Origin of Life Could Predate Earth

Moore’s Law postulates the growth rate of a particular subset of technology. Geneticists are suggesting that a similar approach can map out the growth rate of genetic complexity, helping to predict when our genetic timeline began. And it works pretty well, matching up some key points on the timeline, but there’s just one problem – it seems to indicate that life as we know it on Earth began well before Earth was first formed.

It should be obvious that small deviations in this extrapolation might produce big variations, so there are many possible explanations for how the origin point could vary. But it does raise some interesting speculation points.

Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life – [technologyreview.com]

These guys argue that it’s possible to measure the complexity of life and the rate at which it has increased from prokaryotes to eukaryotes to more complex creatures such as worms, fish and finally mammals. That produces a clear exponential increase identical to that behind Moore’s Law although in this case the doubling time is 376 million years rather than two years.

That raises an interesting question. What happens if you extrapolate backwards to the point of no complexity–the origin of life?

Sharov and Gordon say that the evidence by this measure is clear. “Linear regression of genetic complexity (on a log scale) extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life = 9.7 ± 2.5 billion years ago,” they say.

SEE ALSO:
Moore’s Law
Singularity Theory May Explain Fermi Paradox
Fermi Paradox
Drake Equation

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