• Question: How did life start? Like... there was non-living matter, how did it make us?

    Asked by hyperohan to Yee Whye, Valerie, Nick, Mackenzie, Lin, Jun, Jacob, Brian, Anna on 12 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Lin Shuyu

      Lin Shuyu answered on 12 Nov 2019:

      I always wonder the same question. I think the short answer is: ‘nobody knows.’

      There are quite a few documentaries (I think you can find some of them on netflix) about the origin of solar system/earth/life. It all just happened. At the very beginning, the ocean is like a nutritious soup and out of a sudden, the first cell creature appeared. It absorbed materials from surroundings and converted it to some form of energy and developed some form of reproduction. I guess that’s the start of life, from some documentary I saw. But we never know whether it’s a must happen event. Actually, I think it might be just a coincident. It could happen on early, or it could happen on another planet where a soupy environment also exists, or it could happen at a place which is very different from early and form lives that are very different from us or anything on earth. Everything important is a probability problem. I’m pretty sure there is a probabilistic component in the start of life. If you are really interested in this, maybe you can consider to study biology or space science.

    • Photo: Brian Zhang

      Brian Zhang answered on 14 Nov 2019:

      Just to follow up on Lin’s excellent response, there’s also the question of whether life has emerged on other planets, and maybe it happened in a completely different way than on Earth! So yeah, space science sounds like a cool way to study this! (Specifically exoplanets)