The Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky proposed life as a dynamic extension of the Earth’s crust and a by-product of the chaotic gradient that mediates between the energy-rich body of the planet and the void of galactic space. Since hydrogen is the basic energy courier of the cosmos, this proposition supports the contention that life too, is hydrogen based. Carbon does indeed provide most of the building material that life uses to build its mansions, but it is hydrogen that switches the lights on and off inside those mansions.
As the smallest and most abundant element in the universe hydrogen possesses a single promiscuous electron and it forges molecular bonds that are only 5% as strong as any other. Yet it is this peculiar weakness that enables DNA to perform its endless tango of replication and reproduction.
Hydrogen not only fires the stars and lights the dustiest corners of the universe, it fulfils a similar role in the moist micro-cosmos of the Earth’s biosphere.
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