Moon Has Its Role in Life’s Origin

Who stirred the oceans?

The past 100 years saw a fundamental change in the understanding of how possibly did life originate on Earth.

Photo by Shen Jing on Unsplash

Origin of life is among the most pursued questions raised by humanity throughout centuries. The query turned even more resolute after science overthrew away the old beliefs and myths attributed solely to the gods. When men turned to science for the answers, they shifted their focus gradually from priests to scientists. Without solid proofs, the religious arguments gradually flattened and science reigned. But not even science has all the answers.

The seeds of life sprouted only billions of years after the biggest event in the universe- the big bang.

The earth supposedly was born as a super-heated mass after the big bang and got lost away from the center of the explosion. Heat and radiation escaped into space for billions of years, resulting in a cooling atmosphere of gases fueled by the volcanoes erupting on the earth’s surface. Gases and vapor from rocks escaped further thickening the atmosphere. Condensed and cooled gases got heavier enough to bring down massive rainfall back into the earth’s surface. Massive grooves and rocky vents swallowed the rainwater to be called future oceans.

The water accumulated, further cooling down the ocean beds and the planet’s core. Rainfall also washed down the bits of elements and minerals all into the oceans; thus, forming the primordial oceans or soup of life. Elements that dissolved in water formed simple inorganic salts, while others stayed afloat. Together in the solution, these simple compounds must have gone through different chemical interactions to form the early compounds in the saline equilibria. That laid the foundations for the origin of life.

The role of the Moon

The role of gravity in life’s origination is often overlooked. Oceans interact directly with the gravity of the moon. Ever since the beginning of everything, the moon manifested its presence on Earth. It evoked the ocean currents and tides that constantly keep the water bodies in motion. Gravity is the force which the earth absorbs and waves carry it as energy. Since time immemorial, this medium less transfer of energy by gravitation has played its part.

The earth’s internal forces (wind, tectonic activity, volcanoes, geomagnetism) and this gravity kept the liquid water in constant motion. This stir caused minerals and compounds to diffuse rapidly throughout the solution that enabled interaction of the chemical species. From the rules of probability, it is possible that after thousands of random movements, the atoms could gain a stable configuration where bondings could be possible. Lightning sparks from thunders made ionization possible for less reactive non-metals. Covalent bonds joined carbon chains together availing the basis for the synthesis of the first organic compounds like sugars, amino acids, etc (Miller-Urey, 1952). Life originated gradually and naturally from the rudiments on the planet (Abiogenesis). Mother nature just had enough time for things to happen.

Thus, in the primordial ocean, the influence of the moon and its gravity is undeniable. Studies evidence that the tides during the primordial era were far violent and massive compared to the present days. The reason is that voluminous quantities of moisture have escaped into outer space shrinking the oceans. Also, the moon inches farther away from the earth every year eventually reducing its influence (1.48 inches per year). Considering, millions of years, the moon must have moved by quite a significant measure.

Writer, Explainer and Learner for life’s little secrets. Interested in Science, Academically a Biotechnologist and Self-Aspired researcher | benuprag@gmail.com

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