THE REAL SCIENCE BEHIND:
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Chemists Find New Evidence That Life Might Have Started in Space: Life's primordial soup could have been ice-cold.
We’re taught that the shift from non-life to life began in the warm, soupy puddles of water that dotted the Earth’s surface. Over millions of years, the Sun shone, molecules formed and dispersed, until one of the billions of biochemical combinations produced a cell that could change the sunlight into energy. The rest is history, right?
But how likely is that, really? First and foremost, if you’re a brand new molecule looking for a food source, the Sun is a poor candidate. That newborn cell, like all cells, is looking for an energy source about one tenth as powerful as a single photon emitted from the sun. As one scientist has suggested, a cell trying to catch the energy in a photon and use it directly to synthesize sugar is like a baseball player trying to catch bullets from a machine gun.
~An excerpt from Sleep of Reason
THE REAL SCIENCE:
Where was the warm little pond? Many scientists believe that it existed on Earth, most likely near hot hydrothermal vents on the seafloor. There’s also a small contingent that believes life emerged on land, among volcanic rocks. But there’s an even smaller — but increasingly confident — contingent that thinks life emerged in space, and evidence published in the Journal of Chemical Physics on Tuesday provides support for their daring hypothesis.
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Margaret Riley is a wordsmith, slow-kayaker, slow-skiier, photographer of strange realities, and a deep believer in the magic of story time.