By Michael Marshall
How did life begin? There can hardly be a bigger question. For much of human history, almost everyone believed some version of “the gods did it”. Any other explanation was inconceivable.
That is no longer true. Over the last century, a few scientists have tried to figure out how the first life might have sprung up. They have even tried to recreate this Genesis moment in their labs: to create brand-new life from scratch.
So far nobody has managed it, but we have come a long way. Today, many of the scientists studying the origin of life are confident that they are on the right track – and they have the experiments to back up their confidence.