Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Did Life Emerge In Ponds Rather Than Ocean Vents?

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the life-evolved-in-coca-cola dept.

Earth 97

ananyo writes "The prevailing scientific view holds that life began in hydrothermal vents in the deep sea. But a controversial study (abstract) suggests that inland pools of condensed and cooled geothermal vapor have the ideal characteristics for the origin of life. The study hinges on the observation that the composition of the cytoplasm of modern cells is very different to that of seawater. On the other hand, the mix of metal ions in cytoplasm is (almost exclusively) found where where hot hydrothermal fluid brings the ions to the surface — places such as geysers and mud pots. There are a number of problems with the study, however — for instance, a lack of land 4 billion years ago would have made it difficult for life to start in such pools."

cancel ×

97 comments

My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044715)

First you college boys, with your fancy book smarts, try to tell me my grandpa was a monkey. Now you're calling him pond scum! Jesus will make you commie elitists pay when you die!

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044755)

Does he take checks?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (4, Funny)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044847)

Not if they're backed by your commie bitcoins, he doesn't!

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045299)

With how worthless and stupid they are, pretty much nobody will accept anything "backed" by Bitcoin.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044903)

Your mother was a hamster...

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045073)

A moose bit my sister once...

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045097)

I feel sorry for the elephant.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046027)

I'm a Lesbian and so is my wife.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046075)

Do you have a webcam?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046567)

Agreed, I have never seen a lesbian moose and elephant get it on. Finally something I haven't seen a thousand times. Might get a solid on this one.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046725)

Your mother was a hamster...

... and your father smelt of elderberries.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044959)

Better than going to hell because of taking a human-written book as the word of God. He really doesn't like it if you put words in His mouth.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (-1, Flamebait)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045063)

"He really doesn't like it ..."

And you learned this how? Like all of the rest of the religious morons you think you know what God wants? It is people like you that will burn in hell if there really is a God.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045131)

You didn't know that Jesus posts as Anonymous Coward?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045285)

fredrated: All I can say is WHOOSH. Elrous0 was hilarious.
SJHillman: How did you ever figure it out?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (4, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046095)

Considering how he was treated when he was alive, I don't blame him.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

amck (34780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045269)

Sheesh. Its called Irony.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045291)

It is people like you that will burn in hell if there really is a God.

And you know that (if there is a) god, he will burn people in hell for thinking they know what god wants? Yep, it's people like you who will burn in hell if there really is a god.

All I said was, "This fish is good enough for Jehovah!"
"He said it again!"

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048305)

And you're a fucking moron for even considering that something as patently absurd as a god is a possibility.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045507)

And according to the Sun God if you don't sacrifice a virgin the world will end. Have you sacrificed a virgin today? Hell the "good book" says you should stone adulterers, have you stoned an adulterer today?

Frankly it amazes me that a race that can go to the moon and build supercomputers with chips smaller than your pinky nail would still have wars and mass killings over a book written by 1800 year dead goat herders at a time they thought the sun was a God in a chariot and based on stories handed down like Chinese Whispers about other goat herders that had been dead for centuries before a single line was written! you are free to believe what you want, hell believe in the great electron if that floats your boat, but seriously treating a patched together contradictory mess like that as the "word of God" is more than a little batshit. Its the word of a bunch of goat herders and ancient priests, nothing more. Hell look at a Strong's version and see how many words are ambiguous and could go one of several ways. if a Deity was writing an instruction manual do you honestly think he/she would leave so much open to interpretation?

As for TFA frankly they are as full of shit as those following the goat herders because until they can recreate those conditions in a lab and actually get life frankly we have NO clue as to which way it happened. it could have been asteroids bring the building blocks, it could have been lightning providing the right spark, could have been thermal vents, could have been pools, who the fuck knows. this planet has had so much turnover in the last 4 billion years frankly we know of maybe 2% of the things that have existed before us and we expect from such a limited dataset to figure out where the first living thing, the patient zero as it were, came from? give me a break.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045783)

And according to the Sun God if you don't sacrifice a virgin the world will end. Have you sacrificed a virgin today?

Well, if you define "virgin" as simply a status, not a person who is a virgin, then the day isn't over yet...

