In the Beginning....and Still Beginning....Boy, This is Taking A While

Pax Christi, Everyone!

I apologize for my absence. I’ve just been busy, that’s all!

My question for you all is this: Could abiogenesis still be happening on this Earth (I am convinced of it happening in the distant past), and if so, where would we find it?

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Probably not, because basically all of the resources that could go towards that get incorporated into existing organisms.

Medical miracles today?

To flesh out the answer, already existing living things are likely to gobble up any suitable molecules before they have much chance of getting very far towards abiogenesis. Also, if something is already established in a niche, it’s not going to be easy for a newcomer to break into it. Any newly developing life on earth today has to compete with all sorts of already established life forms.

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Would there be an analogy to how quantum particles begin to exist with minimal effect due to already established forms of matter?

I am also convinced of abiogenesis.

The answer is no.

Conditions favorable for abiogenesis are also favorable for living organisms which already exist and thus beginners are not likely to compete well enough to survive. This is why all of life on the Earth has a common ancestry. So this is not just conjecture but one for which we have abundant evidence. Life precludes further abiogenesis in the same place.

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What’s the smallest part of “Life” and what are the minimum properties of that smallest part?

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Old school biology, of which Dawkins is an example, saw cells as the smallest part of life. If abiogenesis is correct, then there is a continuum between life and non-life and thus no smallest part. Life comes from interacting chemical cycles which due to the non-linearity of the laws of nature can acquire a self-organizing behaviors (see chaos science). We see the first element of life when these interacting chemical cycles adapt to changes in their environment with more complexity in their interaction between chemical cycles.

Life is highly quantitative, but not just in the addition of living units but in an increase in living behaviors which include responsiveness, self-maintenance, awareness, independence from the environment, learning, and hierarchical organization. The last of these allow for increased separation between the organism and its environment and thus a greater freedom to act for its own reasons rather than merely as an extension of environmental change.

Perhaps. I can’t say that I see the analogy especially, but analogies are a matter of creativity.

It seems like a good analogy. If biological matter did not exist, abiogenesis might have a chance at occurring. And if physical matter did not exist, quantum particles might react and form more stable particles.

In the heat death of the universe, quantum events can trigger what was described to me as recombination.

Proponents of abiogenesis have not been able to produce any of the three essential chemicals required for abiogenesis in the lab: polypeptides, polynucleotides, polysaccharides. Its not a matter of waiting longer, rather there are no chemical pathways for that. So, yes, if it exists it should happen today (at least its first simple steps), but it doesn’t.

hmmm, even if i did accept Theistic Evolution as a world view, which i do not, I would really struggle to reconcile this with any form of Christian theology.

27So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.e

Now a caveat…I do not think we will ever be able to explain how God created life from the elements. Obviously He did, of that there is not doubt. Its just that turning something non living into living )(ie going from amino acids into living organisms) is a different matter altogether!

Alrighty, with that out of the way…
I think its a stretch top combine a loving God personally creating life, with a chemical process that He supposedly set in motion and then left to the probability of Mathematics to fulfill at some point in the then distant future!

I fail to see how a series of chemical reactions fulfills the above statement from Genesis Ch 1 when considering the theory of Abiogensis below:

In the 1920s British scientist J.B.S. Haldane and Russian biochemist Aleksandr Oparin independently set forth similar ideas concerning the conditions required for the origin of life on Earth. Both believed that organic molecules could be formed from abiogenic materials in the presence of an external energy source (e.g., ultraviolet radiation) and that the primitive atmosphere was reducing (having very low amounts of free oxygen) and contained ammonia and water vapour, among other gases. Both also suspected that the first life-forms appeared in the warm, primitive ocean and were heterotrophic (obtaining preformed nutrients from the compounds in existence on early Earth) rather than autotrophic (generating food and nutrients from sunlight or inorganic materials). Abiogenesis | Definition & Theory | Britannica

EDIT…

isnt it interesting how science seems to indicate that life requires heat to begin, and in the bible fire and heat are what God uses and will use in the future to destroy Satan, the wicked and all evidence of sin!

So, God obviously created abiogenesis!

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IO think that is an argument that some may be able to make.

However, the real problem for me is that no matter what science may attempt to conjur up, Abiogenesis in its current format denies a loving God bending down close to His creation, forming him out of the dust of the earth, and then breathing the breath of life into his nostrils (its the last part that is a significant problem for me)

Perhaps there is a way to illustrate Abiogenesis where each stage of the creation of Adam adhears to the reading of the text using normal understanding of language. The trouble is, when we consider the purpose of Abiogenesis, the entire theory centres around the idea that life came into being all by itself…without any divine input. That is a big problem to be honest.

Also, asd soon as the interpretation of the text goes away from a normal understanding of language…then it becomes irreconcilable theologically.

Given Christianity is a philosophical world view, one cannot simply pretend a normal reading of the writings can be ignored. I hear a lot of online preaches attempt to do that, and in all honesty, these guys are treading into dangerous territory and lead others who trust them astray.

I do not see how you can say that. Just because we understand something does not make it any less a product of God.

We understand the mechanics of the weather system but all the elements to make it still had to be created.

We still cannot deterine what constitutes life. The nearest we get is AI but that involves completely different componants to Natural life. We can manipulate DNA but the workings are already in place. It is more like tuning an engine that building one.

The spark of life? Abiogenesis just claims an imput of energy. like lighting a fire. But surely that is like trying to run a diesel engine on petrol? The type of energy involved is different. Heat is a by-product not the source of life, otherwise fire iteself woulf be alive.

Richard

It could be happening, but as others have noted, it will be quickly eaten by hungry microbes.
I think it might also be hard to recognise new life when we see it. It can be hard to define the point at which a chemical reaction crosses the line to become “alive”.

Actually, producing any of those in lab is not too hard - amino acids, nucleotides, and sugars link up or break apart without too much difficulty. (for example, https://cen.acs.org/synthesis/catalysis/New-method-makes-starch-CO2/99/web/2021/09) But whether the polymers made in lab are actually useful towards life is a different question. How “poly” is also an important question. As far as I know, the largest polymers made so far in lab under plausible abiotic conditions are not very big. Might a planet-sized lab with millions of years to spare make more progress? Perhaps.

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