Hot Primordial Soup News

WE noticed the first headline as we were logging off last night, and by now everyone in the blogosphere has something up about this. Having been scooped about the soup story, the most sensible thing we can do is direct you to sources of the news.

First, at EurekAlert, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), we read New research rejects 80-year theory of ‘primordial soup’ as the origin of life. One excerpt:

For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a ‘primordial soup’ of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. Today the ‘soup’ theory has been over turned in a pioneering paper in BioEssays which claims it was the Earth’s chemical energy, from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, which kick-started early life.

Over at Panda’s Thumb they have this thread going: ‘Primordial Soup’ Ousted from the Origin of Life?!?

Finally, here’s a link to the journal BioEssays and the press release that started this cauldron bubbling. Describing what might supersede the existing theory, they say:

In rejecting the soup theory the team turned to the Earth’s chemistry to identify the energy source which could power the first primitive predecessors of living organisms: geochemical gradients across a honeycomb of microscopic natural caverns at hydrothermal vents. These catalytic cells generated lipids, proteins and nucleotides giving rise to the first true cells.

We’ll be writing more about this after the creationists chime in. Their reactions are predictable, so we anticipate two general lines of response: (1) “I ain’t no kin to no geochemical gradient!”; and (2) “Darwin wrong again, evolutionists in chaos!”

Update: See Klinghoffer Jokes about Primordial Soup.

Update: See Answers in Genesis on Primordial Soup.

Update: See Institute for Creation Research on Primordial Soup.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

7 responses to “Hot Primordial Soup News

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    There’s lots of life living on the hydrothermal vents; they have their own ecosystem which is not derived from photosynthesis. Hydrogen sulfide – digesting bacteria feed plankton, and plankton feeds wee little critters which are eaten by fish and whatnot.

    This article just moves the primordial soup to the bottom of the ocean, that’s all.

    Ah, but Who designed the geothermal vents?

  2. I’ve heard this one for a long time. In fact it was used as an example to me of how Evolutionist don’t know anything since we were still debating on where it started. Of course, Godidit was a perfectly acceptable alternative to him despite the fact it didn’t explain anything.


    /soup nazi


  4. Real question–
    Ive been following this ‘soup’ story, and I don’t get it. Ive known about the hydrothermal vent theory for ages and ages. I think we first talked about it my senior year of college in molecular bio (2004). I *remember* talking about how the temperature gradient of a hydrothermal vent could be ‘like a PCR machine’– I know this ‘new’ theory is more than that, but the idea that thermal vents could have been The Source of energy instead of the Sun has been on the table for a long time, I think…

    I mean, I only follow origin stuff as a side interest, what with the important roles viruses probably played in the origin.

    Why is this ‘news’ to Creationists, whose whole existence is ‘the Origin’, the ‘Creation’… literally?

    I think this is weird.

  5. ERV says:

    Why is this ‘news’ to Creationists, whose whole existence is ‘the Origin’, the ‘Creation’… literally?

    Hi, Abbie. I doubt that creationists are aware of the range of proposals for the origin of life. This undersea vent is only the latest. I recall one a few years ago about layers of clay or something. I guess the creationists didn’t notice it.

    They’re hung up on the primordial soup because the origin of life is what they imagine to be the big flaw in Darwin’s theory, so any imagined “problems” give them great delight. I can’t really figure them out. It’s enough to memorialize their silly reactions.

  6. My favorite quip from the Panda’s Thumb, by jkc:

    Tex said:

    This ‘new’ scenario has been around for a long time. It is even covered in Campbell’s biology text…

    So, even Campbell has abandoned the soup hypothesis?

  7. James F says: “So, even Campbell has abandoned the soup hypothesis?”

    Alas, nothing is sacred any more.