Life on Earth began as soon as environmental circumstances permitted. The conditions may have been severe, but life then was as it is now: an act of will.
No matter how minute an organism may be, or how elementary it may appear at first glance, it is nevertheless infinitely more complex than a simple solution of organic substances. ~ Russian biochemist Alexander Oparin
The numerous atomic bonds that orchestrate molecular dynamics differentiate by energy level. Why they form the way they do, and in such variety, is not entirely understood. The most vital chemical bonds of all – those that afford life – we utterly fail to comprehend.
Reproducing the spark that differentiates organic compounds from even the simplest life eludes us despite much study and experimentation. The sophistic idea of “primordial soup” has not been abandoned, but its explanatory power is increasingly seen as inadequate, as something fundamental goes missing in all attempts to stir organic goop to life.
The underlying problem is complexity. Although we have no idea of the minimal complexity of a living organism, it is likely to be very high. It could be that some sort of complexifying principle operates in Nature, serving to drive a chaotic mix of chemicals on a fast track to a primitive microbe. ~ English physicist Paul Davies