Abiogenesis

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Created: February 16, 2016 / Updated: September 29, 2017 / Status: in progress / 4 min read (~796 words)

It is interesting to ponder on how we, as human, have arisen from non-living matter such as organic compounds. One of the reasons it is of interest is that it may teach us lessons that may apply to how intelligence arose from non-intelligent being or how something of one type can transform into something of another type.

  • Intelligence as a tree of life

Abiogenesis is based on the concept of emergence, that is, up until a certain degree of complexity, things aren't considered "biological". But once a threshold is reached, something that was once considered non-biological becomes biological. A simple example of this idea is how a bike chain is composed of multiple smaller units, and alone, they themselves are not a chain.

Biology defines "life" as having the following characteristics:

  • Homeostatis
  • Organization
  • Metabolism
  • Growth
  • Adaptation
  • Response to stimuli
  • Reproduction

Be careful, as the following quotes have been taken from videos that have been claimed to be propaganda from creationists. In this article, I take these claims as facts, but do not consider them as arguments for creationism.

What is the probability of a simple cell, evolving by undirected natural processes? $1$ in $10^{64}$1,

The probability of life, a simple cell, evolving by undirected natural process is $1$ in $10^{340,000,000}$, which is known as operationally impossible1 2.

Abiogenesis assumes that meaningful prescriptive information can be created from a purely physical mechanism, which completely violates the laws of information1 2.

Bernal coined the term biopoiesis in 1949 to refer to the origin of life. In 1967, he suggested that it occurred in three "stages":3

  1. the origin of biological monomers;
  2. the origin of biological polymers;
  3. the evolution from molecules to cells.