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The Origin of Life

Viewed 2374 times 2017-6-28 18:40 |System category:Life

The Origin of Life

If the history of Earth is compared to a 24-hour day, all of human kind's earliest skeleton to the invention of the i-phone, occurred in the last 4 seconds, dinosaurs roamed the earth just 20 minutes earlier, and earth was created more than 23 hours or 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's history can be described by 6 stages of color representation.

Stage 1 is "Black" earth. 4.6 billion years ago, rocks and dust in space formed a molten planet thousands of degrees in temperature. This molten earth gradually cooled to have a solid crust, but with volcanoes still spewing lava onto its surface. The cooled lava formed black basalt. This is the "Black" earth stage.

Basalt is rich in minerals which has chemical and physical properties. As chemical reactions created more new minerals and physical forms, granite became the foundation of earth's continents. This turned earth "Grey". 

The discovery of zircon gem stones, a tiny heavy crystal formed some 4.4 billion years ago which required water for its chemical constitution, indicates that water already existed in earth's very early history. The presence of water would turn earth "Blue". It is possible that life began on earth's watery surfaces and oceans which are rich in minerals, and with chemical reactions and new minerals and new molecules like amino-acids (essential building-blocks for life) being formed, life could have materialized in the hot ancient soups. Explorers have discovered that life exists in dark ocean floors, near to mineral-rich hydro thermal vents with temperatures of over 600 degrees. 

Evidence showed microbial life existed some 3.8 billion years ago. At 4 billion years, earth had oceans and continents much like today, and its atmosphere was heavy with nitrogen and carbon dioxide but lacking in oxygen. Microbial life in the waters learnt to utilize sunlight for energy through photosynthesis, and in the process released new oxygen into the atmosphere. The new oxygen reacted with other minerals to create more new minerals. It is found that ancient meteorites contained only some 250 minerals but earth today contains over 5000 minerals. Dissolved iron found in ancient oceans reacted with the new oxygen turning it into red iron ore, which sank to the bottom of the ocean giving earth its "Red" stage.

As new continents formed and broke apart, this created extremes in climate, and an icy freeze turned earth "White". Under frozen conditions, life was nearly wiped out but active volcanoes still erupted through the icy surfaces spilling hot lava and carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The CO2 rises forming a thermal blanket around the planet and the green house effect eventually melted the ice. The cycles of icy and hot house condition also resulted in more oxygen which led to the existence of bigger animals.

540 million years ago, emerging from "White" earth is the present "Green" earth, with its multitude of life forms. Step by step throughout earth's evolution, minerals and life have sparked the chemical reactions that sculptured the planet and created the lifeforms that we know and understand today. We should recognize the power of life to transform this planet and change the composition of its oceans, atmosphere, and the nature of life on it. There are going to be global changes whose consequences are only beginning to unfold in the epic story of earth's history, a story that began 4.5 billion years ago.

Abstracts of the video:  Origin of Life - How Life Started on Earth

Did the DNA building blocks begin here?

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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  • What Does the DNA Want? 2017-7-5 00:41

    Thanks, @Liononthehunt for sharing your views.

    DNA is actually the product of chemical reactions from the basic building-blocks of elementary particles, to larger molecules and the creation of genes. This DNA build-up eventually led to the conception of a finite life-form, and natural selection is the net 'chemical' attraction of one life-form for another choosing the 'fittest' (containing its personal biological master-plan or diversity among its species) for the survival of that particular species. Biological diversity (creating different species) exists not because of natural selection, but because of the location a species originates from. On a macro scale of life-forms or species, natural selection and survival of the fittest means the lion will kill the deer easily as it is fitter and stronger.  DNA itself doesn't see, and doesn't think, that I agree and may I add, doesn't care either - It just wants to follow the chemical laws!

  • What Does the DNA Want? 2017-7-2 00:09

    Your blog is reminiscent of a book written by Richard Dawkins that is titled The Selfish Genes.
    It is stated in the book genes' ultimate goal is to make sure they can survive and be passed down from generation to generation, and DNA as a genetic element of all living creature, adapts, mutates, or even recycles, by a mechanism called natural selection, and that is why biological diversity exists.
    I just beg to differ on your point of DNA evolving a master-plan to better its chance of survival through copulating with other members of its species, since it is also widely recognized this is the result of natural selection.  DNA itself doesn't see, and doesn't think either.

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