Primordial soup

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The Primordial soup theory was first developed by Alexander Oparin in 1942 and theorises that abiogenesis did occur in a warm water body in primordial earth. He stated that the conditions present in this primordial earth could've given rise to early life forms, but that the earth's atmosphere had changed so radically that it was impossible to conduct experiments.

Around the same time, J.B.S Haldane introduced his theory, which likened the primordial ocean to a chemical laboratory, containing organic and inorganic molecules. As both these theories occurred at the same time, with similarity in conclusion, the Primordial soup theory can also be named the Oparin-Haldane hypothesis[1].

This hypothesis gained momentum when the Miller-Urey experiment managed to synthesize amino acids from a chemical mixture, by simulating weather conditions that would occur in early primordial earth. However, this experiment is now scrutinised for having an methane and ammonia rich atmosphere which is now thought to not have been present in primordial earth. The current understanding of the primordial earth's atmosphere is now thought to be more inert, with it being carbon and nitrogen rich. In recent times, new research has shown that this atmosphere would still produce many amino acids, as the primordial soup would contain iron and carbonate materials, which neutralise nitrates (molecules that destroy amino acids) and acidity (in which amino acids do not form)[2].


  1. Biology Wise, Finding The Origin of Life: The Primordial Soup Theory Explained.[Cited 10/12/2018] Available from:
  2. Fox D. Primordial Soup's On: Scientists Repeat Evolution's Most Famous Experiment. Scientific American. 2007 March. [Cited 10/12/2018} Available from:
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