Origin of Life

  • If someone use Pasteur as an argument in a discussion about the origin of life (or evolution more generally) you know that you are talking to an ignorant. Recent theories of the Origin of Life does NOT state that modern cells arise spontaneously.
  • If someone say that 'Life always come from Life' you should correct them: 'Cellular life always come from Cellular life'.
  • If someone they says 'Information always comes from an intelligence' (or 'an information giver' or something like that) point to this (full text here) description of production of random, functional RNAs, clearly containing information.
  • If someone shows you a calculation of the probability of a specific amino acid sequence occurring at random, congratulate them for the correct calculation, and tell them that it is utterly irrelevant. Two proteins with the same function, can have completely different sequences.


The RNA-World

Here Jack Szostak Explains the details of the RNA-world hypothesis.
Scroll down for a number of links to more information. Here is more videos with Szostak on the Origin of life.

In short

Theories of origin of life concentrates on the so-called RNA-world.
RNA-molecules can carry both genetic information at act as an enzyme at the same time.
In short, the RNA-world builds on the idea that an RNA-molecule with the ability to function as an RNA-polymerase can reproduce other RNAs. Under the right conditions, the result will be exponential growth of the RNA-polymerase.

Before this system can arise, self-synthesis of nucleotides, and self-assembling of RNA much take place.

All three processes have been investigated, and progress have been made in all the fields.


Here is one of the most recent publicly available articles. And here is the AiG comment.
Wikipedia has a very detailed description, though some of the latest achievements are missing.
e.g. look here (A rather technical paper. Needs Login, but its free)
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has a, unfortunately somewhat outdated, chapter from a textbook on the topic, here.
TheScientist has a introduction here.
Here is a fairly recent paper on the topic.
There are also scientific critics. Here is one example.