Originally posted by RJHinds
You believe your first ancestor came from a primordial soup. To believe that requires someone to have an addled brain.
No, just an ability to absorb and understand concepts that you could never grasp.
There are actually a whole bunch of places that the first life could have formed.
The biggest problem for answering the question in answering how life actually formed
is not that we don't have any viable mechanisms, it's that we have to many.
It could have been any of them, or several.
Horizontal gene transfer which is very rare in larger complex life forms but is common
among viruses and bacteria could easily wipe any evidence of multiple different first
life forms as they swapped genes with each other.
We can and have experimentally verified that everything you need to build life forms
spontaneously in the kinds of conditions we expect and see evidence for on a young
planet... All that's left is a large enough volume with those conditions to be left for
a long enough time.
Which is not an experiment we can do, as that would require huge totally sterile
experiments to be left running for probably millions of years.
Nature had an entire planet, and hundreds of millions of years to do it.
The next best thing to being able to do the test here is to see if there are any other worlds
with life on.
Seeing life elsewhere in the solar system would be a good start, but there is always the risk
of cross contamination by asteroid impacts, so it could have been life from Earth that
got spread to other worlds.
However we will shortly have telescopes capable of directly analysing the atmosphere and
even imaging Earth sized worlds around other stars.
I expect to see images of an extra-solar planet with life on it within me lifetime, in fact I
expect to see such images in the next 20~30 years. [which is a hopefully much shorter timespan]