jump to last post 1-4 of 4 discussions (14 posts)

The impossibly low chance of life evolving by chance

  1. janesix profile image61
    janesixposted 21 months ago

    The chances of life evolving by chance are less than one in 10 to the -1000. That's a ten with a thousand zeros. to compare the number, there are only 10 to the 80 atoms in the entire universe. So the number reaches near impossibility.

    To brush away this impossibility, Eugene Koonin invokes the multiverse,saying that if there are infinite universes, it has to happen sometime in one of those universes. And we are lucky enough to live in that particular universe.

    http://www.biologydirect.com/content/pd … 0-2-15.pdf

    Nonsense. It is obvious that RNA evolved NOT by random chance.

    1. psycheskinner profile image82
      psycheskinnerposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      I must have missed the bit where evolutionary theory posited that random animals survive for no particular reason ("chance").

      1. janesix profile image61
        janesixposted 21 months ago in reply to this

        We aren't talking about evolution of animals. We are talking about how RNA came into being. Natural selection only pertains to reproducing organisms.

        1. Live to Learn profile image82
          Live to Learnposted 21 months ago in reply to this

          And yet, here we are. How do you explain it?

          1. janesix profile image61
            janesixposted 21 months ago in reply to this

            I think evolution is directed by something like morphogenic fields, with attractors leading to specific outcomes.

    2. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      I missed, in your link, the mathematical derivation of that 10^-1000 figure.  Or even the hypothesis concerning the environment to which it applies.  Can you point me to that derivation, either in your link or somewhere else?  I understand that it will require a great deal of mathematical, biological, chemical and geological study and information, but if the figure is actually accurate and derived from known (or even assumed) conditions and probabilities, I've never seen it.

      1. janesix profile image61
        janesixposted 21 months ago in reply to this

        Unfortunately I don't have the link anymore where I got that number. It was from a paper by Dr. Eugene Koonin. I will try to look for it later when I have time. Been busy lately, buying a house, jury duty etc.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 21 months ago in reply to this

          Oh?  They put you on the jury?  I remember you posting about that earlier.  And congratulations on buying a new home - while very trying and stressful, it's a wonderful feeling when you move in!

          But the link - truly, I'm not interested in something picked from the air, a figure made up from imagination.  I've seen a couple of tries to actually provide a calculated number, but the authors have always left out major components in order to prove a point, or have made ridiculous assumptions about the conditions present when it happened.  Still looking for some that actually has the knowledge and ability to provide a realistic calculation of the probability of life beginning, but have about given up hope.

          1. janesix profile image61
            janesixposted 21 months ago in reply to this

            I agree, I'm not sure the number can really even be calculated. It obviously (to me) that there's a lot more going on than "just chance". There are laws of chemistry and biology we are unaware of, in my opinion.

            ( Yes, I got on jury duty! I was surprised but she said I could just call in if I had any problems, so it's pretty cool)

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 21 months ago in reply to this

              Absolutely the laws of chemistry and biology played a part.  As did those of geology, astrophysics and physics. 

              What was the effect on chemical reactions when the gravity of the moon was 10X what it is now and produced 10X the tidal action?  On biological activity?  What was the effect of massive volcanic activity on both?  Of a much younger star?  What did high winds do to the activity?  What about reflected light from a moon 1/10 the distance?  Massive and continual asteroid impacts?  Of a radically different atmosphere?  Much shallower seas?  There's a whole lot to consider and I don't think we have many answers at all.

  2. janesix profile image61
    janesixposted 21 months ago

    "The crucial question, then, is how was the minimal complexity
    attained that is required to achieve the threshold
    replication fidelity. In even the simplest modern systems,
    such as RNA viruses with the replication fidelity of only
    ~10-3, replication is catalyzed by a complex protein replicase;
    even disregarding accessory subunits present in most
    replicases, the main catalytic subunit is a protein that consists
    of at least 300 amino acids [20]. The replicase, of
    course, is produced by translation of the respective mRNA
    which is mediated by a tremendously complex molecular
    machinery. Hence the first paradox of OORT: to attain the
    minimal complexity required for a biological system to
    start on the path of biological evolution, a system of a far
    greater complexity, i.e., a highly evolved one, appears to
    be required. How such a system could evolve, is a puzzle
    that defeats conventional evolutionary thinking."

    From the link

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      Is the 10^-1000 then based on current conditions and organisms - 4 Billion years of environmental change and evolution after the first life?  That doesn't seem like a reasonable path to take to calculate probabilities of life first forming in MUCH different circumstances.

  3. BuddiNsense profile image59
    BuddiNsenseposted 21 months ago

    When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

  4. janesix profile image61
    janesixposted 21 months ago

    at least one RNA encoding a replicase, ~500 nucleotides
    (low bound)is required. In the above notation, n = 1800,
    resulting in E <10-1018.

    The calculation was at the very end of the paper, in the appendix.

 
working