Sunday, July 1, 2012

Turtles All The Way Down


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In Ridley Scott's movie Prometheus, an expedition of the Weyland Corporation travels to a distant planet to discover the origins of humanity. There they encounter an alien race called the 'Engineers', who have genetically engineered the human species from their own DNA.

But who created the Engineers? Did they evolve? Or were they created by yet another alien species? Or was Earth seeded by microbes that fell from a comet? It's a classic case of turtles all the way down. At some point, there has to be an end in the chain of cause and effect. Life most certainly emerged from self-replicating amino acid chains, and evolved from there to create all the species we see in the world today, a theory we refer to as the RNA world hypothesis. A competing hypothesis also worth looking into is the iron-sulfur world theory.

Whichever theory you subscribe to, it is assuredly more probable than the idea of a bald muscular alien drinking black goo that caused him to disintegrate near a waterfall...

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