Xeno's strange news awards blog.
… Scientists have debated for years the various possibilities that could have led to life evolving on Earth, and the arguments have only grown more heated in recent years as many have suggested that it did not happen here it all, instead, it was brought to us from comets or some other celestial body. Most of the recent debate has found scientists in one of three chicken-or-the-egg first camps: RNA world advocates, metabolism-first supporters and those who believe that cell membranes must have developed first.
The chemists with this new effort believe they have found a way to show that all three arguments are both right and wrong—they believe they have found a way to show that everything necessary for life to evolve could have done so from just hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide and ultraviolet light and that those building blocks could have all existed at the same time—in their paper, they report that using just those three basic ingredients they were able to produce more than 50 nucleic acids—precursors to DNA and RNA molecules. They note that early meteorites carried with them ingredients that would react with nitrogen already in the atmosphere, producing a lot of hydrogen cyanide. By dissolving in water, it could have very easily come into contact with hydrogen sulfide, while being exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. And that, they claim, would have been all that was needed to get things going. …
We and other animals naturally produce some hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in our bodies and the gas may be used to regulate metabolic activity and body temperature.
In 2005, it was shown that mice can be put into a state of suspended animation-like hypothermia by applying a low dosage of hydrogen sulfide (81 ppm H2S) in the air. The breathing rate of the animals sank from 120 to 10 breaths per minute and their temperature fell from 37 °C to just 2 °C above ambient temperature (in effect, they had become cold-blooded). The mice survived this procedure for 6 hours and afterwards showed no negative health consequences. In 2006 it was shown that the blood pressure of mice treated in this fashion with hydrogen sulfide did not significantly decrease. – wikipedia
Now go have a word with the people who claim life is impossible from unaided chemistry: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/origin-of-life.html
In this modern reality we understand that self-organizing systems like snow-flakes, lipids, and DNA do not require anything but local atomic forces to assemble into wonderful complexity from what appears to be a more disordered state. The thing my Christian friends don’t understand is that on a small scale, it just requires less energy for an atom to bind in a certain way to another atom and the result of the collection of these lower energy states is a large ordered structure.
The watch analogy they use (watches are so complicated that they must have a maker) is not accurate because watches are not self-organizing systems as we are.
Here is an example of self organization modeled on a large scale with magnets. Atoms bumping around at random and being jostled by external forces from time to time will assemble into different ordered states based on local environmental conditions.