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (3, Interesting)

fatphil (181876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045813)

What's more shocking is that at least one of the real rocket scientists who helped put men on the moon can, and will if sparked off, prove that the earth is only 6000+ years old, using the bible as his only source. (I know this, as I've met one, and was *ordered* by my friends to not spark him off.)

3 scientific degrees from Ivy league universities, and a job at NASA doesn't mean you're batshitproof, alas.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046153)

You could argue the point by handing him a copy of a high school math book and telling him all the math he needs to get to the moon is in that book. No doubt he would argue that data in the book is not sufficient enough to make the true calculations. I think he would then see the parallel.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046131)

Troll no, Offtopic possibly, relevant not really, coherent and well thought out most assuredly and I fully agree.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050641)

We have so many perception bubbles and foaming at the mouth fanbois i fully expected to be modded down and frankly don't give a shit. i mean look at the "I'm holier than though" bullshit going on right now in the rep POTUS selection, we have out of control debt, have lost more than 40,000 factories in a decade to outsourcing and our unemployment is growing to unmanageable levels, Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturers are using slave labor and China has put tariffs in place to keep our goods OUT while their are given free reign to our markets and THIS, which candidate thumps on the goat herder book or believes in the correct manner, is seriously having an effect on the outcome?

I'm seriously tempted to use that "Opiate of the masses" line because obviously just like a drug it seems to be quite good at turning their brains off.

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045055)

Of course not, if you aren't that far up the ladder, how could your grandfather be?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0, Troll)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045171)

But, mu momma dun told us that we all dun come from dem people adam and eve, and dats why is ok for us to make mor babehs with muh sister because dat how we all was made

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045475)

Given the difficulty in providing evidence in this field, do you really find it that difficult that someone would find any particular theory (or all of them, for that matter) complete rubbish?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046053)

Jesus will make you commie elitists pay when you die!

OK. Can l give him my soul as payment?

Re:My grandpa wasn't a monkey, or pond scum! (0)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046811)

Why do we always start with this shit?

Spoilers (5, Funny)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044753)

I know that a River can come from Ponds.

Re:Spoilers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045485)

Thank you sir. If I had mod points I'd mod you up. That made my day.

Re:Spoilers (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046167)

I think you gave up too much by using "Spoilers" as the title. Still best post I've read on /. in months.

Interesting. (2)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044833)

Does this mean that life on exoplanets without deep seas and hydrothermal vents is still possible? Perhaps a more arid world, where water isn't quite as common as on Earth. I'm interested to see what implications this has for the search for life. It could expand the possible amount of planets that are likely to evolve life.

Re:Interesting. (5, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045137)

Does this mean that life on exoplanets without deep seas and hydrothermal vents is still possible?
Perhaps a more arid world, where water isn't quite as common as on Earth.
I'm interested to see what implications this has for the search for life. It could expand the possible amount of planets that are likely to evolve life.

Sure. So far we (seem) to have only one data point for conditions that allow for biological activity. We can postulate many others but until we get probes on Mars, Arcturus and other heavenly bodies, it's just a guess.

As, of course, is TFA. Interesting theory - that current ion concentrations within the cell more or less faithfully represent the ion concentrations of some ancient ancestor due to the inherent conservation bias found in living organisms (if it works, it works, keep it around). The big problem with that idea, IMHO, is that it can just as easily be postulated that very early life was unable to keep ion gradients within the cell (because they did not have an established, complicated cell membrane) but didn't need to because, well, because they were barely conscious pond scum and didn't need the ion gradient (or whatever) found inside modern cells because they were dumb and primitive and did nothing besides make a couple more copies of themselves. Perhaps the folding and unfolding of the primitive nucleic acid (likely RNA or something similar [wikipedia.org] to it) was more tolerant to ion fluxes than the complicated machinery we have now.

Interesting however. Much better than the typical PR piece.

Thus, they may have evolved anywhere where conditions were favorable for the primordial pond scum, be it hydrothermal vents or whatnot.

Re:Interesting. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046207)

I think this would assume a water based life form, currently we only have data to support and confirm the existence. No doubt other forms of life are out there perhaps not water based.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046349)

Does this mean that life on exoplanets without deep seas and hydrothermal vents is still possible?

