I am trying to understand the current work on abiogenesis in biology, e.g. primordial soup, the Miller-Urey experiment, etc.

How has our understanding of abiogenesis been revised since the Miller-Urey 'primordial soup' hypothesis?

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    $\begingroup$ Start with the references in the Wikipedia page, do some targeted googling, and work from there. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Aug 4, 2015 at 0:53
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    $\begingroup$ @MattDMo I realize I can do this. However, this is an academic discussion forum. I would like to hear from academic biologists for the state of the field. That's distinctly different than just googling. I can read biology textbooks too, but the point of this question is to hear from academic biologists. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2015 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ This is not a discussion forum, it's a question and answer site. Not everything goes. Matt's comment is very appropriate; not possible when I was studying molecular biology (I read Oparin's The Origin of Life.) But for the history and an intro to where we are now, the references given in Wikipedia are a fine start. You can always ask more specific questions then. Please see the site tour and the help sections for more information about the site, particularly what kinds of questions are on topic here. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2015 at 5:26
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse I think "who is currently at the forefront of the field" is a fairly specific question. Also, I don't think it's helpful for learning to close down/vote down such questions because they are borderline discussion questions---this is a bit too pedantic. Stack Exchange was set up for learning, and that's exactly what I'm trying to achieve. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2015 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ While your question might be specific, based on the fact that academics are humans its answer will be primarily opinion-based and thus out of scope for this site anyway. Person X might think, they are on the top of the field and their area of expertise is one of the major research topics, but their favourite academic competitor Y might disagree and instead bring herself and her topic in the discussion. And now it is a discussion. Unless there is a publication (from a field like sociology?) which studied the "academics of abiogenesis" there is no scientific answer to your question. $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


Our understanding of how life began on earth has indeed advanced substantially since Haldane, Oparin, Miller, and Urey. To learn about the latest ideas, I can't think of a better place to start than this excellent video series with Nobel Laureate Jack Szostack, who is currently doing some of the leading work on the subject.


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