Top 10 Theories on Beginning of Life on Earth

The details of the origin of life are unknown, but the basic principles have been established. There are basically two schools of thought which are further divided into many about the origin of life. One suggests that organic components arrived on Earth from space, while the other argues that they originated on Earth.


10. Panspermia

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Panspermia is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids. Panspermia proposes that life that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophile bacteria, become trapped in debris that is ejected into space after collisions between planets that harbor life and Small Solar System Bodies (SSSB). Bacteria may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary disks. If met with ideal conditions on a new planets’ surfaces, the bacteria become active and the process of evolution begins.

Recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space, according to a new paper by Cardiff University scientists.


9. Biopoesis

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In natural science, abiogenesis or biopoesis is the study of how biological life arises from inorganic matter through natural processes, and the method by which life on Earth arose. Most amino acids, often called “the building blocks of life”, can form via natural chemical reactions unrelated to life, as demonstrated in the Miller–Urey experiment and similar experiments that involved simulating some of the conditions of the early Earth in a laboratory. In all living things, these amino acids are organized into proteins, and the construction of these proteins is mediated by nucleic acids, that are themselves synthesized through biochemical pathways catalysed by proteins. Which of these organic molecules first arose and how they formed the first life is the focus of abiogenesis.


8. Cosmogeny

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Cosmogeny, is any theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the universe, or about how reality came to be. In the specialized context of space science and astronomy, the term refers to theories of creation of (and study of) the Solar System. Attempts to create a naturalistic cosmogony are subject to two separate limitations. One is based in the philosophy of science and the epistemological constraints of science itself, especially with regards to whether scientific inquiry can ask questions of “why” the universe exists. Another more pragmatic problem is that there is no physical model that can explain the earliest moments of the universe’s existence  because of a lack of a testable theory of quantum gravity, although string theorists and researchers in loop quantum cosmology believe they have the formulas to describe it within their field equations.


7. Endosymbiosis

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The endosymbiotic theory was first articulated by the Russian botanist Konstantin Mereschkowski in 1905. According to this theory, certain organelles originated as free-living bacteria that were taken inside another cell as endosymbionts. Mitochondria developed from proteobacteria (in particular, Rickettsiales or close relatives) and chloroplasts from cyanobacteria. It suggests that multiple forms of bacteria entered into symbiotic relationship to form the eukaryotic cell. The horizontal transfer of genetic material between bacteria promotes such symbiotic relationships, and thus many separate organisms may have contributed to building what has been recognised as the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) of modern organisms.


6. Spontaneous Generation

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Until the early 19th century, people generally believed in the ongoing spontaneous generation of certain forms of life from non-living matter. This was paired with the belief in heterogenesis, e.g. that one form of life derived from a different form (e.g. bees from flowers). Classical notions of spontaneous generation, held that certain complex, living organisms are generated by decaying organic substances. According to Aristotle it was a readily observable truth that aphids arise from the dew which falls on plants, flies from putrid matter, mice from dirty hay, crocodiles from rotting logs at the bottom of bodies of water, and so on. Spontaneous generation or Equivocal generation is considered obsolete by many, regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence, as distinguished from univocal generation, or reproduction from parent(s). The theory was synthesized by Aristotle, who compiled and expanded the work of prior natural philosophers and the various ancient explanations of the appearance of organisms; it held sway for two millennia. It is generally accepted to have been ultimately disproven in the 19th Century by the experiments of Louis Pasteur. The disproof of ongoing spontaneous generation is no longer controversial, now that the life cycles of various life forms have been well documented. However, the question of biopoesis or abiogenesis, how living things originally arose from non-living material, remains relevant today


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12 thoughts on “Top 10 Theories on Beginning of Life on Earth

  1. Evolution is about origin of species, not life, and special creation is myth not theory.

  2. It is beter for the scientist and religious people to have one theory of creation, this is due to fact that many kinds of theories it confuses people to understand the beginnig of life on the earth.

  3. LOL, Evolution as mentioned doesnt explain where life STARTED. Evolution is real and has many supporting facts BUT Macro evolutuion is not in anyway proven you can make a new species of horse, of monkey of ape of… but you can not turn man to a monkey/ape etc or the reverse!
    Th quaran is a COPY of the bible and was made a few hundred years AFTER, by a Prophet that ‘dreamed’ what he put, or plagarized the bible! As opposed to the beliefe that Jesus was the son of God and was here, If true well that is PRETTY factual and better fact then any of ther other Theories! Science likes to try and discredit the Creation Theory but it can not be disproven any more then the other theories are proven.

  4. Tobias,
    Within the explanations above evolution are some explanations of how it started. Who knows? One thing is certain, creationism is mythology. If you look, say on any science channel, there is undebatable evidence for processes of change over time within species for survival. Darwin did not come up with the thought of evolution. He created the theory that changes occur over time due to the environment or “Natural Selection.” He discovered the mechanism; but further to the point.
    You believe in a pervasive superforce, that is conscious, who snapped the earth into being, created all of the diversity around us, is totally pure and good but then just decides to go hands off and allow genocide and starvation? Don’t give me the free will B.S. ; It’s not the free will of the people who get killed. As paultry humans, we seek justice. If God had the power of creation and was good he would have been morally compelled to relieve the sufferring of the innocent. Don’t try the “It’s for the greater good” spiel. There can be no equivalent good compared to the net bad in many cases. The bible is inadequate to explain the complexity of the Universe. People hold on to fundamentalism because without it being 100% true three is no God and it scares them. It is the fear of death without God or the lack of the “Master Hand” which has people unable to integrate modern concepts into a world view dedicated to reality. I’m sure your creationism beliefs run into a lot of heat; it is not an equivalent theory because it is not a theory. It is dogma, a hypothesis without evidence.
    Counter that with the fact we are part of the universe having a discussion about itself. I find that to be “Miraculous” but not in the God creation way; in the way of mystery, the essence of spirituality.
    Chevies Newman

  5. I was really surprised that God was 1. I mean, i believe its God but now or days i thought most people believed in the silly thought of evolution which makes no sense what so ever. I mean seriously; is there any real proof? Has anyone actually seen a monkey turn into a human? I wonder why..

