Scientists solve the mystery of how the Earth was transformed

Of all the scientific mysteries, this is probably the greatest one of all ”“ how did life on Earth begin? We are not talking about how it evolved into the diversity of lifeforms we see today. We are talking about how it originated in the first place.

For all his immense insight into evolution, Charles Darwin himself was stumped. He suggested that whatever the mechanism was that had led to the first replicating lifeforms, it most probably arose in some “warm little pond”, a primordial soup of pre-biotic ingredients where the seed of life first germinated on the early Earth.

Now scientists have developed an experiment demonstrating how the very first self-replicating molecules may have formed about 4 billion years ago when the Earth was like any other lifeless planet that had yet to experience the radical transformation of living, breathing creatures.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

10 comments on “Scientists solve the mystery of how the Earth was transformed

  1. Jon says:

    Interesting piece. I’m always interested in this sort of thing, but it’s worth pointing out that my interest in science is simply a private hobby, no different really than another man’s interest in sailing or jazz or Italian cooking. These kind of developments, in other words, are interesting if you already care about the field in question, but they don’t really mean much otherwise.

    Most importantly, they don’t have any significant interest for us as Christians. That really needs to be said. Atheism has been a viable and intellectually respectable option for hundreds of years, well before Darwin and after. Likewise Christianity’s belief in a creator God, if true, is not in the least affected by this development. If the scientists succeed in what they are trying to show, it tells us absolutely nothing about whether there was a God who planned this or not.

    So three cheers for science. I love it. It’s great and always worth doing. But so is the music of Duke Ellington and making an amazing dish of pasta. The key thing is to keep all these great activities in their proper sphere.

  2. Pam C. says:

    There is nothing that has been, or will be discovered that contradicts the reality of God since God is the creator of all things. It is our understanding of the how of it all that is lacking.

  3. justice1 says:

    I think the title of the article is rather bold – how about “Scientists make two of the building blocks of RNA in a lab.”

    I also found this quote helpful from one of the scientists:

    [blockquote] “We haven’t yet made the RNA molecule itself but we’ve made two of the four sub-units or building blocks. It suggests that making the molecule is possible. The building blocks are strung together and doing that is actually easier than making the building blocks themselves,” he said. [/blockquote]

    Note that the key word here is “made”. I wonder if they can see this obvious fact? If anything in their experiment becomes “self-replicating” it would have been “made” first. I think that any primordial soup experiments should at least take this reality into account before referencing Darwinian Evolution.

  4. Br. Michael says:

    Well, the article is not clear on what they did. All this is speculation. That is a guess. It shows what scientists can do in a 21st Century laboratory, but it tells us very little about what happened billions of years ago in the real environment.

  5. Alice Linsley says:

    RNA and DNA are quite distinct and serve different functions. This article presents nothing but speculation. For facts, you might read this:

  6. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    Seems to me- as a non scientist- that what this demonstrates is that RNA can be produced from chemicals. But what does that actually show? An almighty supposition is made- and we are asked to simply accept it- that is was RNA that spawned life.

    Maybe and maybe not….we will never know. But clever none the less

  7. Craig Goodrich says:

    The Independent article is somewhat confused and vague on what the Sutherland team actually did. A somewhat better description is at .

  8. Br. Michael says:

    [blockquote] “By changing the way we mix the ingredients together, we managed to make ribonucleotides,” said Sutherland. “The chemistry works very effectively from simple precursors, and the conditions required are not distinct from what one might imagine took place on the early Earth.”
    Like other would-be nucleotide synthesizers, Sutherland’s team included phosphate in their mix, but rather than adding it to sugars and nucleobases, they started with an array of even simpler molecules that were probably also in Earth’s primordial ooze.[/blockquote]

    A lot of imagines and probablies in this article. All it shocw is that you can do this in a modern laboratory.

  9. libraryjim says:

    [i]Now scientists have developed an experiment demonstrating how the very first self-replicating molecules [b]may have formed[/b][/i]

    That’s all I had to read. [i]MAY HAVE[/i] is not the same as ‘solving’ and saying “This is definitely how it happened”.

    BTW, I was also going to quote the joke about God, the scientist and dirt. 🙂

    Jim Elliott