Friday, December 23, 2005

Slashdot | Ingredients of Life Found Around Sun-Like Star

Slashdot | Ingredients of Life Found Around Sun-Like Star: "You and your entropy. Entropy only means that chaos increases if no energy is expended to order the system. Think about a messy room (your mother's basement?). It's going to be messy until someone gets fed up with the smell of rotting pizza crusts, at which point they will expend energy and order the system. The entropy of the room decreases because energy was infused into the system. Entropy always increases, but only on a universal scale because no energy can enter or leave the universe. There is no other system of which that is true.

So now, we can move on to molecular biology. The two abstract things you need for life are the ability to get energy from your environment and a way to order yourself. DNA and proteins do this. Lab experiments have shown that ammonia, water, oxygen and methane, in a closed flask, will generate amino acids if they twirl them around enough and give them some energy (your lightning strike). If these amino acids can make an energy gradient by harvesting electrons from something common on a primordial earth, like Hydrogen Sulfide, then you have energy. And if get an amino acids that can store its code on something like have life. Now, that's a whole lot of ifs. And, taken together, a very low probability. But, like someone else mentioned, these small molecul"

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