We’ll examine the formation of the essential functional polymers of life — proteins, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), and RNA (ribonucleic acid). How might these extraordinarily complex molecules have formed in oceans, lakes, or ponds from simple, naturally occurring molecular building blocks like sugars and amino acids? What is life? How does it operate? Could life originate by strictly natural means?
Three Scientific Discoveries
Darwin’s theory of evolution and the development of the second law of thermodynamics by Boltzmann and Gibbs are two of the three major scientific discoveries of the 19th century. Maxwell’s field equations for electricity and magnetism are the third.
True Everywhere in Life
This simple analogy illustrates what is true of all living systems: they can only live by having access to energy and a means of converting this energy into the alternative forms of energy or work required to oppose the pull toward thermodynamic equilibrium, from complexity to simplicity.
To Utilize and Store Energy
To summarize, plants can utilize solar energy to levitate above thermodynamic equilibrium. Nonliving objects such as mountains, oceans, rocks, sand, and soil have no need for such complexity; they do not store chemical energy like plants do; nor can they process solar or other forms of energy. Living matter is much more complex (e.g., RNA, DNA, protein, etc.), needing as it does to be able to utilize and store available energy from the sun or from the consumption of plants and animals.
What say you?