Friday, April 19, 2013

Self-Assembling Nanoparticles

This is a video showing nanoparticles self-assembling into a larger structure.

This brings me to a related topic on evolution. One of the arguments that I often hear from those who oppose the concept of evolution is the idea that the probability of life occurring out of this random mess is extremely small that it should have never happened. Thus, the idea out of evolution that we call came about due to this random formation of life in the beginning, and then slowly evolve over time, can't be correct.

The few so-called estimates on the probability calculation that I have seen never ever mentioned, or take into account, something that many of us in condensed matter are aware of, which is this very fact that there are phenomenon of self-assembly of atoms and molecules. We know this happens. Each time we have ice crystals, or see naturally-formed quartz, etc., those are naturally-occurring self-assembly. What are the odds of those things being formed simply via random arrangements or capture of atoms? The fact that they do form, and form pretty frequently, means that the phase-space for that happening isn't that small, and actually is quite high.

So I can't help wondering if that such self-assembly, especially when there is a change that causes a form of phase transition, might play a role in the formation of life or single-celled form of life. And because of that, the chances of it happening isn't as small as it is made up to be.


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