Historians, philosophers, and theologians alike have been forever trying to explain the beginning of life. Where we come from is a driving force in our pursuit of science and understanding. Many religions provide their own “answers”, but science has held one common belief for a long time. Scientists believed that life began in the oceans and evolved over time to eventually be land based. That has been the long-held contention for quite some time, but that could be overturned based on new evidence. The implications of this breakthrough are unimaginable, but we will get there later.
What you need to know
For most scientists, life begins when you start to see nucleotides form into Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) which is called polymerization. RNA is the precursor to DNA and all cellular life on the planet. The two competing theories that have existed are that RNA first emerged in hydrothermal vents deep under the ocean or in ponds on land. Hydrothermal vents seemed like a likely place for rapid polymerization given the amount of energy surrounding the vents. However, there is another element that is needed for polymerization to happen.
Next: What is the secret ingredient?