Because there is no general consensus for how life emerged—astrobiologists concentrate upon the LUCA ** (the Last Universal Common Ancestor). When someone tries to imagine how life could have spontaneously arose out an aqueous, organic soup—it is very difficult to piece together. It is as if one were cooking a pot of beef stew—it is only after the meal is prepared that it seems as if it were seamless? It might (IMO) be stated that the current efforts to understand life’s origins gives us a picture of life only in our Solar System. The chemistry that entails our biology entails only so many our familiar amino acids—and not the many “unnatural” amino acids that chemistry can dictate. So where does that leave the average person who may be curious about how it all began . . . so many millennia ago?
When I go for my morning walks, I imagine how the sky would look to me if I was on a different planet in the Galactic Habitable Zone. How would the alien sunrise be perceived? If the sky was persistently orange as if it maybe during a smoggy morning—how would that change the way that its inhabitants could be perceived? I suppose I might question the color of the alien sky. In my own manner of thinking, I would need to perform a compositional analysis of the alien sky. Our sky is blue due to scattering of light (often termed Rayleigh scattering); and much of why the sky is blue is because of the composition of the atmosphere. We certainly take a lot of things for granted, I certainly do so.
Perhaps, another way to question our origins is to ask: how would life be different if one were placed on a small island and one did not “know” the origins of much of the fauna or flora. If one were born on the island—then the question of origins takes on an entirely different perspective. One may take a couple of different roles to answer the question: experimentation & logic or superstition. Since no one may necessarily be free of either alternative exclusively—then perhaps some explanations may be more “correct” than others.
If the island sat near an active volcano, then I may have a much better perspective of how the cycles of life permeated my own existence. It is quite interesting how life seems to respond to the cycles of nature. And again, what we do notice is the end result—nonetheless. As long as life gains a foothold—it thrives. But, that does not answer how life got its start in the first place?
It might be supposed that pre-biotic chemistry thrived throughout the half billion years of Earth’s existence. That does not make any one of the different paradigms of life’s origins correct or wrong? Perhaps as long as all the different science paradigms of origins is technically correct then we have a very large “jigsaw” puzzle to construct the truth from. So, some pieces of the puzzle are in a better perspective to be near the truth than others.
The final word comes when you, I or all of us arrive closer to truth? And, at that point, the truth would constitute understanding the past, knowing the present, and having a “working theory” that could better comprehend future patterns.
** LUCA—Last Universal Common Ancestor is said to immediately precede “Life.”
MODIFIED & (OVERLY)-SIMPLE LIST of BIO-CHEMICAL EVOLUTION
- First Life Form(s)
- Un-differentiated Pre-Biotic Cells
- Simple Protein structures, Simple RNA/DNA, & simple lipids
- Aggregates of similar pre-biotic compounds: amino acids, nucleotides, terpene-like units (hydrocarbons)
- Miller-Urey & Strecker-like syntheses of molecules