If you consider SciFi, the Arrakis sandworms find water extremely toxic. Based on the descriptions (in the books) given, sandworms react to water the same way we react to fire.

Re:Interesting. (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046989)

I've wondered how much temperature would affect early life. More specifically if the day/night cycle worked like a PCR machine on the early stages of life. If that were the case some other cyclical temperature change might need to occur where the sun is not as much of an influence. Of course I could just be talking out my ass.

Take of your blinders! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044869)

There are a number of problems with the study, however — for instance, a lack of land 4 billion years ago would have made it difficult for life to start in such pools.

But did land exist 6000 years ago? Hah!

No (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044925)

Did Life Emerge In Ponds Rather Than Ocean Vents?

No.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Re:No (1)

benzaholic (1862134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044955)

Even if you take that sh!t seriously, how would "Let the waters bring forth..." rule out ponds as compared to oceans?

Re:No (0)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044981)

I'm pretty sure he's being sarcastic, you insensitive clod. This is Slashdot, after all.

Re:No (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045045)

Ponds at the time were not powerful enough to run Forth. Only ocean vents had enough power for the early Forth implementations.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045023)

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters... [snip]

I said no such thing. Don't believe everything they wrote about me.

Re:No (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045303)

Anyway, everyone knows the aliens seeded the planet with DNA and stuff and then...LIFE!

But God created the Aliens. However, we created God in our own image, so it's all one big circle of life.

No, I'm not trying to be snarky. This, I believe.

But I also took the Patriots, giving the points, so what the fuck do I know?

high P high T doesnt require enzymes (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044961)

The gist I got from Robert Hazen's course on the Origin of Life is that the metabolic citric cycle and protein polymerization does not require enzymes in high pressure and in certain mineral substrates. Otherwise you have the chicken-egg problem of how to elvolve these special enzyme proteins first. Dr. Hazen generated many of these results in the lab.

Prevailing View? (5, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044987)

This is actually a bit surprising to me. Years ago, which admittedly was the last time I payed any attention to such things, the theory that life first formed in little pools was the common explanation. Up near the surface is where a lot of the energy was from sources such as the sun, volcanos, lightning, etc. I could be wrong in remembering this, but the primordial soup was always depicted as fairly shallow pools (though, perhaps, saltwater tide pools).

Re:Prevailing View? (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045079)

I always though the prevailing view was life starting near the ocean vents. Energy was derived via chemosynthesis. Some of those lifeforms worked their way to the surface eventually evolving photosynthesis and thus became more independent. From there, life spread to all corners of the Earth from a substance that covers 3/4ths of its surface.

Re:Prevailing View? (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045219)

There are, as usual, competing ideas. Ever since hydrothermal vents were discovered to be full of living things in supposedly inhospitable conditions (which really isn't true, there is plenty of life in an abyssal plain surrounding a hydrothermal vent, it just isn't as photogenic as it's glopping around in the mud) it has been thought that perhaps these structures were candidates for nurturing very early life forms. Such vents were likely to occur as soon as water precipitated. So you have water (of some unknown ionic concentration, likely fairly anoxic), dissolved metal ions, dissolved bits of clay (both useful as a catalysts) and energy. Next thing you know kids are texting and doing drugs....

I could wave my flippers and postulate that there were micro environments in the vents that were also ion rich but that's just speculation ...

Re:Prevailing View? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39047753)

Plus, we all remember the time that Q took Picard back in time to witness the origin of terrestrial life. It was in a shallow pond.

Re:Prevailing View? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050769)

i see non-saltwater to be less likely, from the assumption that to evolve in freshwater, it would be more tricky to evolve from freshwater to a saltwater survivability.

think runoff from a river to an ocean, the transition is swift.

whereas life in an ocean can acclimate to areas around a river mouth. /shrug

Of course life emerged from the Ponds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045005)

just ask River

All Good Things... (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045043)

In the final episode of TNG we saw that life began in some sort of pond or tidal pool, not deep under the surface of the ocean.

