I. The Origin of Life

Life on Earth originated ~4 billion years ago, but how did it start? The early Earth would look savage and alien to any time travelers from the present day. Yet in this violent environment with no oxygen and massive volcanic activity, somehow the right chemicals came together to produce the first primitive living systems. Our evidence for this moment is scant. Unfortunately molecules don't leave fossils, but there are other types of evidence that can lead us to an answer to one of the most fundamental questions humans have ever asked. Scientists are using both bottom-up and top-down approaches to understand how Biology emerges from Chemistry and what the earliest lifeforms would have been like.

What is emergence and how does it work?

What is life anyway?

What were the earliest life forms like?

How do scientists investigate the origins of life?