Friday, January 11, 2008

Garden of Eden: A Radioactive Beach

So Adam and Eve were on a tropical beach with palm trees and some radioactive sands for a little excitement. A leading astrobiologist claims that the basic building blocks of life on Earth began on a radioactive beach.

Zachary Adam, an astrobiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, believes that life on our planet first evolved through the collection of radioactive material on a beach. Adam [coincidence?] suggests that the more powerful tides generated by the moon's closer orbit billions of years ago compared to today could have separated radioactive material from other sediment. [link]

Adam showed that such a deposit could generate the chemical energy which is required to produce some of the molecules in water that create amino acids and sugars, the key building blocks of life, when irradiated. Further, a deposit of a radioactive material called monazite would also discharge soluble phosphate, another important ingredient for life, into the gaps between sand grains, thus making it available to react in water. "Amino acids, sugars and [soluble] phosphate can all be produced simultaneously in a radioactive beach environment," he said.

Atomic-Adam and Bionic Eve were thus created. Apparently God used radioactive beach 'mud' [Ce, La, Th, Nd, Y)PO4] to form the pair. It brings up the question: should the hunt for that Garden of Eden now move to those tropical islands rather than the heart of the Ethiopian rift valleys?

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