09-12-2001, 08:27 PM
Sorry if this has been asked before, but how did living cells originate? Specifically, how do you go from simple organic molecules like sugars, phosphates, amino acids and nucleotides, and end up with a Von Neumann machine? I've never read a really good explanation of this; most books on the subject hint at catalytic RNA and self-assembling lipid membranes and then start mumbling a lot. I'll grant that it's still being investigated, but does anyone have a plausible explanation for the tremendous increase in organization required?