This is a doubt that will exist for many years in humanity, because, as the Copilot chatbot says, it will be difficult to know “for sure how life began” and as time goes on more research emerges, so It seems like a puzzle that our generation will definitely not be able to solve.
The three AI chatbots deal with a different number of theories, although they agree on many of them. One is the panspermia theory, which proposes that life came to Earth from another planet, either via meteorites, comets or space dust.
Bard confirms that this idea “is based on the presence of organic molecules in meteorites and the possibility of the existence of life on other planets.” It is a concept that ChatGPT complements by saying that life came to Earth “through meteorites, asteroids, or other celestial bodies carrying microorganisms or prebiotic materials.”
However, according to chatbots, The theory that currently has the most traction among scientists is what is known as abiogenesis. The basis of this hypothesis is that life arose from inorganic molecules that were present on early Earth.
“These molecules, under the right conditions of temperature, pressure and energy, combine to form more complex organic molecules, such as amino acids and nucleotides. These molecules in turn combine to form the first living cells,” says Bard.
According to the co-pilot, there are four reasons why this theory is so popular among researchers.
- Prebiotic chemistry experiments: Laboratory experiments have shown that organic molecules can form from conditions similar to those that existed on early Earth.
- Discovery of extremophile microorganisms: These microorganisms that live in extreme environments (such as hot springs or salt lakes) suggest that life can adapt to inhospitable conditions.
- Evolution: Evolution shows us how species change over time. LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) is the starting point for all current biodiversity. The theory of abiogenesis suggests that LUCA was the result of natural processes on Earth.
- Lack of conclusive evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial beings: Although the theory of panspermia is an interesting idea, we still do not have solid evidence that life came to Earth from outer space.
In addition to these two theories, ChatGPT mentions another pair that was also the product of multiple investigations throughout history:
- Universal RNA Hypothesis: This hypothesis suggests that in the early stages of Earth's existence, RNA molecules played a crucial role as chemical catalysts and carriers of genetic information before DNA became the dominant molecule for storing genetic information.
- Hydrothermal theory: Some scientists suggest that life may have emerged in hydrothermal systems on the seafloor, where a combination of minerals, chemical energy, and heat could provide the right environment for the first forms of life to emerge.
Being a constant doubt in humanity, finding the answer is a seemingly impossible path. For this reason, the question also arises as to what is the conclusive evidence to confirm the origin of life on Earth. In this case, the three chatbots agree that science never classifies any evidence as “irrefutable.”
However, regarding this doubt, ChatGPT emphasizes that there are four aspects that can help confirm some existing theories:
- If scientists can prove conclusively that it is possible to synthesize complex organic moleculessuch as amino acids and nucleotides, under conditions similar to those that existed on early Earth.
- If conclusive evidence of past life on other planets or moons within our solar system is found, This would indicate that life is not limited to Earth and could support the theory of panspermia.
- Discovering very ancient fossils Well-preserved skeletons of primitive life forms on early Earth would provide strong evidence of how the first life forms appeared on our planet.
- If scientists can build probiotic systems in the laboratory that can reproduce some of the basic properties of living organismssuch as metabolism and self-reproduction, this would support the idea that life can arise from simple chemical and physical processes.
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