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Friday, February 27, 2015

Science is cool: a physics-based explanation of the origin of life.


Finally, a physics-based explanation of the origin of life.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/


Excerpt is the paper's astract:

Self-replication is a capacity common to every species of living thing, and simple physical intuition dictates that such a process must invariably be fueled by the production of entropy. Here, we undertake to make this intuition rigorous and quantitative by deriving a lower bound for the amount
of heat that is produced during a process of self-replication in a system coupled to a thermal bath. We find that the minimum value for the physically allowed rate of heat production is determined by the growth rate, internal entropy, and durability of the replicator, and we discuss the implications of this finding for bacterial cell division, as well as for the prebiotic emergence of self-replicating nucleic acids.


http://www.englandlab.com/uploads/7/8/0/3/7803054/2013jcpsrep.pdf


Here's a simpler interpretation of the paper:  entropy - the loss of heat and structure over time - limits how complex an organizing molecule can be come.  Atoms will always collide to form larger molecules. That probability is 1 over infinite time with trillions of participants.  They collide and get larger naturally.  Think cosmic filament or neutron stars, they collect mass despite electric charge repulsion.

Molecules are continually storing energy as they collide through space. Until they can't any longer.

Entropy makes larger molecules self-replicating at a certain point. They can get no larger so the split off.  When? When they reach halfway- or they double in size.  In that way, it regulates what are spontaneous probable atomic interactions so that smaller clones break off from the upper limit and the cycle continues: now with twice as many participants. Remember, we now have twice as many cloned molecules to start the process over.

The probability goes up as the participant population gets larger.  It is a forever positive trend, rate of change or derivative probability is positive.   Which means it happens, eventually. 

Now, imagine that you are talking about all the carbon atomic reactions.  Over time they become organic chains of the right length. Then we have the beginnings of life. It isn't improbable, it is inevitable.

No creator needed.