Darwin’s warm little pond revisited: from molecules to the origin of life

  title={Darwin’s warm little pond revisited: from molecules to the origin of life},
  author={Hartmut Follmann and Carol Brownson},
All known cosmic and geological conditions and laws of chemistry and thermodynamics allow that complex organic matter could have formed spontaneously on pristine planet Earth about 4,000 mya. Simple gasses and minerals on the surface and in oceans of the early Earth reacted and were eventually organized in supramolecular aggregates and enveloped cells that evolved into primitive forms of life. Chemical evolution, which preceded all species of extant organisms, is a fact. In this review, we have… 
Prebiotic Organic Chemistry of Formamide and the Origin of Life in Planetary Conditions: What We Know and What Is the Future
Based on an interdisciplinary approach, basic transformations connecting geochemistry to the chemistry of formamide are proposed and the possible extension of this perspective to other worlds are hinted at.
On dating stages in prebiotic chemical evolution
The task of origin of life research must surely be to identify those chemical processes which could have taken place on Earth that could accumulate the complexity and rich molecular information content needed to sustain primitive life, and ultimately give rise to RNA.
Chance and Necessity in the Evolution of Matter to Life: A Comprehensive Hypothesis
All fundamental particles of the authors' matter are “homochiral” and predominantly produce in an absolute asymmetric synthesis amino acids of L-configuration and carbohydrates of D-series.
Primal Eukaryogenesis: On the Communal Nature of Precellular States, Ancestral to Modern Life
The coevolutionary emergence from a communal system at the common root can most naturally explain the vast discrepancy in subcellular organization between modern eukaryotes on the one hand and both archaea and bacteria on the other.
Pumice as a remarkable substrate for the origin of life.
It is argued that extensive rafts of glassy, porous, and gas-rich pumice could have had a significant role in the origin of life and provided an important habitat for the earliest communities of microorganisms.
The minimotif synthesis hypothesis for the origin of life.
  • M. Schiller
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Journal of translational science
  • 2016
The "minimotif synthesis" hypothesis is presented, unifying select origin of life theories with new and revised steps, based on first principles, on the concept of selection over long time scales, and on a stepwise progression toward complexity.
The Driving Force and Progressive Mechanisms of Evolution Deduced from Thermodynamics
The CBE evolutionary theory (CBEET) is established which reinterprets the major aspects of evolution in a comprehensive and comprehensible way and suggests that evolution is driven hierarchy-wise by thermodynamics and favors fitness and diversity.
At the very beginning of life on Earth: the thiol-rich peptide (TRP) world hypothesis.
In this world, due to its ability to form a thiolactone, homocysteine may have played the leading role in enabling the previously formed oligomers to be stappled together, thus accelerating the formation of long peptide chains.
On the origins of life: A molecular and a cellular journey driven by genentropy
A novel approach identifying steroids as the first molecules to have started life is being suggested, and a new scenario on the onset of molecular life is proposed based on evolutionary biology, biochemistry and genetic entropy (genentropy).


Organic compound synthesis on the primitive earth.
The present status of the problem of the origin of life is discussed, mainly with respect to the early chemical history of, and the synthesis of organic compounds on, the primitive earth.
Chance and necessity: the evolution of morphological complexity and diversity
Although simple filamentous and spherical forms may evolve wherever cellular life exists, the evolution of motile, modular mega-organisms might not be a universal pattern.
How long did it take for life to begin and evolve to cyanobacteria?
There is convincing paleontological evidence showing that stromatolite-building phototactic prokaryotes were already in existence 3.5 × 109 years ago, and it is likely that self-replicating systems capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution emerged in a period shorter than the destruction rates of its components.
The origin of life—did it occur at high temperatures?
Hyperthermophiles may appear at the base of some phylogenetic trees because they outcompeted the mesophiles when they adapted to lower temperatures, possibly due to enhanced production of heat-shock proteins.
The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis
It is concluded that the basic tenets of the synthetic theory have survived, but in modified form, and require continued elaboration, particularly in light of molecular biology, to answer open-ended questions concerning the mechanisms of evolution in all five kingdoms of life.
Selection by differential molecular survival: a possible mechanism of early chemical evolution.
  • C. de Duve
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1987
A model is proposed to account for selective chemical evolution, progressing from a relatively simple initial set of abiotic synthetic phenomena up to the elaborately sophisticated processes that are almost certainly required to produce the complex molecules needed for a Darwinian form of selection to start operating.
Palaeotemperature trend for Precambrian life inferred from resurrected proteins
The convergence of results from natural and physical sciences suggest that ancient life has continually adapted to changes in environmental temperatures throughout its evolutionary history.
Amino acids on the rampant primordial Earth: Electric discharges and the hot salty ocean
In this work, the plausibility of one particularly important branch of prebiotic chemistry, the formation of amino acids, by electric discharge in a neutral atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapour above liquid water, is investigated.
Abiotic nitrogen reduction on the early Earth
It is concluded that mineral-catalysed N2 reduction might have provided a significant source of ammonia to the Hadean ocean and exchange with oceanic, hydrothermally derived ammonia could have provided the significant amount of the atmospheric ammonia necessary to resolve the early-faint-Sun paradox.
Cradle of Life: The Discovery of Earth's Earliest Fossils
One of the greatest mysteries in reconstructing the history of life on Earth has been the apparent absence of fossils dating back more than 500 million years. We have long known that fossils of