Dipl.Ing. NT , Astrophysiker
TEL.: +49 4106 69295
Handy: +49 162 5680456
Website : wolfgang.korsus.net
The question of the > FIRST LIFE < has been posed to mankind again and again, day and night for a few of them. That is my opinion, but unfortunately never for everyone. I am convinced that there were and are only a few thousand who ask or have ever asked themselves this question
These few thousand are the ones who think about atoms, molecules, the most important elements such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur, enzymes, proteins, DNA and cells!
Please contact me if you are one of them !….Please !!!
But I will mention it again and again, the rest of „today’s“ humanity (so I subtract a few thousand from 8 billion) has been diligently, almost obsessively following a creator since time immemorial. God ?, Allah ?, or some other fantasy. They pay homage to …… the „God“ made by pale and simple-minded people ……. pure mortal fear and …… educated stupidity !!!!
It often forces me to almost vomit, because I am also a living being of the „animal“ kind, but my „CPU“ still works, even at „75“. I let you, my CPU, work independently, you can also call it programming, investigating, ruling out, finding causes and pointing out effects.
With this enumeration, I confirm that my CPU produces important results concerning the topic of „first life“ ……. so I let my results run moderately!
First of all, I would like to make a few important comments on the following topics! It should be a certain kind of introduction, a so-called mental warm-up. I always make it easiest for myself by asking simple questions and here it is, the first one:
Is life made of carbon?
and if so, why ?
Living things are made up of only 6 building blocks, the only word that comes to mind is „great“.
School knowledge says: There are 118 chemical elements in the periodic table; and of these 118 elements, only 6 belong to the building blocks of which we humans, i.e. living beings, are composed:
These are: – hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur –
……. and carbon is by far the most important of these building blocks. Now you are inclined to ask the next question, but here is my first „statement“:
The human body consists of about 60 percent water, but carbon compounds play the main role in the actual „organic material“, in the cells, the proteins and the DNA. I therefore claim that they form a kind of scaffolding that holds everything together.
This is not the next question but the next statement; carbon is the most versatile element
Here comes a question from me: versatile – what does that mean?
„C“ Carbon is a chemical element and the most versatile of these. But first a comparison of numbers because it makes the question clear.
A little reminder from me, chemistry knows about 200,000 „inorganic“ compounds, i.e. compounds without carbon. This sounds like a very large number, but it cannot be compared with the figure of 20 million, because these are carbon compounds, and from this follows my statement: for this reason, organic chemistry, which deals exclusively with carbon compounds, is a truly huge field. But that’s not all, new such compounds are constantly being synthesized.
Why does carbon produce such a wide variety of substances?
Now we want to find out why. It lies in the nature of the carbon atom. It is able to form four bonds with other atoms. This can be hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulphur – but it can also be other carbon atoms, for which the same applies. They can be single or multiple bonds. In this way, large three-dimensional structures can be created – from very simple small molecules to highly complex macromolecules.
My sentence based on this knowledge follows
– Something is moving –
We need all of this to live. This diversity of structures is an important prerequisite. For life to take place, many different substances must fulfill many different tasks. They must be stable, for example, so that the earth’s atmosphere does not decompose us! But they must not be too stable either, because substances must still be able to transform into each other so that, for example, new body cells are formed from fats and proteins that we absorb with our food, and carbon compounds fulfill all these requirements.
Are there any other elements that could fulfill these conditions?
Sure, I say, so something else. Silicon is often mentioned both in science fiction and in evolutionary research. Silicon and carbon are actually very similar. They belong to the same group in the periodic table and both can form four bonds. The difference: silicon is approx. 3.5 times the size of carbon. And that makes quite a difference in the world of the smallest particles!
Silicon compounds are unstable both in water and in air. Silicon reacts immediately with the oxygen in the water or with the oxygen in the air. Silicon is also unable to form stable multiple bonds, which limits the variety of possible compounds. On Earth, it therefore seems highly unlikely that life is based on silicon.
Nevertheless, the search is on! The research group of Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold at the California Institute of Technology has succeeded in modifying an enzyme from a bacterium so that it forms substances with silicon-carbon bonds. The step to a bacterium that incorporates silicon into its organism no longer seems so far away.
One more comment from me:
Proteins are macromolecules that are made up of amino acids. The amino acids mainly consist of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and – more rarely – sulphur. Proteins are among the basic building blocks of all cells).
Life begins to form!
