But just livin' in volcanic vent doesn't somehow lead to ATP or any energy-rich molecule. It's basically just hot.No, it is not "basically just hot", not even close. There are large chemical energy gradients between the vents and the nearby ocean. These provide the "food" that a cell might be able to eat. IOW, heating up water doesn't make it any more useful from a "food" perspective. What comes out of the oceanic vents isn't just hot water, but nutrient-rich, calorie-rich water.. if you've got the metabolism to take advantage of it.
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