Physics, chemistry, light, and life

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: May 5, 2015

Making Sense of the Chemistry That Led to Life on Earth

By NICHOLAS WADE,  May 4, 2015


He and colleagues have spent the last six years doing experiments to see how the ribonucleotide chemistry pathway can be linked back to hydrogen cyanide as its starting point, and how other significant prebiotic chemicals might have emerged from the cyanide-to-nucleotide pathway.

My comment: The starting point was UV light. See: Origin-of-life puzzle cracked

Sutherland’s team now reports that it created nucleic acid precursors starting with just hydrogen cyanide (HCN), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and ultraviolet (UV) light. What is more, Sutherland says, the same conditions also create the starting materials for amino acids and lipids.

See my comments and comments by Klaus Moll. For example, he wrote:

The study under scrutiny was not about specific observations on the later stages of biological development however useful these studies most certainly are. It adressed the probability of the origin of life on which the opinion are highly divided for lack of solid information.

My comment: The study under scruitiny addressed the probability that the light-induced de novo creation of amino acids is an anti-entropic epigenetic link to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all genera. That likelihood has been removed by others, like Nicholas Wade, who reports that “…the ribonucleotide chemistry pathway can be linked back to hydrogen cyanide as its starting point…” as if UV light was not the starting point.

Dr. Sutherland’s report “lays out for the first time a scenario for generating potentially all of the building blocks of life in one geological setting,” said Jack W. Szostak, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital who studies the origin of life. “The details of the scenario will be debated for some time, but over all, I think it’s a very big advance,” he said. Dr. Szostak shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009 for the discovery of the mechanism that protects the ends of chromosomes.


Life may still be unlikely, but at least it’s beginning to seem almost possible.

My comment: The problem for evolutionary theorists is that the origin of life is not possible without the sun’s biological energy. That fact links the de novo creation of amino acids to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions and cell type differentiation in all cells of all individuals of all genera via the biophysically constrained chemistry of nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated protein folding and the physiology of their reproduction, which enables fixation of the amino acid substitutions and biodiversity.

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