Friday, March 28, 2008

Let there be light...

In the natural sciences, abiogenesis is the study of how life on Earth might have emerged from non-life. Scientific consensus is that abiogenesis occurred sometime between 4.4 billion years ago, when water vapor first liquefied, and 2.7 billion years ago, when the ratio of stable isotopes of carbon (12C and 13C ), iron and sulfur points to a biogenic origin of minerals and sediments and molecular biomarkers indicate photosynthesis.

This topic also includes panspermia and other exogenic theories regarding possible extra-planetary or extraterrestrial origins of life, thought to have possibly occurred sometime over the last 13.7 billion years in the evolution of the Universe since the Big Bang.

And now, more information for the model:
A sniff test of water vapor spewing from Saturn's moon Enceladus shows it is gushing with organic molecules, increasing the possibility of life existing somewhere in the Saturn system.

Scientists have been intrigued by the moon since the fountain of water was first spotted in 2005. Now they've identified a soup of prebiotic material there, similar to what's found in comets, from an analysis of data collected by the Cassini spacecraft.

Nobody really knows how life began, but astrobiologists guess it required chemicals like those tasted by Cassini, a little liquid water and some unknown spark.
Contrasting this rock solid, but tentative, science with the discredited Guillermo Gonzalez and his psuedo-scientific, anthropomorphically-centered book, The Privileged Planet, which both absolutely and incorrectly asserts:
By assessing the elements that compose our planet, they argue, we can tell that it was designed for multicellular organic life. The presence of carbon, oxygen and water in the right proportions makes it possible for organic life to exist; and this combination of minerals and chemical elements exists only on Earth.
Of course, what would you expect from someone who was a regular contributor to Facts for Faith magazine produced by Reasons to Believe, an old earth creationist group.

No comments: