speaking of origins - ten steps to first cells.

Fun stuff here. :slight_smile:

14 October 2009 By Michael Le Page and Nick Lane (super smart dude and excellent public speaker, can't go wrong with any of this talks Nick Lane)

Back to feature: Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock?

We may never be able to prove beyond any doubt how life first evolved. But of the many explanations proposed, one stands out – the idea that life evolved in hydrothermal vents deep under the sea. Not in the superhot black smokers, but more placid affairs known as alkaline hydrothermal vents.

This theory can explain life’s strangest feature, and there is growing evidence to support it.

Earlier this year, for instance, lab experiments confirmed that conditions in some of the numerous pores within the vents can lead to high concentrations of large molecules. This makes the vents an ideal setting for the “RNA world” widely thought to have preceded the first cells.

If life did evolve in alkaline hydrothermal vents, it might have happened something like this:

Read about the ten step : https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17987-how-life-evolved-10-steps-to-the-first-cells

Then come on back and lets talk about it.

`I don’t pay enough attention to Dawkins to know if that’s a true assessment you’ve made, I suspect it isn’t.

I do know that from the scientists who’s lectures I’ve listened to, they seem pretty well awareness that A) we don’t know everything about origins B) we’ll never positively know how origins occurred C) The best we can hope for is some very plausible theories that have gone through many many hurdles - that show light on how it could have occurred.


If Holmes can provide a link to a serious scientist within the field saying: ‘We Will Be Able To Prove The Mechanism For Life Origins Beyond Any Doubt.’

That I would like to see.

I’m betting you can’t.


Now that’s an honest statement at last, there’s doubt – Dawkins would never say such a thing! -- Sherlock
Maybe you should take some more time and read the threads first instead of doing these blitzkrieg postings. You commented here 2 days ago. Go read the OP of that thread. An evolutionary biologists uses the word "faith" when talking about science.


I do not need your advice on how to read a post and post a response to it Lausten.
I don't think you understand how forums work.

Sensitive are we?

Funny how you set yourself up, and then are shocked, simply shocked, that anyone would lob one right back at ya.

If Holmes can provide a link to a serious scientist within the field saying: ‘We Will Be Able To Prove The Mechanism For Life Origins Beyond Any Doubt.’

That I would like to see.

I’m betting you can’t.

Holmes, did you have anything interesting to say about the Ten Steps to First Cells, or were you simply wanting to disrupt this thread?

Oh so that’s how God created life on Earth. I had heard that God just made a man out of clay and a woman out of that man’s rib bone. But those 10 steps make more sense. Can that be placed in Genesis?

I don’t think we need to rewrite the Bible - all we really need to do is clearly label it: Psychology/philosophy - Not To Be Mistaken With Physical Reality.

Just as with Intelligent Design notions, they make sense to me on certain levels, but physical reality is not one of them.

As for the first ten steps, some pretty fascinating stuff, I don’t get why knowing that doesn’t provide any inner satisfaction to most. At least for me I can’t help feeling emotionally and spiritually enlivened by those evolutionary details.


On a slightly different but related note - having an infant thrust into my life again, as in providing actual child care, and occasionally watching the parade of visitors to meet the newbie - I’ve found that many treat the kid as though it were an object rather than a sentient little person who’s paying very close attention to the world and ready to interact with anyone who’s paying attention to him (or her as the case may be). Yes it’s a baby so it’s not going to play cards with you, but if you pay attention it’s amazing what you’ll notice.

It fits right in with my impression that for most people Earth, the biosphere we exist within, all that is little more than a two dimensional post card to their minds and spirits. The cascade of Deep Time means nothing. So very sad and empty. Not to mention self-destructive.

Oh and Tim that brings me back to a comment you made somewhere else along time ago. I’m running out of time, but I did post something last night that tries to explain why it’s important to explicitly acknowledge and appreciate the distinction between Physical Reality and our Mindscapes. Hope this will make some sense to you:


Ignore at our own peril.

So that’s my essay.
But it wasn’t finished.

I was asked what good is this essay?
What can people do with it?

Why should people care?

Well, lets start by thinking about our country and how over the past few decades easily a third of our citizens have been brainwashed into believing they actually know God’s Will.

Sadly, their God’s Will seems to be focused on envying, fearing and hating their fellow countrymen and the way we want to live.

They are blindly self-certain of their God and there is only one way. Their way. That’s Ego, not God at work!

It doesn’t matter to them that America was founded as - and has always been - a pluralistic nation.

It’s hideous. Now I’m no atheist, it’s a meaningless concept to me. But, a personal god, that I know does not exist! That is Ego at work - manmade through and through.

Beyond that? I’m too intimately familiar with evolution and biology’s utterly mind blowing ways and means and the story of how she got here. I don’t care how much my science pals howl, there’s a direction, randomness is ordered, and there is a ‘will’ going on.

