Artificial Life VI

Model Predictions of an Origin of Life Hypothesis Based on Sea Spray

William Seffens
Biology Dept., Clark Atlanta University


According to geological evidence life arose in the sea no more than a few hundred million years following earth formation and stabilization. Contemporary cells are presumed to be more complicated and mechanistically different from the first cells, termed protocells. A hypothesis of the origin of protocells is described here based on sea spray. A model is developed from this hypothesis which allows calculation of the expected time of appearance of successful protocells based on the production rate of sea spray worldwide. Using a range of values for the parameters in the model, a time of appearance under several hundred million years is obtained. If the sea spray hypothesis is correct for primordial earth, then it will be shown that the time of appearance of life on Mars or Titan could be considerably quicker.

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