Thursday, June 26, 2014

Life's Beginnings in Abstract Art

The evolution of art goes with the evolution of thought, it rides on theories how wild they are, it soars with the imagination virtually without limit. The biggest obstacle and therefore challenge  to the artist is to capture the essence of an abstract subject and give it a form in a manner that his art becomes a functional one for its understanding by the viewer and reader. 

Experimental paintings Dr Abe V Rotor

Early transition creatures from the dawn of life, referred to as protobionts were not living cells as we know them.  They probably had few of the characteristics of living cells today. The mechanism for the emergence of the first protobionts called chemical evolution, was originally explored by Aleksandr Ivanich Oparin. 
Oparin suggested that collections of molecules were continually coming together in a probiotic soup, and that the ones that persisted the longest would come to predominate.  Somehow the chemical evolution led to the first self-replicating entities, or protobionts, and once this had happened, biological evolution took over.
 
But what cannot be explained up to now by scientists, even with countless experiments conducted in the laboratory, is how these collection of chemical molecules evolved into living cells - much more into living organisms.  This will certainly remain as the greatest mystery of life.  What makes a living cell? 

What makes cells as living organisms themselves in the likes of monerans and protists? And cells becoming organized into complex organisms in unimaginable diversity that compose the living world today. Here is a representation of a protonucleus, evolving from non-nucleated cell into protoplasm that has a defined nucleus, scientifically called prokaryote and eukaryote, respectively.

What is missing in the chemical evolution scenario must have been provided by the master of the evolutionary process, Charles Darwin.  What scientists tried to establish with Darwin's biological evolution is the link between the two processes, that can be tested and therefore set some rules. The necessity for Darwinian mechanisms becomes vividly apparent when we consider how different protobionts were from the nonliving collection of molecules around them. 

How are these protobionts characterized?

1. They were able to approximate replicas of themselves.
2. They were able to survive under savage environmental conditions.
3. They were somehow able to draw energy from that uncompromising environment
4. Death must have put in an early appearance - death is inseparably associated with life.
Death, like reproduction, is an essential part of Darwinian evolution.

It took a long, long way for life to reach the stage when life is ultimately associated with living things we know today.  And in their unimaginable diversity, we seem to care the least where life came from and how it began. Indeed life today is so tenacious and omnipresent on the Earth that it is difficult to imagine our planet without it.~ 

Reference: The Spark of Life : Darwin and the Primeval Soup, by Christopher Wills and Jeffrey Bada 2000  

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