Life before Creation

Two day is science podcast day at gym and I have to admit that once more I walked away with scant recollection. But that was probably because the gym was sparsely populated and hence enjoyable.

This did however, give me some spare attention span-time to devote to consideration of a trail begun by the biologist blogger P. Z. Myers. [Link] He is rather critical of some work [Link] that advances, based on the “genome size” that life originated about 9 BYA (billion years ago,) which is about twice the age of Tellus. Myers claims that the authors cherry picked their data., which based on the graph displayed does not seem too implausible since I should expect there to be tons of near term data.

I have to admit to being sucked in on this by a “validation” of the model by looking at number of nerd publications and projecting back to an origin during the lifetime of Newton – when nerd journals were started, at least according to the history I learned.

My problem with this is that the model used is essentially linear, at least after being transformed via a logarithmic plot. Nothing wrong with such, that’s how one got through undergraduate physical chemistry in my day back before we have computers that did graphing and were small enough not to be enshrined in tech temples.

But I am a bit concerned about that linearity. I should like to see a detailed model that makes sense and is testable. So I may have to read the paper.

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