the Origin of Life)
by Loren Haarsma, Ph.D.
and Terry Gray, Ph.D.
Is it possible
that simple organic molecules could self-organize into a living, reproducing
organism? Given our current scientific understanding, it is far too
premature to definitely answer either
yes or no.
There are many hypotheses for how first life might self-assemble on the early earth. All of these hypotheses are still speculative. The most widely accepted hypothesis is a multistep process something like this: First, in the right environment (hypotheses include underwater thermal vents, shallow surface ponds, sandy beaches, volcanic craters, clay deposits, and weathered feldspar), simple organic molecules concentrated and self-assembled into strings of nucleic and amino acids (RNA and proteins). Second, when enough of these molecules were concentrated together, they formed an interacting auto-catalytic system that jointly catalyzed their mutual reproduction. Third, these RNA-and-protein catalytic systems evolved, with RNA and eventually DNA taking on the role of information storage, which we see in all living cells today.
This is an excerpt from page 297 of Chapter
9 (Complexity, Self-Organization, and Design) in Perspectives
on an Evolving Creation.
Copyright © 2003 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
(Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA), all rights reserved.
More about Abiogenesis (from later in the same chapter)
MORE ABOUT ABIOGENESIS (by other authors)
Theistic Evolution (from same chapter by Haarsma & Gray)
this page is http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/cheme-lhtg.htm