full title: somewhat intoxicated ramblings possibly concerning life, the universe and/or everything
unfortunately, that was to long to fit into the real title
I may make a series out of this, but don't expect much, as it requires me to be:
a) intoxicated, (not that difficult, but still)
b) in a mood for writing (a very rare occurrence)
furthermore, I am very slow in accomplishing promises to myself (the painting on my wall is still a sketch, and starting to use my drawing tablet has come as far as installing it, to give a few examples).
let's start (may concern scientific stuff);
Life has never passed trough a RNA-dominated stage. the theory is that life evolved from mycells containing self-replicating RNA. These would out-compete other mycells by introducing polymeric RNA which would retain more water and lipids to make larger mycells and reproduce (due to osmotic forces and stuff (this should be considered as a quick and dirty explanation of complex biochemical interactions by a somewhat drunk guy)). I think this is unlikely as it is easier to polymerize large amounts of aminoacids than nucleotides, as aminoacids are more abundant, and thus would play a more dominant role. however, as proto-life, interactions would probably not be as absolute as predator-prey for example, allowing "proto genetic information" to be passed on even if it would be incorporated in another mycell. dominance would probably be achieved by indeed a self-replicating RNA-molecule, however, it would probably need the ability to catalyze the polymerization of aminoacids to achieve dominance, allowing the fromation of life as we know it based on that interaction. (this stuff would probably make more sense to somebody who's got an idea what I'm talking about)
continuing with biochemistry, but this time applied to xenobiology, or how I would like to make to make the argument that classifying life on earth as carbon-based is somewhat misleading. Yes, for all life as we know it carbon is the main functional element. however, the driving force behind nearly all biological reactions is the entropy of water, a combination of hydrophobic and hydrophillic interactions and the tendency of all particles to "prefer" to move freely (thermodynamics and stuff). Now (liquid) water is an amazing chemical, with many special properties, with it's abundance (on earth) possibly as most important. Carbon happens to have amazing functional properties in the same range as water is liquid, and (very important for the entropy of water) polarity. This all makes me skeptical of theoretical non-carbon based life forms (such as silica based life), as while another element can possibly have similar functional properties as carbon in different conditions, what would provide the driving force if not liquid water?
finally for tonight, life on other planets in the solar system: Mars is most popular in the quest to find other life in the universe. logical, as there is a lot of evidence that there is/has been liquid water on mars (see the previous section(s) as to why this is important). In my opinion in this quest Venus is often overlooked. not unsurprising, as it many people would probably consider it as a rather accurate representation of "hell". To me, these hellish conditions, seem almost perfect for the conditions that would create life. So I am of the belief that if liquid water could be found on Venus, there will almost certainly be life in it, and probably more interesting than the remnants of life that may be found on Mars.
That's enough for this night, mostly stuff that's close to me as a biotechnology student (I warned you it would contain science). I may talk about other stuff if I continue this as a sort of series