how was life created from nonliving things?


and does this mean we can recreate this process to manipulate life into whatever we want?

In: 186

Imagine you have a soup filled with lots of different chemicals.

You leave it for a *very* long time.

Some of the chemicals combine together in a shape that makes it easier for other chemicals to combine in the same shape.

You leave it for a *very* long time.

Some of the shape-y chemicals stick to another chemical that makes it *even easier* for other chemicals to combine in the same shape.

You leave it for a *very* long time.

The last step keeps happening in different ways, each time the resulting mix gets better at making more of itself.

You leave it for a *very* long time.

You have something approaching primitive life.

Edit: We’ve done experiments that involve sealing a soup in a container and doing things like warming it and passing electricity through it that hint at the very first stages of the above process, but to do the whole thing takes a *very* long time and we don’t have a good way of simulating time passing very quickly to do that.

We’re doing other experiments that involve cutting existing life into tiny bits and reassembling those bits to make something that does what we want, this is an ongoing area of research.


Abiogenesis is an extremely complex field that can’t possibly be explained to a five year old, but here’s the ELI15:

In the early Earth, there were several natural molecules that are very very simple. Things like CO2, H2O, NH3, CH4, and similar. If you have a collection of these molecules in gas form and you apply energy (such as through a lightning strike), they undergo chemical reactions that change them. Some of these byproducts are what we call biomolecules, molecules that are considered essential for life. Some examples include amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), lipids (fats), and nucleotides (the building blocks of genetic information). If you chain these molecules together in a certain way, you get the very first proto-cell, the very first life form.

To answer your second question, in the early 2000s scientists were able to recreate the polio virus in a lab from its constituent parts

Viruses occupy a space that straddles the line between life and non-life to they’re a good candidate for something like this.

Scientists have done experiments as a result of which ARN chains have formed when the protocell (a small container made of a type of mud) had all the necessary chemicals. It is possible that those ARN chains randomly developed the ability to self replicate.