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The origins of life on Earth The origins of life on Earth
by Joseph Gatt
2021-03-28 10:06:57
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Some biologists like to claim that there was an “Eve mitochondria” or an “Eve cell” that is a “mother of all cells” or the “first cell to have existed.”

I tend to disagree with the assessment.

My assessment would be as follows. First, planet Earth was a rock, probably made of carbon and a few other elements. Now what we know for sure is that before becoming a rock made of carbon planet Earth was a star. What we don't know is whether planet Earth was the result of a collision between a mega star and our Sun, or whether Earth was an asteroid that got trapped by the Sun's energy, or whether planet Earth was a star that cooled down within our Solar System.

origpro00001_400Then, with the Sun's heat, the chemical reaction between the Sun's radiation and the carbon on the ground led to gradual changes. And the first form of life was probably clouds resulting from the interaction between heat and carbon.

The clouds were first carbon clouds before the carbon atoms mutated into oxygen atoms. How did that happen? The atmosphere cloud of carbon trapped the Earth's surface atoms, and after being trapped in there for a few million years an oxygen atom emerged, either as a chain reaction, or in a very gradual process.

Once you have the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen you have water sources developing here and there. But water was not the only thing we had on our planet. When hydrogen mixes with carbon it can also causes magma to emerge, thus volcanoes. And then you have the marriage between hydrogen and nitrogen and carbon and oxygen which gives birth to things like clay, sand, quartz and other types of rocks.

When did cells appear? When elements like carbon, argon, nitrogen and other elements mix, fungi can emerge. As you know, when clay meets air you get fungi. When water meets rocks you get algae.

Eventually, those fungi and algae tried to move out of the way, because more microscopic microbes were eating them. So the first wars were fungi trying to feed on algae and algae trying to defend themselves. And then the mix of microscopic microbes, fungi and algae gave birth to cells that had a vaster capacity of movement, that is cells that could move around for several miles.

And then chemical marriages, cell adaptation, and cell movement gave birth to larger bodies and larger species.

Then you also had the atmosphere play a role. The atmosphere has always been a work in progress. The atmosphere sometimes had to fight steam in excess because of the marriage between heat and bodies of water that are too vast (and that brings about floodings and excess in water). And sometimes the marriage between the Sun's heat and rocks gives birth to volcano eruptions that heat up the planet a great deal. And sometimes absence of heat causes the water to become ice, killing lots of microorganisms.  

Soil erosion is another factor to consider when thinking about the origins of life. At one point, the planet was a vast body of water with perhaps smaller continents. But then continents advanced and oceans receded, because the oceans cooled a bit too much and became ice, and the ice caps eventually melted so much that all that was left was land. And land keeps getting covered in layers, millions of years upon millions of years. So today, planet Earth is probably more elevated by a few hundred miles (or a few thousand miles) than it was a few million years ago.

So in the beginning it was fungi and algae and microorganisms. But you can't say things like “life emerged in Africa” because a few billion years ago there was no Africa. The continents were all over the place. Some say Earth was one giant continent (Pangaea) surrounded by a vast body of water (Thalassa). Others believe that it was several bodies of land surrounded by several bodies of water.

What you also need to know is that the Earth billions of years ago did not have today's shape in terms of the ground. It was probably very hilly, very dusty, and there were lots of craters and it was probably harder to climb that any rock climbers have trouble climbing today.

So the impression I get from evolutionary biologists is they go something like this “Europe, Africa and Asia were quiet, the oceans were quiet, then, bam, the first cell emerged between Madagascar and Mozambique.” Not quite how it works.

But, evolutionary biology can teach us something about how to cure COVID. Each fungi, algae or microorganism has its “genetic imprint” that is each cell has its mitochondria and genetic information encoded.

Some of the genetic information is shared by all bacteria of the same species, while some information is unique to each microorganism.

Once you identify the bacteria's information, genetic code, and “social codes” or how they establish nests in the respiratory system, that's when you can inject anti-bodies to fight and kill the bacteria without damaging the respiratory system and the rest of the body.

It would be interesting to see how progress is being done in labs.

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