Re:All Good Things... (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045169)

There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the heavens with tribes of humans...

Re:All Good Things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045635)

woot.

Starbuck is NOT a chick.

Re:All Good Things... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046255)

There are others who believe that life has yet to begin here, but that our advancements in machine intelligence may one day bring it about.

Connecticut real estate management and seaside hom (-1, Offtopic)

LennyDotCom (26658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045085)

Connecticut real estate management and seaside homes board of directors. Are involved in what I believe to be crimminal activities. Check http://lenny.com/ [lenny.com] for more detalis

Re:Connecticut real estate management and seaside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045243)

Ummmmm.... why in the hell are you posting this here? And what is "crimminal"?

Obvious on reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045099)

This explains most of the population of Philadelphia.

OMG (3, Funny)

bwintx (813768) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045101)

Life began in skin care products? Bizarre.

/ducks

Re:OMG (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39113885)

Not ducks...though they also exist on ponds.

Darwinism is wacked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045173)

Not science

True: Darwinism isn't science (4, Insightful)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046265)

Darwinism certainly isn't science. Darwin was one fella, whose theories very significantly influenced a scientific discipline known as Biology. I think that the term "Darwinism" is used widely in only two instances: 1) In natural language, when people refer to something/someone stupid that will probably disappear soon due to obvious reasons (see Darwin Awards). 2) By religious people who call evolution theory Darwinism in order to make it appear somehow separate from biology (They know how stupid it'd sound to say "The prevailing theories in Biology are bogus, thus the discipline of Biology is pretty much bogus" so they instead say "Darwinism is jut replacing JESUS with this DARWIN prophet. We can totally refute that without refuting biology!").

Life originated in much colder conditions. (2)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045257)

Judging from my experiments, the early conditions for life must have been similar to the Chinese food containers in the back of my refrigerator. From which two questions remain. 1. How did the refrigerator originate 4.5 billion years ago? 2. Who ordered Chinese?

Re:Life originated in much colder conditions. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045423)

My experience with Chinese food left for too long is that it starts to stink not because of biological processes, but bilological chemistry.
There's way too much Na (salt, msg) and acidity for any kind of life as we know it to develop. The anti-life propensities can be seen from its shrinking the corn and carrots.

Besides, we know from Terry Pratchett that life started from a piece of egg and cress sandwich. This is also proof that the egg was first.

Re:Life originated in much colder conditions. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046697)

My experience with Chinese food left for too long is that it starts to stink not because of biological processes, but bilological chemistry...

My experience with Chinese food left unsupervised is that it mysteriously disappears of its own accord -- That is, according to the testimony of any roommates present.

The real problem with this is.... (0)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045309)

... this planet is not the only thing existing. Meaning life may have come into being in some other, yet to realize, environment and transferred here and else where in any number of ways. Perhaps its more interesting how there are those of the human species bent on killing life.

Or we can go all the way back to before the beginning where there was an absence of anything and all, until that absence became aware of itself and split into the blackboard of existence and the whiteboard of consciousness bot with plenty of space to put and change content. And if you are all that is, how do you know you are or will continue? You have to expand and change the content as a matter of experience..... where life in its limited view of all, provide additional experience.

So, where did life originate? On the blackboard of existence when it became content on the whiteboard of consciousness.
So go forth and multiply life so we can help save the creator of all. And hope the creator doesn't repent their sin against the absence.

Re:The real problem with this is.... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045413)

You will be getting to the point of this at some point in time, won't you?

Life is everywhere (1)

slmdmd (769525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045553)

Depends on perspective. If movement is life then electrons move inside an atom and septillions+ of complex combinations of these movements gives rise to the so called life from human perspective. From non-human universal perspective it appears that the whole universe is alive.

Re:Life is everywhere (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050317)

But movement is not life.

42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045599)

When will you all realize that these scientific hypotheses are all human myths. Slartibartfast had it all right.

Origin of Life in a Sad, Sad State (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045623)

There are so many chicken-and-egg problems in Origin of Life research. Everything is screaming "design" but that's rule out from the outset. So we are left with each hypothesis trying to explain a part but then falling on all the other evidence. Its like playing whack-a-mole.

