No. of Recommendations: 9
For the record, I chose the last option. I don't have my own model, outside of the idea that whatever the genetic material was, it was probably replicated semiconservatively. It also probably wasn't as nice and need as modern biology. Since there's only one vote besides mine which is probably Loren's, I'd be interested to know which answer you would have chosen.

More vagueness to the point of uselessness.

Wait, are we talking about the Bible (particularly the Genesis account) again? Or maybe the definition of "irreducibly complex"?

Of course, the ion pumps (and just about every other molecular process that occurs in a living cell) requires energy, generally as ATP.

That's not quite true. Arguably one of the most important processes for modern cells, glucose transport is mediated by diffusion through a passive transporter in the vast majority of cells. A number of metals also are imported through channels passively. Passive transport works just fine as long as you can in some way consume or make unavailable the item transported.

There's at least one lab working on testing the hypothesis that an early life form might have been a genetic molecule whose replication was enhanced by a small molecule catalyst. They basically shake up a mixture of the "genome", catalyst, and lipid component to produce membrane bound "genomes". When they add monomer, the monomer can freely diffuse into and out of the "cells", but when they're incorporated into a copy of the genome, they can no longer diffuse out of the cells. This basically creates a gradient to maintain a net flux of monomers into the "cell". No fancy transporters or ATP needed. Just some basic chemistry.

But just livin' in volcanic vent doesn't somehow lead to ATP or any energy-rich molecule. It's basically just hot.

Methane and hydrogen sulfide aren't energy rich molecules? You might want to tell the modern-day organisms that rely on these molecules for energy that they're doing it wrong.

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