• Renu Joshi, Ph. D.

The Probability of Abiogenesis

Updated: Feb 19, 2018

Origin of life or abiogenesis has been a long-sought question since the beginning of intelligence development in mankind. The abiogenesis, by chemical development, is the theory that is used to explain that life on Earth originated from nonliving materials notwithstanding, as with lots of controversies, there is no method to demonstrably prove if this theory is completely correct or not though it is possible to muster substantial evidence. It is important to note that there are multiple theories about how abiogenesis happened as well as the transformations those happened during the process. Many of those theories have since been discredited, however, it doesn't discard the theory as a whole. The fundamental idea is that the chemical reactions on the Earth resulted in the creation of amino acids, a process that may be clearly shown, which nucleic acids arose and started building proteins from these amino acids, finally resulting in the growth of bacteria those are living.

The theory is frequently criticized and researchers admit that the mechanisms of abiogenesis are still somewhat in doubt, but in all likelihood, the procedure involved a great deal of trial and error. The growth of life on Earth likely took numerous wrong turns and encountered several stagnant periods, and abiogenesis didn't jump from amino acids into full-on proteins instantly. Creationists who believe that life on Earth was created by God argue that this procedure isn't possible because it's extremely unlikely from the statistical point of view.

This, in fact, is true that the probability of having life arises from nonliving materials is extremely low as well as it would require a very distinctive and remarkable set of circumstances. But Creationists might neglect to point out that the circumstances which might have led to abiogenesis likely happened a number of times before “something” happened, as well as that even when that “something” is statistically unlikely, it may still happen in one iteration or the other. Statistics don’t deny the possibility completely but are only indicative of the probability. Few scientists have criticized the theory, arguing that it has logical loopholes or that no satisfactory explanation for the growth of nucleic acids has been put forward. These arguments against current theories usually accept that abiogenesis is possible, but that it didn't happen in the method that researchers have theorized that it did. More research might provide further hints into what happened to Earth in its early phases to create life, and whether the perfect storm of conditions that led to abiogenesis can happen elsewhere!

 Renu Joshi, Ph. D.


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