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Life began after meteorites splashed into warm ponds of water, say astronomers

Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

Well said, Dr Syntax.

For over 60 years, since the famous experiment by Miller, people have been trying to "put it together".

Frankly, they have got nowhere. In the book "Genetic Takeover" (Cairns-Smith, 1982) he, as an experienced chemist, points out that an uncontrolled reaction between organic chemicals just yields a filthy tarry mess. None of the experimental work has shown how precisely constructed long molecular chains can be assembled, or how to produce the pure stereochemical L or D isomers needed as a starting point.

Cairns-Smith proposed that things began with clay, which would answer the L/D question and others, and then organic molecules became associated and eventually took over. This suggestion is not accepted these days - I assume there are good reasons but I am not familiar with them.

There are other suggestions that life began as sea water, with organic contaminants, penetrated cracks in the earth's crust and interacted with hot silicate minerals.

Yes, there are experiments that should be done; but I suggest they need to be looking for the kind of two-stage origins of life mentioned above.

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