RE: The young age of Earth

Pim van Meurs (
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 21:44:24 -0800

I suspect that if you did it would involve some kind of
>vitalistic nonsense about how "life" is some mystical quality that sets a
>living cell apart from a test tube containing chemicals, or some such

Actually, no...I think I have a very applicable working defintion which can
easily be applied and even must be applied to get from "simple chemicals" to
a "living cell" as it is expressed on earth and has been for the last 4
billion years. It requires a dynamic information system. The genetic code
and it's necessary machinery.

And what is the problem with this "dynamic information system". It's merely an extension of the laws of science and physics. How do you define life ?

Now, for abiogenesis to be a fact, in my book, a "genetic code" (it doesn't
have to be the one in use currently (with some minor variations) in every
living thing on earth) must be observed to emerge without design from
whatever biochemical soup is thought up for such an experiment. It must
also have the ability to express itself.

So it would satisfy you when it was shown that a (self) replicating system which uses a coding system can emerge "spontaneously" ?