Old 03-05-2006, 03:58 PM   #1
brad89
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This is something that I have always been interested in. Their are theories that we began in the ocean, underground, in space, from something called an autocatalyst, etc... What do you believe is a good theory behind how life began and is there any evidence supporting it? I can grasp evolution, but abiogenesis is something difficult to tackle. I always figured if it happened once, it is entirely possible to be happening all the time. I figure that perhaps it does happen a lot more often than we believe.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:27 PM   #2
abortionman
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Self-replicating RNA + micelles...
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:11 PM   #3
Gathercole
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As Richard Dawkins says, the first replicators were probably not DNA or RNA. Nucleic acids are highly specialized and probably out-competed earlier, simpler replicators. Although it typically uses a cell, DNA can be made to replicate in the lab with polymerase chain reaction protocols, and this is probably what the first replicators did. They were probably organic molecules that bumped into other molecules and used them to replicate themselves. The copying procedure wasn't perfect, so they turned out copies with differences... very rarely, the differences caused the new replicators to replicate faster or more efficiently than their parents, or be less vulnerable to damage; and now we've got the basics of evolution. There is some evidence now that viruses predate other forms of life; Discover magazine even had a recent cover story about it. But the first replicators were definitely much, much cruder.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:22 AM   #4
solidsquid
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An interestng article at Discover on how viruses apply to the origin of life issue:

http://www.discover.com/issues/mar-06/cover/
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:58 AM   #5
a different tim
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I'm currently reading this book about it. Good so far, but I'm only one chapter in.

I can write a book report when I'm done if anyone wants.

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family"
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Old 03-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
solidsquid
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Quote:
a different tim wrote
I'm currently reading this book about it. Good so far, but I'm only one chapter in.

I can write a book report when I'm done if anyone wants.
...and into my wishlist it goes.
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