Spark of life re-created in lab

One of the final ‘bastions’ of religion is the notion life is inherently too complex to have formed on its own, and would have required the nimble fingers of creation to exist. It’s a popular notion that continues to be tested, and recently a team at the University of Manchester have successfully found a process that can transform organic molecules into a sequence similar to that of RNA.

The difficulty facing the team was understanding the sequence of events necessary for these molecules to be arranged in the right order. Their technique involved heating the necessary molecules in water, then allowing it to evaporate, and finally repeating the process. In these conditions, the building blocks of life appear to form quite naturally over time.

Religious folks have a hard time believing life can emerge from simple organic molecules, or non-life as they would call it, but that’s just how nature works. It doesn’t matter if you have a hard time accepting it.

I think we should feel excited at the prospect life can emerge from such a simple series of events. This bolsters our hope that life has developed on other planets. Is life inevitable if all the right ingredients are around? So far the answer is yes, and that is very exciting to us who don’t really need God in the mix. It means at some point in the future we might encounter other intelligent species out in the universe, and that’s a lot more exciting than the thought of a bearded father figure in the sky.

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