Dark Matter and the Origin of Life (Synopsis)

When you think of the origin of life, you probably think about the atoms coming together to make molecules, the molecules coming together to make self-replicating, information-encoded strands, and how all that took place here on Earth. But you might want to consider a different point of view!

A cosmological simulation of dark matter growing clumpier over time. Image credit: Andrey Kravtsov
A cosmological simulation of dark matter growing clumpier over time. Image credit: Andrey Kravtsov

Instead, try thinking about the fact that, to make those complex atoms, and to recycle them into new generations of stars, we needed a lot of generations of stars to live, die, expel that processed matter back into the interstellar medium, and to have it incorporated into future generations of systems. Simply having the primordial ingredients wouldn’t give rise to life at all!

The original primordial soup was pretty bland. Modified from an image taken from http://www.mbio.ncsu.edu/jwb/soup.html
The original primordial soup was pretty bland. Modified from an image taken from http://www.mbio.ncsu.edu/jwb/soup.html

Go read the whole, fascinating story, courtesy of James Bullock!