Talk:Abiogenesis

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Some users have noted that many of these questions should be included in the text of Abiogenesis. The reason for their exclusion is discussed below.

The main points of this FAQ (Talk:Abiogenesis#FAQ) can be summarized as:

  • The occurrence of abiogenesis is uncontroversial among scientists.
  • Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy requires that minority views not be given undue emphasis.
  • It is against Wikipedia policy for views without scientific support, such as all known objections to abiogenesis, to be included in a science article like Abiogenesis.

More detail is given on each of these points, and other common questions and objections, below.

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ANI Notice[edit]

Mass extinction section seems pretty tangential[edit]

[edit] was reverted in order to discuss such a big change. I support the proposed deletion since (1) the core article is already pretty long and (2) mass extinctions seems tangential, at best. But here is a good place to make one's views known. --Smokefoot (talk) 15:25, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

I also support that deletion. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:28, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Unless the mention of another topic is directly relevant to the topic at hand, the other topic shouldn't be mentioned.--Mr Fink (talk) 15:34, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - Rv own edit - seems there's sufficient support (and worthy rationale) for removing the text/refs - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 16:00, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Statements about atmospheric composition need another look[edit]

Statement that currently appears twice in the text, in the sections Early Geophysical Conditions, and Current Models.

"However, based on today's volcanic evidence, it is now thought that the early atmosphere would have probably contained 60% hydrogen, 20% oxygen (mostly in the form of water vapour), 10% carbon dioxide, 5 to 7% hydrogen sulfide, and smaller amounts of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, free hydrogen, methane and inert gases."

"The current scientific model, however, is an atmosphere that contained 60% hydrogen, 20% oxygen (mostly in the form of water vapour), 10% carbon dioxide, 5 to 7% hydrogen sulfide, and smaller amounts of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, free hydrogen, methane and inert gases.<ref>{{cite journal |last=Kasting |first=James F. |date=12 February 1993 |title=Earth's early atmosphere |journal=Science |location=Washington, D.C. |publisher=American Association for the Advancement of Science |volume=259 |issue=5097 |pages=920–926 |doi=10.1126/science.11536547 |issn=0036-8075 |pmid=11536547}}</ref><ref>{{cite journal |last1=Trail |first1=Dustin |last2=Watson |first2=E. Bruce |last3=Tailby |first3=Nicholas D. |date=1 December 2011 |title=The oxidation state of Hadean magmas and implications for early Earth’s atmosphere |journal=Nature |location=London |publisher=Nature Publishing Group |volume=480 |issue=7375 |pages=79–82 |doi=10.1038/nature10655 |issn=0028-0836 |pmid=22129728}}</ref>"

This is mainly a list of molecular species rather than elements — e.g. carbon dioxide and methane are listed separately, although they both contain the element carbon. Yet there is a figure for "oxygen (mainly in the form of water")". Water of course contains the element oxygen but oxygen as a molecular species is another matter... I'm left wondering whether the notably high figure for "hydrogen" (60 percent) is supposed to be for molecular H2 only, or is it supposed to include hydrogen atoms in water and other compounds? How come "free hydrogen" is mentioned separately, later in the list?

Re the two citations, I looked at the James Kasting article but couldn't see anything there to justify the figures given. On the contrary, Kasting writes (p 922) "the post-heavy bombardment atmosphere was probably dominated by CO2 and N2, with traces of CO, H2 and reduced sulfur gases".

I haven't accessed the full text of the Dustin Trail article, however the abstract says: "These results suggest that outgassing of Earth’s interior later than ~200 Myr into the history of Solar System formation would not have resulted in a reducing atmosphere." I would have thought 60 percent hydrogen, 20 percent oxygen is pretty reducing??

Looks like something is wrong here... Kalidasa 777 (talk) 23:08, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, you seem to know about the topic and as you know, many articles are written by both experts and not-so-experts, so be bold. About the edits that concern you, one sure clue for suspect content is the term "currently" or "current" or "prevailing", since these temporal terms are often incompatible with an encyclopedia. --Smokefoot (talk) 00:12, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I've just done an edit, keeping James Kasting as a citation. Kalidasa 777 (talk) 00:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)