First I apologize for my incorrect English and for lack of modern knowledge regarding the subject (I studied biology a long time ago).

I'm interested to find out:

  • if there were successful attempts of life creation from conditions that we suppose were dominant on early Earth

  • if there were not, are such attempts still being conducted?

To clarify, by "life creation" I mean the accidental creation of entire organism in conditions of organic compounds, water, electricity, radiation etc. being present (Abiogenesis).

If this is already answered here, I'm sorry for asking, I have researched this, this, this and this question with no luck.


There have been lot's of attempts, no success so far, a few groups are still working on. However, many steps forward have been done in the last decades.

Starting from the Miller experiment which demonstrated that the building blocks of life chemistry can be obtained starting from fairly simple chemical compounds. Following, Luisi and Szostak showed that 1) nucleic acids can polymerize without the help of enzymes and 2) autocatalytic micelles form spontaneously in many different conditions. It is also important to remember the work of Otto that showed how different molecules can self-replicates.

There are many more examples reported in the literature, still, the complete "creation" of life from matter has not been yet accomplished. However, the results from the experimental work done so far suggest that it is only matter of time and lots of combinatorial work. Unfortunately, there are little to no investments in this field. It's very hard to get the funds needed to start an international cooperation (like the one made to sequence the human genome or to build the CERN's Large Hadron Collider) with the goal of actually making life in the lab. I think that the work of a few (uncoordinated) groups will not get to the goal in the next few years.

  • $\begingroup$ I would add that even these more basic results have really shown that abiogenesis is feasible. It is definitely feasible to show in a lab that certain steps are possible given certain conditions (like polymerization of nucleic acids). What isn't feasible is doing the experiment on whole-earth scale and waiting for potentially millions of years. It's really frustrating that some people take the infeasibility of that last step and conclude "oh so life must have come from a Creator!" That isn't what it means at all. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 2 '17 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. But I also think that it is possible to do it in the lab without having to wait millions of years. Actually, I hope that the pressure set from creationists will move some billionner to put money into this research. Is one of the great question of biology, is still lacking the final prove and it worth a Nobel price once solved. We can definitely do it, it's really just matter of money/organization. $\endgroup$ – alec_djinn Jun 2 '17 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe, but if that attempt fails it doesn't prove anything, so really the experiment is quite flawed - probably one of the reasons there isn't much support for it. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 2 '17 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ I see lot's of support already from all the experiments reported in the literature. Surely it's not easy to solve, but again founding the Higgs boson wasn't easy as well, and same you can say or the first Human Genome. Now it's routine. Soon or later it will be routine also to create life in a lab. $\endgroup$ – alec_djinn Jun 2 '17 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ I think that's a cool thought, but I'm skeptical. I think it is more likely that we will find life on another planet than create it here truly from scratch. I think we will continue to fill in some of the puzzle pieces here, though. The problem is that for those other projects you can engineer solutions that still answer the original question, like producing particles that are otherwise near infinitely rare to occur naturally. For abiogenesis, if the whole point is to say 'early earth could create life from scratch' you are sort of cheating if you add anything to the system. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 2 '17 at 21:20

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