Is the “primordial soup” theory — the idea that life emerged from a prebiotic broth — past its expiration date?
Biochemist Nick Lane thinks so. The University College London writer and his colleagues argue that the 81-year-old notion just doesn’t hold water.
Lane tells NPR’s Guy Raz there’s another possible explanation for the emergence of life. But before we get to that, why toss out the soup theory?
Lane says the idea of a primordial soup goes back to 1929, and great biologists like J.B.S. Haldane.
“He proposed that the Earth’s early atmosphere was composed of simple gases like methane and ammonia. And they would react together under the influence of ultraviolet rays or lightning to produce a thin ‘soup’ — which became thicker over time — of organic molecules,” Lane says.
Primordial Soup Can created by James W. Brown
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