The space-soup theory of life: Tiny primordial soups on interstellar dust
In the abiogenesis hypothesis, self-replicating RNA is generally assumed to have arisen out of a primordial soup of amino acids no later than 500 million years before life on Earth. Prebiotic molecules such as glycolaldehyde and amino acetonitrile are found to be abundant in nebulas such as Sagittarius B2. In this paper I show how icy grains within nebulas can act as tiny primordial soups. I further show that a typical nebula would be 1011 times more likely to create a self-replicator than the combined iterative power of Earth’s primitive oceans. Finding the first self-replicator could be a problem significantly more difficult than previously envisioned, requiring the contribution of a larger primordial soup spread across a nebula and operating for 8 billion years prior to life on Earth. This could explain why life lagged the Big Bang by 10 billion years and solve the Fermi paradox.