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.

Information.svg To view the response to a question, click the [show] link to the right of the question.

Derivation of the name needed.[edit]

In common with many such articles, there should be a discussion of how the name is created:

a - not bio - life, living genesis - creation.

Thus, a-bio-genesis is a creation (of life is implied] from well, non-life. My Ancient Greek is not good enough to do this exactly :D — Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.218.196.176 (talk) 05:57, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Verb in lead defintion[edit]

Writing:

  • "natural process by which life arises from non-living matter"

makes it sound as if this happens inevitably or routinely, whereas science concludes it was a very difficult, ancient event, which no longer occurs naturally due to competition from already existing life. This inaccurate impression could give a point of attack for creationists.

I propose changing the text to clarify the precise question:

  • historical: "natural process by which life arose from non-living matter"
  • experimental: "natural process by which life can arise from non-living matter"; how it could be done in a modern experiment, independent of how it originally happened
  • both: "natural process by which life arose or can arise from non-living matter"

The last one seems to best describe the scientific inquiry on this subject. Opinions? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Magyar25 (talkcontribs) 17:11, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

How many times did life appear on Earth?[edit]

ISTM that this is an interesting question which deserves some discussion. If life appeared once on Earth, did it also appear more than once? Do we have any evidence or reasoning for an answer? I have no citations for an answer, but I recall the argument being that once life was established any new appearance of precursors of life would be quickly consumed by established life forms. TomS TDotO (talk) 22:24, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

I can't find anything worthwhile on it either. A search elicits a lot of creationist material. As for why it isn't happening now, the instant consumption of materials is one reason, as you say; and were any new, ultra-simple life form to appear, it would be outcompeted in every way by all the species around it. Without reliable sources, this won't go in the article any time soon. And for any IP editors wishing to talk about this, this talk page is NOT A FORUM. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:50, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Spin off earliest life article[edit]

We could spin Earliest biological evidence for life on Earth off as its own article. This article is strictly about the origin of life, not the earliest life. The earliest life discovered is likely many millions of years after the event. Harizotoh9 (talk) 06:25, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, we'll certainly not find the first living thing as a fossil; nor is the LUCA equivalent to it. I'm not sure the title is quite right, however: it isn't the evidence which is early, and is palaeontological or geological evidence "biological"? Perhaps something like Earliest life forms would work. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:22, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
It would have to be something like Earliest known life forms or something, since these aren't the earliest lifeforms, but just the ones we know. Harizotoh9 (talk) 16:24, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, go for it. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:25, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, I kinda don't know how to spin off articles actually. I'm not a scientist either, so I am not sure on what title to go with. Harizotoh9 (talk) 22:46, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

@Chiswick Chap and Harizotoh9: FWIW - yes - *entirely* agree - created the "Earliest known life forms" article - for starters only => copied brief passages from several relevant articles, including Abiogenesis and Outline of life forms - hope this helps in some way - Comments Welcome - and as well - help in developing the newly created article, if possible, Welcome also of course - in any regards - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:28, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

@Drbogdan, not quite done, there are three broken citations. Smile, enjoy, etc etc. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:15, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
@Chiswick Chap: Thank you for the note - my previously added "done" template referred to the creation of the article - not the finished article - which may be ongoing at the moment - note: unable at the moment to locate any broken citations in the "Earliest known life forms" article => more specific details welcome - Thanks in any regards - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:23, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
@Chiswick Chap: Brief followup - ok - located all three broken citations - all citations have been repaired - and now seem ok - please let me know if otherwise - Thank you *very much* for your help with this - it's *greatly* appreciated - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:58, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Now that there is a dedicated article, we can reduce the section on earliest life in this article. Abiogenesis overlaps with discoveries about earliest life, but this article is about abiogenesis itself. Harizotoh9 (talk) 20:49, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Thermodynamic dissipation[edit]

This section describing the origin of life as an irreversible thermodynamic process has been unfairly deleted by an editor without due regard to the importance of this physical-chemical perspective. When the section was first published over 4 years ago, there was a request by a managing editor for a thermodynamic viewpoint on the origin of life in the Abiogenesis article. If any new editor has any questions or doubts about this section, which has been part of the Abiogenesis page for over 4 years, it should be discussed and a consensus arrived at, not simply deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ksarasofi (talkcontribs) 06:27, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Material sourced only to primary scientific literature is inappropriate for Wikipedia, a tertiary source. Secondary and tertiary sources must be provided when challenged. Any editor can challenge such sources, which is what I am doing. The challeged user (that's you) must provide adequate secondary sources. Also, the material is sourced to a single author, which runs afoul of WP:UNDUE. This article is overlong enough. Also, it's pretty obvious that you are Karo Michaelian. Abductive (reasoning) 06:47, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
To suggest that I removed improperly sourced content without due regard to its importance is total nonsense, as explained in my edit summary, viz ... This section is totally reliant on primary sources, and they all are lead authored by the same person. Not acceptable to rely on primary sources in this way. Do not re-insert this content without better sourcing. Also, what is a "managing editor"? -Roxy the dog. bark 17:16, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Then you should have suggested changes to improve the article and not simply deleted it. Deleting a scientifically valid and verifiable perspective on an important problem in this manner could be construed as either censorship or even vandalism. By the way, are you the same editor with two different usernames "Abductive" and "Roxy the dog"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ksarasofi (talkcontribs) 07:34, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

I have now re-written the "Thermodynamic dissipation" section, including new sourcing to secondary and tertiary levels. This in response to the criticisms of editor "Roxy the dog"/"Abductive". In fact, the sourcing to Michaelian and collaborators now becomes secondary to the primary sources of Boltzmann, Onsager, Prigogine, Schrödinger and others. I have also reduced the size, leaving out unnecessary details. If any editor is still not satisfied with these changes, please do not delete them but instead use this Talk page to suggest improvements. I believe that a non-equilibrium thermodynamic perspective on the origin of life is essential to a complete description of this very important problem. Ksarasofi (talk) 04:20, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

  • At the very least, this section is overlong. I am sure User:Ksarasofi won't mind if editors trim out some of the excess verbiage? Abductive (reasoning) 22:10, 14 March 2017 (UTC)