Good luck to all the naturalistic scenarios.

Re:Origin of Life in a Sad, Sad State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045959)

Yep.... Every time a scientific conclusion (based on observable evidence) tilts the balance back towards design is effectively discounted.

It's usually replaced with an even more outlandish unprovable hypothesis ("infinite universes" comes to mind).....

Huh? (4, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045733)

Why is this idea that life happened *once*? Precursor reactions invariably happened many times all over the place. Who knows how many time it almost began and didn't quite make it, or began and got wiped out. Eventually, obviously, it happened and life fanned out from there. But I'm guessing it happened all over the place and not just one time in one place. The odds would seem to be against that.

Re:Huh? (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045975)

Not only that, but could it be that some of the pieces came from one place and others from others? For example, you could have one set of reactions near hydrothermal vents, filling the ocean with one set of building blocks, and another happening on land. A major land shift or oceanic event then mixes the two sets. Wash, rinse, repeat over a billion years. To me, the argument that it couldn't happen on land because what land there was was too unstable is more an argument that it could happen with pieces coming from both land and sea.

Re:Huh? (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048055)

More to the point. If life started here, why are there not multiple parallel trees of life ? ie. No evidence of other extinct geneses, and no new geneses ?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048393)

Continuing this speculation, why don't we see new life being created today in the mud pools around geothermal vents? Seems like we should be able to go to a place like Yellowstone and find all sorts of crazy new life forms that have never been seen before because they were just created.

Re:Huh? (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053683)

Old life forms have a name for new life forms: They call them "food".

The Truth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045843)

God created the world and everything in it. Stop wasting your time searching for something that isn't true. Give God a chance, and he'll prove his existence to you.

Life is a vague term (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046073)

Are we talking plant or animal? I was under the impression that ocean stromatolites were first.

Re:Life is a vague term (1)

rajanala83 (813645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048877)

We are not talking about plants, or animals, here, but probably bout some kind of precursor to cyanobacteria, which are commonly called blue-green algae, and also occur in stromatolithes.

Strange chemicals lyin' in ponds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046233)

Listen, strange chemicals lyin' in ponds distributin' ions is no basis for a system of life. Supreme biological diversity derives from a mandate from the creator, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

Re:Strange chemicals lyin' in ponds (1)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046561)

Listen, strange chemicals lyin' in ponds distributin' ions is no basis for a system of life. Supreme biological diversity derives from a mandate from the creator, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Idiocracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046273)

Given that statistically there is a higher probability that a tornado could blow through a junkyard and somehow assemble a fully working 747 that flies out the other side than the big bang theory, only proves that the only goal of evolution is an attempt to deny the existence of God.

It's also funny how everyone clings to Darwin's theory, yet he himself accepted Jesus as his lord and savior on his death bed.

God created man in his image, we didn't come from pond or ocean scum!

Re:Idiocracy (2)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048123)

Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, or trolling or whatever, BUT...

The Big Bang Theory (a theory of how the universe in its present state came into being) is not the same as the theory of abiogenesis (the theory of life arising from non-living matter)

Neither the Big Bang theory nor abiogenesis have anything do with the theory of evolution, as evolution has nothing to do with how life or the universe got started. It simply details how life develops once it exists. That you confuse these three theories, and apparently think that they are all the same theory, indicates to me that you really don't understand any of them.

The story of Darwin recanting his theory on his deathbed is false, and was made up by someone who was not even in the room when he passed away. Even if that story were true, that would be no reason to discard the theory, as evidence for it comes from many different sources, and not just from Charles Darwin. He was a scientist, not a prophet.

You don't know that God created man, in his image or not. Assuming there is a God, we could be an unintended by-product of the initial creation of the universe. You simply don't know, and can't know. That it says so in the Bible isn't enough. The contents Bible can't be proven to be true by it simply stating that it's true in those same contents.

I have no problem with you believing whatever you want if it makes you happy. Don't expect me to buy into it as well, though. I certainly don't expect you to believe all the things that I believe, and that includes evolution. It's just a pity that you can't hold on to your faith AND accept that there may be things that the Bible doesn't cover, and that evolution may be one of them. You might lead a happier life that way.

