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Author Topic: Is spontaneous emergence of biology to be expected?  (Read 90 times)
Zanthius
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Is spontaneous emergence of biology to be expected?
« on: August 20, 2018, 12:22:59 pm »

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Death 999
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Re: Is spontaneous emergence of biology to be expected?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 02:22:45 pm »

Cells are the principal living things we have now. If there were earlier forms that would predictably be outcompeted (e.g. eaten) by cells and driven extinct, we can fill in that 'coincidence' line with finer steps. RNA world is the name of one such hypothesis. It doesn't need to be one jump straight from disorganized soup to cells.
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Zanthius
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Re: Is spontaneous emergence of biology to be expected?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 05:40:32 pm »

Cells are the principal living things we have now. If there were earlier forms that would predictably be outcompeted (e.g. eaten) by cells and driven extinct, we can fill in that 'coincidence' line with finer steps. RNA world is the name of one such hypothesis. It doesn't need to be one jump straight from disorganized soup to cells.

A RNA molecule is basically just a polymer with varying subunits. I assume there spontaneously could be generated different such polymers under the right conditions. But they are still just polymers. I believe that in order for evolution to occur there must be some way for them to compete with each other for survival. One such way could be stability. But that would just lead to lots of stable RNA molecules.

To get evolution, it seems like you need some kind of metabolism which relates to the speed of self-replication. I don't think RNA polymers have much metabolism which relates to their self-replication speed. Only in such a scenario would they be able to compete with each other to become better at metabolizing molecules in order to self-replicate faster. Such a process seems far-fetched for RNA polymers.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 05:43:59 pm by Zanthius » Logged
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Re: Is spontaneous emergence of biology to be expected?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 08:28:39 pm »

RNA can do a lot of very interesting things. Even we, with our fancy ribosomes and proteins, don't just use RNA to store and move information, but also build some machinery out of it. You can make it form into shapes based on sequence, and the ends of those loops can have functions. In the lab, RNA and ssDNA are easier to predict the structure of and easier to work with and shape and modify than proteins are… for reasons that would carry over to primordial Earth.
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