Solid Gold

When I got hold of Thomas Gold's book: "Deep hot biosphere" I couldn't get on with it at all.So Idecided to read it whilst making a note of any nugets I came across in it. That would force me to concentrate rather than hurry through to find salient points I wanted to hear about.

This is part of a series on what he said …

Solid Gold

When I got hold of Thomas Gold's book: "Deep hot biosphere" I couldn't get on with it at all.So Idecided to read it whilst making a note of any nugets I came across in it. That would force me to concentrate rather than hurry through to find salient points I wanted to hear about.

I heard about the drilling for oil through granite in Sweden years ago. I had assumed he was so successful that it is now common practise. It isn't and never will be. You see Professor Gold had realised that the inner planets have amazing carbon rich resources similar to those of any gas giant excet the stuff we have is underground and far deeper than our puny drills can bore to at the moment.

Now it is the end of 2009 and the goelogical text books have not been rewritten. So there is plenty of time for the rest of us outside geology's hallowed halls to get on the right side and be ready to say "I told you so" when they eventually do. Of cours with wgenr's theory about moving crustal plates, it took the best part of half a century to get the ball rolling in that misdirection.

Here is what I gleaned from Chapert 1:

It starts off platitudinally and heads nowhere fast.
Basic stuff that was cutting edge when he was a boy such as the variety of life is covered here. We all use one kind of each pair of amino acids. Something called chirality. He notes that despite the equal chance of life using the left handed chain molecules proteins are only made up of using the right hand ones. (or it the other way around. I am not the sort capable of remembering stuff like that.)

For life to start and keep going, interactions in solutions must take place, gas and minerals must be available in a liquid of some sort in order to allow molecules to form. And only on earth are these conditions favourable for life as we know it. All other places are too hot or too cold or lack atmosphere and or minerals.

It has to have an atmosphere, after that life needs light. For photsynthesis to take place you need a finished creation. Otherwise you'd be faced with the conditions for starting life that resemble bringing utilities to a house that has no system for dealing with light and water. Imagine plumbing a garden shed into the mains if it has no wiring and no pipes.

It is the same with photosynthesis. You need a finished ecosystem to deal with it. Otherwise the first cells to invent it would poisone themsoelves with sugars and devour the carbohydrates in the proces, which carbohydrates may be needed to help the plant stand up.

On the other hand if you start off with a finished system and there is no cut off and free flow takes place, the house will burn out or take in so much water so quickly the reservoirs will run dry. There has to be a complete ecological environment to take cvare of things. An intricate system requires full functionality.

So once a system has been set up where microbes can resort to a source of food, what keeps it going?

Chemical energy can be supplied as food but the food will soon be consumed whether or not the microbes learn to reproduce, perhaps before they have that accident. Unless the food is replenished, in life cycles and food chains etc., the potential for contiued existence fails. A two way system is required to supply basic necessities such as oxygen and the other nutrients.

But here is the thing. With such a package, the sysem need not be on the surface. So long as the resouces are fluid and that a dominant life form doesn't wipe out all the others or eat all the food at once -so long as the life system isn't a mono-culture, the sytem can be on or under the ground, on, in or under the sea.

Those fake basis of life experiments from the 1950's that seemed to point the way from building amino acids to creating life in a test tube require that a constant input of resources take place. Certainly if life had been created that would have been the case. Without sunlight, electricity and chemicals, there would be no amino acids and sugars.
And without amino acids and sugars, electricity and light, there would be no life that drowns, bakes, electrocutes and peels its skin off if it doen't eat all the food and starve first.

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