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Evolution and Religious Creation MythsHow Scientists Respond$
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Paul F. Lurquin and Linda Stone

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315387.001.0001

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 The Origins of Life and the Cosmos as Evolutionary Themes

 The Origins of Life and the Cosmos as Evolutionary Themes

Chapter:
(p.109) 5 The Origins of Life and the Cosmos as Evolutionary Themes
Source:
Evolution and Religious Creation Myths
Author(s):

Paul F. Lurquin

Linda Stone (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315387.003.0005

This chapter demonstrates that the origin of the universe was probabilistic, not preordained, because Heisenberg's uncertainty principle would have been violated at the level of the Big Bang. The appearance of structure in the universe was made possible by the decoupling of matter and radiation about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. Structure appeared — and continues to appear — without violating the second law of thermodynamics because entropy is not increasing as fast as it could, and this keeps the universe in a state of disequilibrium, not equilibrium. Life appeared as a consequence of this disequilibrium, possibly involving a sequence of events such as formation of an organic prebiotic soup (or synthesis of organic compounds in hydrothermal vents), the appearance of an RNA world, and the formation of lipid-bound hypercycles.

Keywords:   decoupling, disequilibrium, entropy, hydrothermal vents, hypercycles, prebiotic soup, probabilistic, RNA world, second law, uncertainty principle

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