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  • mike@usinter.net
    http://www.chemistry.ucsc.edu/teaching/Winter02/Chem1C/Lect.10.htm Time to talk about the evolution of ATP in the context of Gaia. Again, the basic ID
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2004

      Time to talk about the evolution of ATP in the context of Gaia.

      Again, the basic ID creationist argument is implausible complexity.
      IOWs, these chemical processes couldn't have happened by blind

      The above link talks about the energies and chemistry of ADP. This is
      well known information and taught at every university and college and
      even in modern high school chemistry and biology classes. I simply
      want to talk about how it likely evolved, as opposed to
      implausibly "appeared" as the creationists surmise.

      Many basic physiological phenomena invoke thermal cycling.
      Biochemical regulatory mechanisms such as regulation by protein
      phosphorylation can be interpreted as methods for mimicking thermal
      cycling that were acquired later in evolution during the transition
      from living at a fluctuating temperature to living at a constant

      The heat engine. At a first glance the proposed similarity between
      heat engines such as the steam engine and biochemical objects may
      seem farfetched. In the steam engine water is thermally cycled:
      liquid water is heated in a boiler, and evaporates, turns into steam -
      a phase transition; the expanding steam performs external work; in
      the condensor the steam turns again into liquid water, the reverse
      phase transition. In gaia a protein is similarly thermally cycled,
      and undergoes a phase transition-like process as well (to an unfolded
      respectively more fluid state). The external work is done during the
      release of the synthesized ATP. In a steam engine the product, work
      that is done, is obtained at the outside of the system, while in
      early Gaia the product is formed within the system where ADP and
      phosphate are 'pushed together' to form the ATP that is later

      The process of producing ATP is in simple form about the burning of
      sugar. As a sugar burns, it gives off CO2 and water. The water is
      meaningless here because in a marine environment, salts diffuse with
      the water. The significant chemical is CO2 as a "waste" product. So,
      you have a protein that becomes more fluid and a surface tension
      brought about by CO2 as a bubble, and a ride that is about to occur--
      as the nucleotide complex rises to the surface where it becomes much
      more probable that the complex is swept up by ambiant winds to become
      sorted by the cirrus, and to feedback living temperatures and
      chemistries. The increase in the temperature of the complex and its
      surrounding gases would also operate to levitate the complex to the
      marine surface, so the heat engine has caused an increased
      probability of capture by the nucleotide complex to the surface--
      IOWs, hot air rises.

      The next question--where does the sugar come from? On the early Earth
      there was much more energy available in ultraviolet light than in
      lightning discharges. At long ultraviolet wavelengths, in which
      methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen are all transparent, but in
      which the bulk of the solar ultraviolet energy lies, the gas hydrogen
      sulfide (H2S) is a likely ultraviolet absorber. Again, it should be
      pointed out that gases and lightning are tied together by surface
      tension properties which would rise up the nucleotide complexes to
      the marine surface to be swept by winds and then sorted by cirrus.

      Carl Sagan et al made amino acids by long wavelength ultraviolet
      irradiation of a mixture of methane, ammonia, water, and H2S. The
      amino acid syntheses, at least in many cases, involve hydrogen
      cyanide and aldehyde such as formaldehyde as gaseous intermediaries
      formed from the initial gases. UV light, of course, would be a fair
      weather occurrance, as it is blocked by clouds. So, again, we are
      talking about chemistry occurring relative to gas bubbles suspended
      on the surface tension of those bubbles, and having that buoyant
      force -- causing the complex to rise to the surface.

      Amino acids, particularly biologically abundant amino acids, can be
      made so readily under simulated primitive conditions. When laboratory
      conditions become oxidizing, however, no amino acids are formed,
      suggesting that reducing conditions were necessary for prebiological
      organic synthesis and, hence, the importance of electro chemical
      conditions. This is another hint at the importance of sugars
      burning . . . and electrons added via strikes to the soap, which
      could have produced a relatively basic pH.

      Under alkaline conditions, and in the presence of inorganic
      catalysts, formaldehyde spontaneously reacts to form a variety of
      sugars, including the five-carbon sugars fundamental to the formation
      of nucleic acids and such six-carbon sugars as glucose and fructose,
      which are extremely common metabolites and structural building blocks
      in contemporary organisms. Furthermore, the nucleotide bases as well
      as porphyrins have been produced in the laboratory under simulated
      primitive Earth conditions by several investigators. Therefore, all
      of the essential building blocks of proteins, sugars, and nucleic
      acids can be readily produced under quite general primitive reducing

      What ties them together is the behaviors of the nucelotide protein
      complex riding gas bubbles to the marine surface and coupling large
      scale roiling conductivity moments with specific cirrus behaviors,
      which are altered by the size, shape, mass and charge of the complex.
      Sorting occurs by effectiveness, and the parasol rains down to start
      the process anew, whereas ineffective parasols are likely damaged in
      the UV light of fair weather, or do not fall together with sufficient
      probability to self replicate, or do not feed back the strikes to
      present proper pH, and so forth.
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