The Origins of Life on the Earth

Note: the following event is not sponsored by
this meetup.  I only promote it because the topic
is fascinating and very relevant to
Christian/atheist discussions.  (RSVP here if you
want; but it doesn't mean anything, like no saved
seats, etc.)


If creationism is wrong, and life really did evolve out of non-life, then how did that happen?  Isn't it impossible?

If you are seriously looking for the answers to those questions, then here is an opportunity.  It is a free lecture by a life origins research scientist.  The following info is from the internet:

Presentation: "The Origins of Life on the Earth"

Presenter: Niles Lehman, Professor of Chemistry, Portland State University


Sometime around 4 billion years ago, a funny thing happened on the Earth: lifeless chemicals gave rise to living organisms. This lecture will discuss what we know -- and what we don't know -- about this fascinating time. It will describe some of the basic chemical reactions that had to have happened for life to emerge, and explain that many of them make a lot of sense, while others are still hard to envision. The audience should get a rough sense of how life got started here on the Earth, and perhaps some insights into whether it could have happened elsewhere in the universe.

Dr. Lehman earned his BA in chemistry at UC Berkeley in 1984 and the PhD at UCLA in 1990. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Scripps Research Institute [masked]) and University of Oregon [masked]) before joining the PSU Chemistry faculty. His research is focused on the biochemical and genetic issues involved with the origins of life on the Earth. As an evolutionary biochemist, he is interested in applying the same principles that govern the changes over time in modern populations of organisms to the populations of molecules that comprised the "primordial soup" from which life self-organized some 4 billion years ago. He is currently the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Molecular Evolution.

Parking info:

Parking free after 7 pm in Structures 1 and 2.  TriMet access via MAX Green and Yellow Lines and Portland Streetcar

Join or login to comment.

  • Bernie D.

    "Why am I just finding out about this at the last minute?"

    HGP, CFI, etc. weren't sponsoring it, so that's why you didn't hear of it from them. As organizer of this group I listed it because I thought it might be of interest.

    May 25, 2013

    • Jesse M.

      I am a PSU student. I thought I'd have seen flyers for this, but I didn't. PSU Freethinkers didn't make much noise about it either.

      May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved this lecture. Great topic, location.

    May 24, 2013

  • Jill


    May 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fantastic opportunity to hear an excellent talk on the current state of research on the origin of life. I appreciated so much that the speaker was able to explain the information in a way that was accessible even to someone who is not a professional scientist.

    May 24, 2013

  • Jill

    See you there...should be good.

    May 23, 2013

  • Jesse M.

    Why am I just finding out about this at the last minute? I am at PSU five days a week and I haven't seen a flyer for it. I'm also a member of the following Meetup groups: CFI, HGP, FFRF, FSM, Skeptics in the Pub, Atheists Etc, Skeptics 2030, Oregonians For Science and Reason, and Philosophical Naturalists. I also haven't seen anything on Facebook, despite being friends with lots of science geeks and a member of many online groups. I certainly hope this has better attendance than I'm anticipating.

    May 23, 2013

  • Helen D. L.

    For those new to the subject matter, it could be a very illuminating lecture.

    May 18, 2013

  • Jill

    Sounds good.

    May 17, 2013

  • Jon P.

    I have heard his talk before; very interesting. According to researchers in his field of the "RNA world", scientists are much closer to demonstrating abiogeneis than the general pulbic knows.

    April 3, 2013

  • Mahesh B.

    I have just begun the book "What is Life?: How Chemistry becomes Biology" so am really interested in hearing the author's views.­

    April 3, 2013

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