Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life

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Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life Empty Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life

Post by Guest on Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:54 pm

This is one of the all-time great questions of science, not to mention religion. So it takes a lot of gumption for a 33-year-old assistant professor at MIT to wade into the debate with a novel answer, one that he says doesn’t necessarily discount religious belief. Although his theories are far from proven, Jeremy England, who also happens to be an Orthodox Jew, is making waves with a bold hypothesis to explain how random molecules bumping into each other might turn into the precursors of life.


According to England, under the right conditions, a random group of molecules will self-organize in a way that allows them to more efficiently use energy in their environment. Over time, the system could improve its ability to absorb energy, becoming increasingly lifelike. Nor is it an arbitrary process, but an inherent bias of the physical world, to form such self-organized systems. “If we start with something that’s not alive,” England told The Times of Israel, “and I make available some source of energy in its environment, there might be some tendency within the system to develop an improving ability to absorb that energy.” Over time, he says, “it may come to exhibit strikingly lifelike behaviors.” Right now this is just a theory, but England and his team are developing ways of testing it in simulation that will help them design good experiments in the future.
“We’ve made progress, but we have a long way to go,” said England.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/meet-the-orthodox-jewish-physicist-rethinking-the-origins-of-life/

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