  6. I came to this page searching for different theories as to how life began. That is exactly what I got and I am more than happy to have Special Creation as one of the theories listed. I am not religious and don’t believe in god but I do count it as a theory and a possibility. Chevies complains about fundamentalism and doesn’t realize that he’s being a fundamentalist himself. A science fundamentalist. You have to leave your mind open to a million possibilities because the fact is that not a single biological being on this planet today was around for the beginning of the earth.
    Also, I love researching scientific theories because it gives you some source of wonder. Think about how flawed recorded history, carbon dating, and just the science of the day is. If you consider how wildly innacurate any depiction of an event or scientific theory from 50 yrs ago is then consider what that game of telphone has done to 5000 yrs or 35 million years. I love to look at the bible as an interpretation of events in the words and through the eyes of the people and their level of understading at the time. We are also reading the most dilluted and refined versions of these histories so you realy just have to take in the information and let it bloom in your brain. You cannot be sure of anything so don’t put down people for theorizing. A theory is a wonderful thing so long as it is taken as just that. The minute people proclaim ‘fact’ that’s when you gotta watch out.

  7. oh and who’s to say that at least 6 of these theories don’t coincide with eachother? There could have been a being percieved as a god who came to this plannet where all these comets had struck leving behind the right kinds of acids and clays etc that formed bonds and began life that had evolved to a point 6000 yrs ago today and he came down and saw what the apes had evolved into and he decided to screw around with thier genetic make-up and ‘perfect’ them. What he didn’t realize was that the fumes from his portable human perfecting machine was toxic to the old humans and or dinosaurs and so he figured he’d stick around and chit chat with some of his creations for a while then he got bored and whent to some other planet. Who friggin knows. I just like the theology and debate that goes on or is supposed to go on. Don’t let science sit stagnant by calling ideas ‘fact’. keep your mind open

  8. One more note. Don’t take the ideas presented by humans of God so literaly. Such things as hypebole and metaphore have been around forever so don’t discount an omnipotent being just because it wouldn’t be considered ‘fair’ by the humans that read stories about it.

  9. Grace – We are not talking about evolution here BUT in answer to your comment A common misunderstanding is that evolution is a ‘straight’ line we did not evolve from monkeys we had a common ancestor. Proof is theDNA sequencing & fossil evidence, you can see evolution when bacteria evolve tolerance to antibiotics on a petri dish. Subculture you have can see an evolved organism it is biochemically different to its parents Saying there is a God does not answer the question anyhow – where did God come from. Remember religions the cause of more deaths than anything else – BIN THE LOT

  10. Grace — first of all there are plenty of outward resemblances between humans and apes. Second, we share 96% of our DNA with pygmy chimpanzees. Of course no one saw the evolution happen, it took many generations. If it makes no sense to you, go study some science.

  11. The best theoretical conclusion thus far is The Ancient Astronaut Theory, do some more research before debating such a complex conversation. It doesn’t cancel out any other belief, but rather combines them all and allows someone to understand that we are just a small civilization jump started by some other more advanced civilization that just so happen to see that life was thriving at a primal level around 5,000-6,000 years ago. Look up the big brain theory, it is a huge jump of brain size, intelligence, reason, and intellect that seemed to of happened out of nowhere with no explanation, except that some other more advanced beings engineered is to be more advanced. How everything started in the beginning after the Big Bang is explained by the Panspermia concept. Each asteroid and comet has all 26 amino acids within it, (the building blocks for life) which collide into a planet and evolve over millions or billions of years and create complex organisms. Every time there is a supernova a new element appears from all the energy being thrusts in a single area combining with all the previous elements. The more elements, the more complex building blocks combine and are left in space until gravity pulls together the debris together to create asteroids and comets that inevitably collide into planets, causing the extermination of life to create new more advanced life. It is such a long process that it is impossible to fathom the full complexity of the true origins within just 1 span of a civilizations combined knowledge. The truth is not to ever be known, that is the beauty of it. So the only thing one can do is to have faith in ones self! I like all the other comments and I do not wish to contend with any of the previous blogs. I hope this can help some of you out a little.

  12. Complex organisms are created over millions of years, by the planet resetting by all the basic elements (air, water, fire, and land) from volcanism to ice ages to earthquakes, etc… After being heated, frozen, and settled so many times bonds start forming more and more to create more advanced organisms over and over again. Us as humans are obviously still in a primal stage, we haven’t even explored even 2-3 % of our own galaxy, so when the planet resets from some type of inevitable cataclysm, life as we know it will no longer exist, but our DNA will be within the planet so it can mix with new amino acids to eventually have even more advanced beings than us after the planets climate alleviates. This process more than likely happens over and over again.

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