It's 'revealed' in many religious scriptures that man was created from clay:

There is an interesting article in New Scientist titled, Clay's matchmaking could have sparked life.

How reliable is this article? Is there any recent advancement to confirm/refute such claims?

  • The "notable claim" is what the article is saying, right? And the fact that some religions mention clay or dust or etc. isn't part of the question/claim, is it, so the first sentence could be deleted and "humans" removed from the title? Is there any claim in particular in the article that you want to question: would you quote a specific sentence or a few sentences from it? IMO the only thing the article claims is that scientists combined the "components for the origin of life" i.e. genetic material and cell membranes in a clay substrate. – ChrisW Nov 13 '14 at 15:30
  • @ChrisW To tell you the truth, I got from answering-christianity.com/life_from_clay.htm, – Tom Lynd Nov 13 '14 at 15:34
  • 1
    At a glance, the linked article appears to be basically saying, "well yeah, it could happen this way..." so it doesn't seem reasonable to argue for or against the conclusion that life began from clay (at least not for the Skeptics format). As for reliability, the linked article is referencing Science magazine, which IME is generally pretty good. – Brian S Nov 13 '14 at 15:35
  • IF the question is about whether life originated from clay (a perfectly respectable theory (See Graham Cairns-Smith's book: seven clues to the origin of life)) then the religious references are irrelevant and distracting. – matt_black Nov 13 '14 at 22:42
  • @matt_black Although they are distracting, an OP is allowed to say why they find a topic interesting. – ChrisW Nov 13 '14 at 23:32

According to Wikipedia's 'Abiogenesis' article,

There is still no "standard model" of the origin of life.

It mentions several models or hypotheses, among which is at least one (not very successful) Clay hypothesis (beyond the hypothesis you mentioned in the OP).

The experiment which you mentioned in the OP is mentioned in that Wikipedia article too, in the Protocells section:

A 2012 study led by Armen Mulkidjanian of Germany's University of Osnabr├╝ck, suggests that inland pools of condensed and cooled geothermal vapour have the ideal characteristics for the origin of life.[145] Scientists discovered in 2002 that by adding a montmorillonite clay to a solution of fatty acid micelles (lipid spheres), the clay sped up the rate of vesicles formation 100-fold.[142] So this one mineral can get precursors (nucleotides) to spontaneously assemble into RNA and membrane precursors to assemble into membrane.

"Montmorillonite clay" might also help to synthesize RNA:

James Ferris's studies have shown that clay minerals of montmorillonite will catalyze the formation of RNA in aqueous solution, by joining activated mono RNA nucleotides to join together to form longer chains.[138] Although these chains have random sequences, the possibility that one sequence began to non-randomly increase its frequency by increasing the speed of its catalysis is possible to "kick start" biochemical evolution.

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