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Life may have emerged over 4 billion years ago

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The further back in time the origin of life on Earth, the more inevitable life appears to be throughout the rest of the universe. The ease and rapidity with which life seemed to begin on Earth, even under conditions very different, and much less favorable than those that exist today, the more frequently it can be expected to exist on other worlds. 

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Or at least life existed elsewhere. You'd think by now we would have "heard" or "seen" something to indicate a sentient species somewhere other than here. Perhaps they aren't as far in the development stage as we or they wiped themselves out as we keep threatening to do or something wiped them out or they are just ignoring us. If they are. you can't really blame them.

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We haven't been particularly good at hearing or seeing signs of intelligent life at stellar distances, until very recently. We're getting better at this, all the time, but still have a lot of combinations of radio and optical frequencies, sky directions, power levels, modulation schemes, schedules of transmission, etc., to explore. Dr. Jill Tarter, of the SETI Institute has likened this to dipping a glassful of water out of the ocean, finding no fish in it, and concluding that there are no fish in the ocean.  

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Good comments to an admittedly difficult topic.

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We keep reading that life started futher and further back but in real terms they haven't a clue when life started or how it started so all these theories are guesswork by guys who have nothing better to do.

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4 Billion years? That's pretty much how old I feel.

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On 9/29/2017 at 3:52 PM, spud the mackem said:

We keep reading that life started futher and further back but in real terms they haven't a clue when life started or how it started so all these theories are guesswork by guys who have nothing better to do.

Well, scientists have more than a clue about when life started, as the article linked in the OP indicates, partly because of other factors such as the timing of the Late Heavy Bombardment. Sure, there aren't yet any clear answers about how life started, although there are a few theories. And these theories provide ideas about what the earliest evidence for life would look like. So it's wrong to say it's "guesswork" - they're making educated guesses.

Dating rocks, for example, is these days a fairly uncontroversial part of palaeontology, so scientists can usually provide reasonably narrow limits for dating fossils or other things.

As for the "guys who have nothing better to do", would you care to explain what that's about?

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Posted (edited)

Was the Sun able to emit enough energy for Earth to sustain life 4 billion years ago?

 

Edited by Ogbin

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15 hours ago, Ogbin said:

Was the Sun able to emit enough energy for Earth to sustain life 4 billion years ago?

 

I am only guessing but I would think that the Sun was much warmer 4 billion years ago, and the atmosphere would be nothing like it is today.

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On 3/10/2017 at 7:05 PM, spud the mackem said:

I am only guessing but I would think that the Sun was much warmer 4 billion years ago, and the atmosphere would be nothing like it is today.

Actually the Sun was cooler in the beginning of the solar system, something like 70% of today, but as you say the Earths athmosphere was different back then and contained a lot more CO2 than today, and that would have helped to keep the Earth nice and warm. The Earth didn't have a breathable athmosphere until about 600 million years ago.

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There are more clues than that. The Miller-Urey volcanic spark experiment of 1959 was reproduced at Livermore Labs. The first amino acids were, in order of abundance, especially dominated by glycine and beta-cyanoalanine. Glycine has unique folding capabilities, and the cyano moiety certainly contributed to oxygen-free respiration in these organisms. Proteins folding on the crusty edge of a volcano translates the geography precisely to the target zone:

 

www. for "The Volcanic Margins of the Northern Labrador Sea: Insights to the Rifting Process."

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