Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Second Comment on ENV - New Scientist Weighs in on Origin of Life

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<blockquote><i>JonathanM naively assumed back then that a severe difficulty with the RNA
world was that you would have to first separately assemble base, ribose, and phosphate, and
then assemble all three.</i></blockquote>

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure producing <b>some</b> nucleotides (half in this case)
under <b>heavily orchestrated</b> conditions (manipulating pH, temperature, and UV
radiation levels) doesn't make his claim about <b><i>prebiotic</i></b> conditions any less
 true.

I found the following statement Charles Garner made a few years ago pretty relevant to this:

<blockquote>"The starting materials are "plausibly" obtainable by abiotic means, but need to
 be <b>kept isolated</b> from one another until the <b>right step,</b> as Sutherland
admits." [<i>emphasis mine</i>]</blockquote>

So do they only form independently or is the Sutherland paper just another case of citation
bluffing?

<blockquote><i>This shoots his credibility; scientists are supposed to admit their
mistakes.</i></blockquote>

I can agree with this, but deciding who is losing credibility is where we part ways.

In the meantime I would like to note that I envy you Jonathan M. I hope to acquire the same
depth of knowledge myself so I can put it to use and disseminate it to others.

- From behind seven proxies of course.
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