Origin Of Life: Twentieth Century Landmarks

Following Pasteur's refutation of Spontaneous Generation, the idea of Panspermia gained some credibility for a while. This theory, which proposes that life is an inherent property of the Universe and that it arrived on Earth fom space, is covered in more detail in the discussion of the 'Earth Or Space' issue.

A number of criticisms of the theory were raised, but at the turn of the century it seemed to be the only plausible explanation for the Origin of Life. Then, in the 1920s, an alternative 'Primordial Soup' theory was put forward by Oparin and Haldane. This is discussed in the page on the Oparin-Haldane Hypothesis.

Later, two key events in the mid twentieth century set the framework for much of the research into the origin of life that has taken place since. These were:-

Each of these also has a page in the 'Landmarks' section.