Today life has conquered every square inch of Earth, but when the planet formed it was a dead rock. How did life get started?
— Read on www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161026-the-secret-of-how-life-on-earth-began
An interesting look at the understanding of how life began on Earth.
Life after people
Not too long ago, I purchased a Sony PS4. It came packaged with the game Horizon Zero Dawn by Dutch game company Guerilla Games. I immediately fell in love with the game, as have many others. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are no longer the dominant species on Earth. As you explore the beautiful open world of Horizon, trying to figure out what happened to the “Old Ones” (that’s us), you often encounter ancient ruins left over from our civilization. And that got me thinking. How realistic are the ruins Guerilla put in the game? And what would Earth really look like in a life after people?
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The linked article by John Rennie in Scientific American was originally published in 2002 but it hasn’t lost any of its actuality nor has it been refuted by creationists. Creationist arguments also haven’t changed significantly since then, demonstrating how they are simply unable to formulate an opposing theory to evolution. I’ve also written some answers to creationists nonsense earlier on this blog and have also explored if creationism is plausible.
Continue reading “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense”
New Scientist has an article announcing that a team of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich has found a plausible way to generate the two purine nucleosides, adenosine and guanosine – A and G in the genetic code. This is a big step to explaining how RNA may have formed spontaneously on the primordial Earth.
RNA molecules are thought to be some of the earliest self-replicators that led to life. Now their building blocks have been made to self-assemble in a lab
Source: Building blocks of life’s first self-replicator recreated in lab | New Scientist
Scientists find translucent fish in a wedge of water hidden under 740 meters of ice, 850 kilometers from sunlight
Source: Discovery: Fish Live beneath Antarctica
An absolutely astonishing find from the web edition of Scientific American. In what has to be one of the most remote and extreme locations on Earth, scientists have not only found microbial life but actually discovered a population of fish. It’s hard to say how long this miniature ecosystem has been cut off from the rest of the world but it’s possible it has been ever since Antarctica has been covered by ice. That would make it about 34 million years!
It’s hard to imagine what these animals have been feeding off of for all that time and the team making the discovery hasn’t been able to answer that question as of yet. It’s possible the ecosystem is sustained by hydrothermal vents.
I was glad to come across this article because just the other day I was watching this documentary about the history of our planet. In it, they showed they explained the Snowball Earth hypothesis, meaning that at least once during it’s 4.5 billion year history, Earth may have been covered by a vast ice sheet for several million years. I couldn’t help wonder at the time of watching how life, which had only just begun, could have survived a period of millions of years on a frozen planet covered in a thick ice sheet blocking out all sunlight and warmth. It seemed somewhat incredibly to me, though I imagine that if some life forms can survive in the harsh environment of outer space, a frozen planet wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
However, this find shows that not only can microbial life survive trapped underneath the ice, even more complex life forms like small crustaceans and fish can survive under certain conditions. So while Snowball Earth may have looked barren and lifeless from space, life underneath the ice could have hung on and diversified. It’s somehow gratifying to think that we might be the descendants of these extreme survivors!