The Primordial soup theory explains that within a “soup” of chemicals present in the early life of the earth, organic matter came into formation, leading eventually to the creation of life. Explaining the source of life on this planet may never be possible, but theorising it certainly is, and this is one of many theories present in modern thinking; other possibilities include the arrival of life on earth from space in a meteorite, the creation of life from alien species with technologies far superior to any the human race has ever encountered, and of course, the theory that life was created by a divine creator, namely God. I will be focusing on the Primordial soup theory independent of the other theories.
For the theory to be valid, three hypotheses must be fulfilled: 1. Inorganic chemicals like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and cyanide were readily available in the oceans of the early world.
2. These substances reacted to form organic molecules such as amino acids and nucleic acids.
3. These organic molecules went on to form organisms
All three of these hypotheses must be valid in order for the Primordial soup theory to be possible.
The first hypothesis, though it may be valid, cannot be validated; knowledge of the chemicals present in the oceans of the world one billion years ago can not be established through experiments in the lab, and although analysis of geological strata can offer some clues into the earth’s past chemical composition, its exact nature can only be speculated. This means that the first hypothesis can never be proved or disproved thoroughly without offering room for argument.
The second hypothesis is valid. Scientific experiments in lab environments have produced organic molecules from inorgainc ones, and so the first two hypotheses are completely plausible.
The main source of argument is the third hypothesis; organisms have never been formed from simple organic molecules in a lab environment. Many people who discredit the Primordial soup theory claim that this proves the formation of organisms from organic molecules is impossible, as humans are unable to make the change come about. However, there is one thing that cannot be replicated in a lab that was present in abundance in the early life of the earth: time. Four and a half billion years worth of time. Plenty of time for the formation of organic molecules from inorganic ones, and possibly enough time even for organisms to arise from these. Chemical reactions can certainly be made faster in labs through the application of greater pressures, temperatures and the presence of catalysts, but such conditions are certainly harmful to organic chemicals.
The third hypothesis is not an impossibility just because it can’t be replicated in a lab. Like the first hypothesis, it can neither be proved or disproved. Neither can any of the other theories; the existence of God has been argued through man’s existence, and aliens creating life on earth is a possibility that certainly can never be proved in a lab.
The theory that organisms evolve directly from organic chemicals does not need to be believed either in order for the Primordial soup theory to be valid; it is possible for there to be a link between the two. For example, viruses, though not organisms, are made of organic matter. It isn’t difficult to imagine complex organic molecules forming structures like viruses that eventually become organisms through further chemical reactions.
To this writer, the Primordial soup theory seems far more plausible than any other theory that is being offered. It is a chemical reaction that takes a long time to take place, but that is able to take place independent of a creator, being explainable through natural events. This does not remove the possibility of a creator being present; God or aliens could well be responsible for the introduction of such chemicals or for the energy required to start such a reaction (which could naturally be explained by lightning, geothermal vents or any other source of natural energy).