Search for traces in primeval soup

Riddle about the origin of life

Did life in the Urozean - or completely elsewhere? Brocken Inaglory / CC-by-sa 3.0
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Where do we come from? Why does life exist on Earth? And where and in what form did it originate? These questions touch upon the most important and fundamental things of our world and ultimately our very existence - yet none of them has yet been answered. But on the contrary.

To be sure, only one thing is clear today: sometime around 3.8 billion years ago, the first living cells appeared on the inhospitable and dead soil, which betrays fossil carbon deposits in the rock. From them, in the following billions of years, the entire living world, as we know it, developed from the slipper animal to the elephant and ultimately to the human being.

But the path to this crucial first act in the drama of life remains a mystery to researchers today. Even Darwin thought it was a completely hopeless task to even want to waste scientific thoughts on the "origin of origin". And at least since 1864, the researchers are sitting in this dilemma in any case in the dilemma: At this time, the French chemist Louis Pasteur demonstrated in a sterilization experiment for the first time that organisms do not arise spontaneously from dead matter, as previously assumed, but that life is always of The living stems. This principle "omne vivum ex vivo" applies in principle to this day and forms the basis for the scientific worldview of the life sciences.

But of course he creates a problem: At some point and somehow the chain of "life from life" must have started. But it is at this point that the researchers are still biting their teeth, or, as Philip Ball puts it in the journal Nature: "It is either a sign of the boundless optimism of science or a complete lack of modesty that researchers hope for to solve the puzzle of the origin of life. "

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Nadja Podbregar
Stand: 25.10.2013 Display