Monomers are low-molecular compounds with reactive functional groups. They are able to form polymers through chemical reactions. In biochemistry, monomer is also used as a synonym for the term subunit.
Around four billion years ago, life emerged from inanimate matter. Under the influence of energy, carbon and hydrogen combined in water to form the first organic substances. Over time, highly complex molecules developed from simple organic molecules.
I like to talk about scientific mysteries, many of my esteemed colleagues always became very addicted to arrangements when I announced them. So I started thinking and formulating about the transition from inanimate matter to living beings in a flash. The whole thing takes place in an environment that we „few“ have already reconstructed scientifically, but which is not really conceivable in its excessiveness for most „billions“.
I go back about 2 billion years and can easily imagine what is happening and has happened on our planet.
At that time, masses of water were brought in from outside and rained down on our planet due to the weather and climate conditions prevailing at the time. The raining down of the water brought in from outside created the great oceans. Our accidental earth companion „moon“ must also still be very close to us. Today we speak of almost 400,000 kilometers, but back then it was only 60,000 to 80,000 kilometers. So at that time we are talking about a tremendous attraction (Earth-Moon)
For this reason, it was much stronger than it is today, which means that the tides were much more pronounced. – Continents? – They didn’t exist yet, but the tides were surging and breaking against the very first already solidified rock islands, so-called cratons (the smallest rock bodies), which are only tiny cores of the later continents yet to be formed. Time has passed and in its course more and more material from the oceanic crust docks on. The cratons continue to grow, sometimes becoming larger and sometimes breaking apart again. There is also extreme volcanism in an atmosphere that must crackle violently, because it is full of tension and energy, typical of ultra-strong thunderstorms, because they fuel the whole thing.
Countless powerful eruptions from the multiple volcanic craters ensure an intensive input of elements from the earth’s interior and thus directly into the atmosphere. Mostly torrential, probably acetic acid rain washes them out again. A veritable inferno, or rather, in
or rather, it must have happened in this turbulent mixture of energy and matter:
„the formation of the first organic molecules“.
In the beginning, I would describe them as small organic molecules, so-called monomers, in which a few carbon atoms have joined together, delicate and almost cute. I mention it again……Carbon, and this is proven, is a wonderful element because it likes to look for its own kind to join together, for example, in single, double or triple bonds, even quadruple bonds.
This must have created chains or rings in which hydrogen and oxygen were also incorporated. Carbon is simply what I call the ideal bonding expert. At some point, the monomers became polymers, significantly more complicated, larger molecules, and other elements docked onto their edges. It is simply a gigantic organic kitchen that started up.
Dear readers, always remember my following advice
– a kitchen without a cook – and it works without humans for well over 2 billion years!
Today, billions of people still believe that this must have been created by „God“ ….something like this does not come into being by itself !….my comment on this: <poor religion fanatics> !
Development gained momentum and more and more new molecules were created. More precisely, new variants of them. Dear readers, it was certainly not a „miracle“, it was just possible >>>>> because there was enough energy available. So, we can virtually state the first theorem:
⇨ Life can really only arise where the planet or planets have sufficient energy sources and that was the case on planet Earth ⇨
I am now clearly relying on natural experimentation, because it must not run out of breath or daily breath in between. Otherwise, compounds could break apart, but their atoms would combine again in yet another new way.
OK, it’s working until then. But one question now arises ad hoc. Oxygen ? seems very important to me, but where was it? Because I know that oxygen is an indispensable part of life!
There was no yes or no about substances that did not actually exist at that time, I am not arguing, because if there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere at that time, then no protective „ozone layer“ could have formed. However, it is important to note that all the first combination experiments took place in „water“ and there was certainly enough of it. As I mentioned before, there were the first tiny cratons and hardly any large areas of land. But what little there was-the cratons were subjected to a relentless bombardment of damned harsh UV radiation from the sun. The hostile initial situation did indeed exist and therefore molecules came together to form ever more complex structures. This naturally led to the formation of two different sides. The following question arises: which sides?
Of course, one side was inclined towards water – i.e. hydrophilic, the other hydrophobic – totally averse to water……. humanly speaking, this behavior can be called stubborn. This kind of „towards“ or „away“! This always results in a certain orientation – towards the water or away from the water…….
