteria etc.

The preface and chapter titles/authors are on this link.

5 comments:

  1. Extra terrestrial origin of life is a very sound argument but then one would strat with a new question....how life originated extra-terrestrially?

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    Replies
    1. yes... for that we should surely address the wider question of what types of extra-terrestrial environments might be suited to the emergence of pre-biotic elementary self-sustaining systems?

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  2. Remember too, the earlier generations of stars with planetary systems that could have spawned life some 10 billion years ago. As long as one accepts that planets like Mars and Earth scatter spores into the interstellar dust, from which new stellar/planetary systems form. During the 15 billion years life of our galaxy, spore-bearing dust populates most if not all of it.

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  3. Remember too, the earlier generations of stars with planetary systems that could have spawned life some 10 billion years ago. As long as one accepts that planets like Mars and Earth scatter spores into the interstellar dust, from which new stellar/planetary systems form. During the 15 billion years life of our galaxy, spore-bearing dust populates most if not all of it.

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