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Why life originated (and why it continues)? January 3, 2009

Filed under: biology,chemistry,evolution — Radiance @ 6:27 AM

Why Life Originated (And Why it Continues)

(PhysOrg.com) — Today, scientists understand pretty well how life evolves, by mechanisms based on Darwin’s theory of natural selection for survival of the fittest. However, Darwin’s 1859 classic, On the Origin of Species, somewhat ironically doesn’t answer that very question – how species actually originated. And to this day, how that first tiny pool of chemicals twitched to life remains a puzzle.”

This interesting article shares with us recent research and a theory based on it put forth by a father-son duo Erkki Annila of the Finnish Forest Research Institute and Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki, that offers some insight into the general driving force of life’s origins in terms of thermodynamics. And makes the quest for the origin of life seem a futile endeavor. According to their theory, all chemical reactions follow the basic laws of thermodynamics and there can be no distinction between the reactions that cause life and the others. All molecules keep reacting till they reach the state of least free energy and most entropy. When reacting in this manner, some chemical reactions lead to complex enough “entities” that can be called “alive”.

For more, read their original publication Annila, Arto and Annila, Erkki. “Why did life emerge?” International Journal of Astrobiology 7 (3 & 4 ): 293-300 (2008).

 

 

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