However, it can be assumed that small bubbles formed from many such molecules. This was a particularly favorable state from an energetic point of view. This resulted in the first structures that had a clearly recognizable and effective edge. This in turn turned out to be a very important property because „today“ we know why, we know of course what life is made of:
– of cells –
Or to be more precise: an adult consists of 10¹⁴ or 100 trillion or 100000000000000 individual cells.
If you were to line up the cells, which are on average only 1/40 of a millimeter in size, they would reach two and a half million kilometers – or about 60 times around the earth. And even if you lined up one cell after the other every second, it would take over three million years to reach the target.
Yet all these cells only perform a few hundred different tasks. By „profession“, they can be responsible for skin formation, transport oxygen as blood cells or provide new life as eggs and sperm.
There are more than 200 different cell types in the human body, each of which is specialized to perform a specific function or form a specialized tissue. The most important cell types in the human body are
Red blood cells (erythrocytes)
White blood cells (leukocytes)
Nerve cells (neurons)
Muscle cells (myocytes)
Cartilage cells (chondrocytes)
Fat cells (adipocytes)
Germ cells (gametes)
And cells have membranes. This is a clearly defined demarcation and this in turn consists of molecules……..> That was the beginning of life: molecules therefore demarcated themselves, a clear form of „profiling“.
For me, this fact clearly shows that the principles that we know today in natural science were already valid back then – and why shouldn’t they have been, then life is the transition from inorganic, i.e. non-living material, to living, organic material. Suddenly, parts of matter had „structured“.
Also certain is the fact that elementary building blocks form eternally more complex „things“. In this case, for example, a bubble. It is very flat but the separation from its surroundings is well achieved. What is behind the content? Well, I say there might be a little more or less of the same inside as there is outside: but there is a slight difference in concentration between inside the bubble and outside. That is the decisive difference. That is what makes life!
Let’s take the carbon atoms in my body or the water that is inside me-these proportions can of course be listed in full. But the elements alone are not the Wolfgang Korsus. It is the combination of these building blocks in a certain way. And these connections began as small bubbles in which there were slight differences to the environment. This led to a different chemistry taking place inside the bubbles than outside. Fundamental physical principles determine which molecules-whether chain or ring molecules-are the most stable. However, particularly long periods of stability also allow new variants to develop. And this is exactly what happens all the time. Why?
Because there are constant reactions in the vicinity of free energy sources in which molecules change. And every time one of the variants is particularly stable and asserts itself particularly well under the given environmental conditions, more and more of them are created. Even at this level of development, a process takes place that we also observe in biological evolution:
In fact, the specimens that remain are those that are most successful. This sounds like a truism, but it is important when considering evolutionary processes. Especially when this evolution has been working and tinkering for billions of years. As molecules build up into ever larger molecules, at some point a special molecule emerges that reproduces itself!!! I am now talking about something extremely important, RNA and DNA. Many people are familiar with them from biology lessons. (If you’ve been paying attention) But have you ever thought about whether life is simply the addition of elementary building blocks, of elementary particles? We are not elementary particles. „We are compounds of molecules, from large molecules to complex cells“. So we are talking here about an ascending cause-and-effect relationship, also known as bottom-up causality. The process leads from elementary building blocks via ever larger agglomerates to more complex structures. On the other side are the global conditions under which the whole thing takes place. These are subject to top-down causality. For example, we cannot survive in an atmosphere of ammonia and methane. We need oxygen to breathe. This means that we are extremely dependent on external conditions so that parts inside can carry out their functions. Now take a deep breath!
That’s how it was in the beginning. The external conditions for the formation of elementary building blocks, which then became parts of larger structures, must have been right. It can actually be established that under today’s conditions, life would not have developed on Earth at all. Isn’t that a paradox?
The very first, simple, „biogenic“ structures were formed back then. This was not yet real life, but it was something more than just a dead stone or a simple liquid. The molecules joined together in protobiotic, i.e. pre-biological systems. The molecular dynamics drove life from a very slow beginning into a constantly accelerating competition of ever new structures, until at some point the first bacterium appeared. Increasing amounts of free energy were needed to maintain the new structures, which were not in equilibrium with their environment. Life is – attention – a dissipative non-equilibrium system. This means that life is far from equilibrium. Life is dissipative. Energy is processed, consumed, distributed.
Example follows : Most of the energy we take in through food is needed to maintain our body temperature. Also and above all for thinking, because what the body spends on the brain is mainly used to keep the brain warm. The brain is not a computer, but rather a steam engine. But that’s another story, which I’ll come back to later.