We already knew this (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046333)

Q: You see this? This is you. I'm serious! Right here, life is about to form on this planet for the very first time. A group of amino acids are about to combine to form the first protein - the building blocks...
[chuckles]
Q: ...of what you call "life". Strange, isn't it? Everything you know, your entire civilization, it all begins right here in this little pond of goo. Appropriate somehow, isn't it? Too bad you didn't bring your microscope; it's really quite fascinating. Oh, look! There they go. The amino acids are moving closer and closer, and closer. Ooh! Nothing happened. See what you've done?

spontaneity (1)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046351)

There is no "ideal" condition for the spontaneous generation of life because there is no situation where mere rules can separate laevo-rotary from dextra-rotary amino acids. Randomness = death.

Turbulent conditions necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046571)

You would think extremely turbulent conditions would be necessary for the emergence of life. Thus, it seems likely to me that life emerged near black hole accretion disks, where the black hole was part of a binary star system and its partner went supernova. That would seem to be the ideal condition for the formation of life. All the elements and turbulent conditions you need right there.

Funding needed! (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046703)

Hey, give me $12,000,000 in funding and I'll have an answer for you in 10 years: Which was first, life or land? :>

Seawater then and now (2)

Zharr (879496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046879)

"The study hinges on the observation that the composition of the cytoplasm of modern cells is very different to that of seawater." Seawater now or seawater 4 billyun years ago?

re: Huh? (1)

Zharr (879496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046925)

"Why is this idea that life happened *once*? Precursor reactions invariably happened many times all over the place. Who knows how many time it almost began and didn't quite make it, or began and got wiped out. Eventually, obviously, it happened and life fanned out from there. But I'm guessing it happened all over the place and not just one time in one place. The odds would seem to be against that." True enough. I almost happened several tiems before my parents finally hit the jackpot.

Where does the presumption of no dry land come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39052867)

I like to know where they determined that there was no dry land then? They weren't living then so where do the writer get the presumption from?

lack of land? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053523)

for instance, a lack of land 4 billion years ago would have made it difficult for life to start in such pools."

Unless, of course, land wasn't lacking.

There are two problems with this assertion. First, the near complete absence of any evidence. The oldest unmodified rock is a bit over 3 billion years old. And some heavily modified rock nears four billion years in age. I imagine the most definitive evidence out there would be four billion year old meteors on the Moon (and perhaps other bodies in the Solar System) from Earth. We haven't gotten those yet.

Second, the real problem with this assertion of no land is the idea that the Earth's surface would be level enough that water would cover it all. My take is that continental drift would be operating even back then (though perhaps just starting to push things around). And there would be volcanoes which contribute to an uneven surface. And that gets us to the main point here, namely, that water pools in the lowest places and there probably wasn't all that much of it around then (else there'd be a lot more around now). So I think it's unreasonable to assert that there wouldn't be land, the highest parts of Earth.

No land 4Ga?? (1)

dnrck (973325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39055701)

Who says there was no land 4Billion years ago? I'm standing near some of that age right now.

Cytoplasm/seawater difference is essential (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39056429)

The study hinges on the observation that the composition of the cytoplasm of modern cells is very different to that of seawater.

I always thought this was the whole point.

In animals, the inside our cells has high levels of potassium and low levels of sodium. Outside the cells the sodium concentration is higher (~140mmol/L) and potassium lower (~4mmol/L); there is also an electronegativity difference (i.e. stick a tiny probe inside and one outside the cell membrane and you'll see a voltage). It is like this because of the Na K ATPase pump. The difference between the two concentrations acts as a source of potential energy for other things the cell does. The obvious examples are neurons and muscle cells, but the kidneys, liver, and every other cell uses this concentration gradient.

I imagine that in a primordial soup, the simple lipid micelle that formed with pieces of self-catalysing RNA would use an ion gradient to accomplish reproduction and survival. And when this eventually evolved into a early cell we'd see that difference between cytoplasm and the sea persisting.

Lack of land is not a problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39097271)

Lack of land is not a problem... There is no evidence for life on earth 4 Billion years ago. Earliest evidence of life is 2.5 BYA.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...