‘Primordial Soup’ Theory Rejected In New Study

February 2, 2010

UK (ChattahBox) – A research group from University College London has spoken out against the ‘primordial soup’ theory of early life, and instead insisted that it was gases and the vented heat from the Earth that create life.

According to the group, the rising gases were heated from hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor, which created the first sparks that led to evolutionary life.

The concept rejects the widely accepted theory that has for 80 years said that life began in the primordial soup of methane, ammonia and water, which was converted into organic compounds that started the evolutionary process using UV rays.

“Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won’t work at all,” Dr Nick Lane explains.

“We present the alternative that life arose from gases (H2, CO2, N2, and H2S) and that the energy for first life came from harnessing geochemical gradients created by mother Earth at a special kind of deep-sea hydrothermal vent – one that is riddled with tiny interconnected compartments or pores.

“Thermodynamic constraints mean that chemiosmosis is strictly necessary for carbon and energy metabolism in all organisms that grow from simple chemical ingredients [autotrophy] today, and presumably the first free-living cells. Here we consider how the earliest cells might have harnessed a geochemically created force and then learned to make their own.”

The study has been published in the journal BioEssays.

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