Life needs energy, energy flow, energy differences, and energy in the right form
Heat alone, that’s for sure, is not enough. Minerals and building blocks must also be provided. Commercially speaking….All this was on the shelf back then. Life was able to draw from the full.
But I try to point this out carefully: There are at least ten different scenarios for how life could have originated on primordial Earth. In the hydrothermal vents, the black smokers, in the primordial soup, on crystal surfaces, in mineral surfaces, in ice, to name just a few, but the latter birthplace is the least likely given the conditions at the time. All variants assume that free energy was available that could be used by the molecules. But as you know, since no one was there, it will never be completely clear that life began. But what all models have in common is the realization of how the transition from dead matter to life took place. And that is the crux of the matter.
BLACK SMOKER …Water with a temperature of over 400 degrees Celsius emerges from thermal springs on the ocean floor, which is just a few degrees Celsius cold. The sudden cooling of the mineral-rich water causes sulphides and salts of iron, copper, manganese and zinc to precipitate. One of many scenarios for a primordial soup. Naturalism, the basic philosophical position of the natural scientist, views the world according to the motto:
Everything is right. This sounds like a truism, but it means that even when investigating very mysterious events such as the origin of life, which in retrospect we can succinctly regard as a miracle or the beginning of a glittering feast, purely human sources of reason are still used. Everything must be plausible and consistently explainable without resorting to supernatural sources of knowledge. We can explain it today. We can use physics, chemistry and biology to understand and comprehend how life on earth came into being. We can even understand why chemical systems began to cooperate. They did so because they had a physical advantage: they became more stable. Evolution is not just about competition, about you or me, but also about the cooperative networking of chemical structures, which are now better adapted to the external conditions and therefore more likely to survive in the end than a lone individual. The method of better adaptation through cooperation will also play a major role in our future. Evolution is not just survival of the fittest. The question is: what is fit? What does it mean to be adaptable in a world that is determined by 90-degree angles, for example? Let’s assume there is such a world. As a sphere, you are pretty poorly adapted, angular would clearly be better. The ability to adapt to external conditions is the survival skill par excellence. A stone cannot adapt. A stone is and remains a stone. A living being, on the other hand, can change. Adaptability is an ingenious idea, it is the spark that brought life in all its diversity to earth. A brief flash forward to today: the first living creatures on earth, bacteria, are still around. Bacteria are cells without a nucleus. Their genetic material is distributed throughout the cell. These organisms reproduce the fastest, with some doubling in size within 20 minutes. Theoretically, a tiny bacterium could produce more biomass within two days than there is on our planet today, provided there is enough food available. Anyone who has ever had a bacterial infection knows that bacteria can multiply explosively. However, humans can also use these ancient mechanisms from the beginning of life by manipulating the metabolic processes of bacteria. For example, bacteria are used in biogas plants, in sewage treatment plants and even in the breakdown of copper.
Bacteria were the first living organisms on earth around 3.4 billion years ago. As a reminder: bacteria are the oldest living organisms on earth. 3.4 billion years old. Some evidence suggests that life may have already existed 3.8 billion years ago. 400 million or not-that only moves the specialists. Today, we humans use the ancient recipes of this development to our advantage. We now produce our own food. We are no longer hunter-gatherers, we have become farmers, even agricultural engineers. With our knowledge of how life is created, we are penetrating ever deeper into the structure of biological matter, down to the level of bacteria, and forcing them to do exactly what we want them to do. We do this not only with bacteria, but also with our own genes. We examine our genetic material very closely for possible damage. The deeper we delve into the mechanisms and structures of biologically active matter, the more possibilities open up. We know how proteins are produced, how our metabolism works, how genetic material is transcribed. Homo sapiens knows that he lives on planet no. 3 within the solar system. He knows that this planet is a sphere that revolves around a star. He also knows how matter is structured. He knows which elements and which chemical possibilities there are to combine these elements. He understands the organic processes and can even manipulate a living being so that it produces products that we can eat or that it separates metals such as copper. In order to continue to satisfy our excessive demand for copper and to extract more and more copper from the ground, we are already immersing the overburden of a mine in a leaching bath. This contains bacteria that sort metals. If this catches on, huge leaching pools will be created everywhere, with bacteria working for us. This is why all these processes from the early prehistoric age of life are still so important for us humans and our actions in the world today. We are even manipulating the oldest living creatures on our planet to do what we want them to do. There has never been anything like it. We are also truly unique in this respect.