Talk:Origin of life

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As a result of a discussion elsewhere, I have expanded the page and added to its references. Since the not very good page Abiogenesis was brought over from English wiki, there was a need for something simpler and more readable. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:07, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't think we should have two versions of the same article. We are supposed to maintain a simpler version of the English Wikipedia's article. So if Abiogenesis is too complex then it needs to be simplified rather than split off into a separate page. I'm willing to help with this if it's needed. Osiris (talk) 03:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
However, guidelines are not mandatory. It is not just a question of simplifying Abiogenesis; it is a poor page from start to finish, based on a poor page on English wiki. It should never have been brought over in that condition. And almost no-one uses that title; virtually all the books and papers use "origin of life". I would like to see Abiogenesis deleted completely, but I know it will never get through our process. We were never able to delete the appalling chemistry articles brought over by a certain former editor, despite their being totally incomprehensible even to editors with a fair grasp of chemistry. There's also the question of "is it really worth the time and trouble it would cause?". Where we are now is that we have one good simple page with the title most readers will search for. I would not want to lose that. Macdonald-ross (talk) 03:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I was surprised to find two pages here as well, although it doesn't matter to me which title is used as long as there is a redirect. (I'm one of the editors at the enwiki Abiogenesis article, and I agree that it could use a lot of work, but I don't think it's terrible.) For context, the discussion at enwiki that merged the two articles is here. My main concern is that the current article here is inaccurate; there is no such thing as a "protein world hypothesis," and certainly nothing that is mainstream. There are metabolism first models, which are different. However, the RNA world is the leading candidate by a considerable margin; the most interesting questions now lie in whether anything came before it. This is something the enwiki articles don't currently represent very well either. Sunrise (talk) 06:55, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
The title isn't a problem – we can maintain the content under whichever title we want, but there shouldn't be two articles covering the same topic. We need to decide what content is acceptable from either article and merge them together. If "Origin of life" is the best title, then "Abiogenesis" is the redirect. If there is nothing on Abiogenesis that is worth keeping, then we should just redirect the page (athough I'm sure there are some things that could be put to use). Osiris (talk) 07:08, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Very well, if you insist. I will take parts from Abio and put them into Origin of Life. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

break for real life...[change source]

I'm taking a much-needed break now; please put comments here rather than make changes directly on the page.

The article is now 21 kilobytes, where Abiogenesis was originally 70 kilobytes. Obviously further edits are needed to help the page be more readable, but I have cut the real horrors out. Whether it is better than my shorter version is a matter of opinion, I guess. Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:03, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. What about this "protein world hypothesis" section that Sunrise is objecting to above? Are there some reliable sources that verify the information there? Osiris (talk) 03:40, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
It's really the same thing as "metabolism-first world", because energetic metabolism is carried out by protein-based enzymes. It's just a way of saying "this model has such-and-such an emphasis". Obviously, none of the models is really convincing in detail. I'll deal with references a bit later. Macdonald-ross (talk) 04:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
No, it really isn't the same thing. :-) Today, biological function is carried out (primarily) through proteins, but "metabolism first" is broader than that. (This is not to say that proteins did not, in fact, come first - but like I said, the RNA world is actually quite convincing.) I would definitely be interested in any source that equates metabolism-first with the term "protein world." Note that the term "protein world" may also be used to refer to proteins in general, or to what came after the RNA world, e.g. here. (I know that's a primary source - I'm just giving an example.)
As an aside, the two points mentioned in the article do not appear to form a biological argument to the effect that proteins may have come first. (Although to be honest, if I were not already familiar with the literature I would not have been able to reconstruct the arguments for the RNA world from the current text either. The key idea is that since RNA is capable of both heredity and enzymatic activity, a lifeform based on RNA would require only one main type of molecule.) Regardless, I am also about to take a wikibreak, so I will see you later. :-) Sunrise (talk) 04:42, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

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M-r, the reference you have just added is a useful one for this topic, but it does not support the statement. It does not contain the term "protein world." Sunrise (talk) 01:14, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Comments[change source]

I think this has been a particularly difficult page to manage. The lack of suitable textbooks and overviews has contributed to this. I have added panspermia, plus a redirect, since we have no other link for this term. I think we should lower the temperature here if possible, and would ask for useful references not to be removed. They are hard enough to find as it is.

I notice in the English wiki there is on its Panspermia page a section Pseudo-panspermia, which has an interesting survey of complex organic molecules found in space: en:Panspermia#Pseudo-panspermia. It contains much interesting recent material. I wonder if we should have a "space molecules" page? Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:24, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Creationism[change source]

This page is rather incomplete without any mention of religious views on the origin of life. Not so much as a "see also" link. Creationism is not a credible theory, but pretending nobody believes it is unhelpful... 163.1.153.58 (talk) 10:28, 7 May 2017 (UTC)