Definitely way beyond my comprehension! But like ‘dark gravity’ we see its result without knowing what it is. Call it what you want.

I’m good with notions of God, but She’s a whisper, an unknowable something beyond our mindscapes.

For me God is Creation,
all four and half billion years of her, unfolding one day at a time.

Our individual unique relationship with God is the most intimately personal humans have - but it’s a nontransferable relationship - to nurture or squander as our own numbered days unfold.

But not to force others to fit into. That’s tyranny, a human thing.
Which is why people always make god’s in our own images. Seeking god to hide their own avarice behind, we’re so transparent.

Hell, the Biblical Book of Job even warns believers:
God is beyond human understanding,
But do they listen?

There’s no denying that religions bring communities together and they help us feel the spirit in our hearts. But what they offer is shadow plays and ritual.

Nothing’s wrong with that ! We need it !

But, for God Sake stop mistaking that
with down to Earth Physical Reality !

God is in our hearts and souls, why isn’t that enough?

How did it get this bad?

I think it’s because no one made the effort to call foul on greed driven evangelicals and their insane amoral hubris!

We’ve been giving them a free pass since this hostile takeover attempt got serious with Reagan’s ruthless political strategists marrying some Me First power hungry evangelicals that had learned how to pimp Jesus for cash and power.

Now more than ever we need to stop talking past that part of our nation. We need to start confronting them, even if they and us find it uncomfortable.

Not with anger, but with intelligent spiritual challenges of a more constructive way to look at religious certainties versus physical certainties.

Why not make them question themselves?

But, that message has got to come from your heart.

I believe a fact based Earth Centrist appreciation for Evolution and our place on this Earth.

This perspective offers opportunities to individually to develop our own intellectual/spiritual awareness, grounding, within the context of your own life.

That in turn, will help us develop individual constructive and challenging messaging towards the faith-shackled crowd who exist within our own circles.

Why not challenge them to question their self-certainty?

Why not challenge them to rediscover religious faith as something reflected in how we live our individual lives, not in how we demand everyone else to live theirs.

Least we can do is demand that geophysical facts and down to Earth reality start being respected and taken seriously.

Thank you for your time


Oh so that’s how God created life on Earth. I had heard that God just made a man out of clay and a woman out of that man’s rib bone. But those 10 steps make more sense. Can that be placed in Genesis?
I actually learned as a child that women had one more rib than men because of this stupid creation story.

It behoves all interested in the science of mineral evolution to view this video by Robert Hazen who is an expert mineralogist. He clearly and comprehensibly explains the origins and evolution of the very first bio-chemicals in space (cosmic clouds) and on earth in clays and rocks and other mineral sources such as Black Smokers.

He estimates that Earth has undergone some 2 trillion, quadrillion, quadrillion, quadrillion mineral (chemical) reactions during its lifetime.

About Dr. Hazen Robert Hazen is a scientist based at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory and George Mason University. His recent research focuses on the roles of minerals in life’s origins, including mineral-catalyzed organic synthesis and interactions between biomolecules and mineral surfaces, as well as “mineral evolution” and “mineral ecology”—new approaches that exploit large and growing mineral data resources to explore the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres. A prolific writer, Hazen has authored more than 400 articles and 25 books on topics ranging from astrobiology to scientific literacy.

(start viewing @ 25:00 to avoid a lengthy introduction)


p.s. there has been a recent discovery of living worms 2 miles deep in the earth’s crust in So.Africa gold mines. (posted elsewhere in this forum)

In furtherance of self-organizing and self-assembly of bio-chemical structures, the microtubules which are a common denominator in all Eukaryotic organisms, consist of only two tubulins (dimer) which self-organize in a little spiral nano-tube, but are responsible for mitosis (self-duplication of cells) in all living organisms.

This remarkably simple machine exists by the trillions in all living cells in our bodies and are essentially responsible for the growth and renewal of all living things.

This little machine generates motion, such as found in the bacterial flagella and cilia.

The first evolved ability for motion.

34.3.1. Microtubules Are Hollow Cylindrical Polymers Microtubules are built from two kinds of homologous 50-kd subunits, α- and β-tubulin, which assemble in an helical array of alternating tubulin types to form the wall of a hollow cylinder (Figure 34.21). Alternatively, a microtubule can be regarded as 13 protofilaments that run parallel to its long axis. The outer diameter of a microtubule is 30 nm, much larger than that of actin (5 nm). Like actin, microtubules are polar structures. One end, termed the minus end, is anchored near the center of a cell, whereas the plus end extends toward the cell surface.

Microtubules are important in determining the shapes of cells and in separating daughter chromosomes in mitosis. They are highly dynamic structures that grow through the addition of α- and β-tubulin to the ends of existing structures.