General Question

Your_Majesty's avatar

Why is there life on Earth in the first place?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8235points) September 2nd, 2010

Of course this not just an accident where one compound meet another right compound and form the very first nucleic acid as the very basic element of life form. I mean,why the Earth need life on itself,does it really serve a purpose for Earth? Earth just like other planets in this galaxy where all of them will still exist no matter what happen and will have nothing to do with complexity of life. So why there are life on Earth?
Please try to support your opinion with hypothesis/theory if you could since there could be no accurate answer for this particular issue. I think the idea about we were created by aliens as their experiment object will sound ridiculous to most ears but that is the most plausible explanation in this issue,beside the accident hypothesis,of course.

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39 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

Actually I do believe it was an “accident” of the right “ingredients” spontaneously coming together. Read the beginning of The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

Um, “we were created by aliens” as an experiment project is much less plausible than the “accident theory”. There is simply no supporting evidence of that claim.

Rarebear's avatar

There is life on earth because the environment was such that life could form.

lilikoi's avatar

Yes exactly as @Rarebear said. If the conditions were not right, there would be no life.

Dewey420's avatar

Were all aliens man!!! Like that guy who held The Discovery Channel hostage.. he was a green… but like Obama.. he’s a Gray. Watch for them.

superjuicebox's avatar

I believe in the theory that states that life is abundant in the universe and just spreads to places, and when it finds a suitable place it will start to grow and flourish. This theory has a name but i can’t recall it at this time. I’m not religious (i’m gnostic/agnostic) so i don’t necessarily believe that a higher power created life but i don’t necessarily believe that one didn’t.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@lilikoi and @Rarebear Even if the condition were right,why this particular Earth planet need such life form to inhabit itself? You can imagine that a planet with abundant of life supporting compound but not having any life form,does it make any differences?

Earth does not help the life,it helps itself. I don’t see why there’s a reason this Earth need such life form to thrive in it. With or without life it will still survive with those life supporting elements.

ragingloli's avatar

Aliens, huh.
Where do these aliens come from? Where they created by other aliens, too? And where did those come from? You can not have that kind of infinite regress. A primitive starting “point” where the line between life and non-life is blurry, is inevitable.

“why this particular Earth planet need such life form to inhabit itself?”
It did not need any life. Reality does not concern itself with reasons, deeper purposes, or any of that Schmarrn. When it happens, it happens, when it does not happen, that is fine, too.

josie's avatar

There is life on earth because all of the elements that comprise and support life are present on Earth.
If the Earth did not have those elements, there would be no life here.
Someday, perhaps, one of those elements will no longer be present. When that happens, life will go away on Earth.
If those elements are present elsewhere, I would bet on life being present there as well.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@ragingloli We’re not discussing about aliens right now. Of course,there are many other speculation about this alien theory but that is definitely out of our reach as ‘lower’ life form (I’m not superstitious here). We don’t know about something that is far beyond our knowledge,we can still learn to know about Earth since we have anything we need to fundamentally explore its secret.

superjuicebox's avatar

@josie this goes along with my theory somewhat.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@josie Will it makes any differences if our prehistoric Earth with lots of life supporting elements have or not have life on it? Our Earth,like any other planet will still survive without life form.

ragingloli's avatar

One more thing:
Life is not such a special thing, in terms of composition.
The basic ingredients of life are Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, and maybe some Nitrogen.
These are the most common and most abundant elements in the universe. These are the first ones a star starts to pump out.
We might have the right to consider us special if our basic ingredients were heavy elements like Uranium. But we are not.

“_We’re not discussing about aliens right now. _”
Yes we are. YOU brought it up as the “most plausible” explanation.
And I pointed out the massive problem with this explanation, which is the same as with the “god(s)” hypothesis: infinite regress.
It is not a matter of details or a lack of fine knowledge, but a matter of basic logical consistency, and your hypothesis fails on that level.

Our Earth,like any other planet will still survive without life form.
As I said, life does not need a reason or purpose to exist. It just does. Or it does not.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@ragingloli ” Life is not such a special thing, in terms of composition”
I know life is not such special thing but it doesn’t explain why certain planet,like this Earth,need such particular useless element to thrive in it.You said no reason needed to explain this one,what happen is just happen. But every element of our planet were formed because each of them serve a/some purpose for each of their respective planets.
Can you imagine why a planet such as Mars need to create such formidable atmosphere? (Yes,it used to be formidable) Does it serve any purpose for the survival of its planet? I believe you know the answer.

The problem about the religion-based theory to solve this issue is really different from this alien theory (I’m not insisting that alien theory is the fact of the issue),we know that religions are explainable,we know the truth behind it,thus make it inappropriate for scientific issues. This is,of course,different from the theory about aliens,we don’t know about them,we can study about them,but they pose the ‘higher’ potential to explain the life source issue on our planet. Aliens and any related subject about them are science-fiction,if not completely scientific.

If you bring this problem to the next level of life complexity you could learn that every life have a purpose on this Earth,they form the symbiotic relationship with each other and create the main/very first foundation and cycle in nature.
You can say that this Earth need such ‘food competition’ (as one of many other examples) for all life form to preserve its vitality in the galaxy,please don’t mix this particular issue with the ‘interference of human’ since we know about Earth and how to manipulate it,but we used to be manipulated by Earth. Can you imagine our Earth will survive without the purpose of each life on itself? If there’s no forest to produce enough CO2 and It will thicken the Earth’s atmosphere that may lead to destruction,or even elimination by ‘outer’ elements,such as asteroids. Even a single species such as rodent species have a serve a purpose on this earth,helping the plants. You can see that they’re all correlated one and another,with the Earth as the foundation of the activity. I believe every life serve a purpose on this Earth,as we ‘coincidentally’ serve the Earth,to preserve it.

MeinTeil's avatar

Life is constantly boucing from place to place.

Earth is a place.

Rarebear's avatar

@Doctor_D You said, “why this particular Earth planet need such life form to inhabit itself?”. Your question is flaws. It implies that there is active intent of Earth to “need” life forms to inhabit itself. You didn’t pay close attention to what we’ve been writing, and I’ll restate.

The only reason that there is life on Earth is that environmental conditions were suited to life. Period. There have been times on Earth where environmental conditions did NOT suit life and that led to mass extinctions where high percentages of life on the planet were wiped out. In fact, the human race was nearly wiped out about 250,000 years ago—estimates are that the entire species was down to about 600 breeding pairs.

JustmeAman's avatar

I guess a need to define life should exist. I believe that the Earth itself is alive and can progress and change. There is nothing in the Universe that is not alive. Each and everything has a vibration and exists. All things have always existed and we cannot comprehend that. We are material beings with physical limitations and therefore can only think on that realm. Our minds think and look to everything having a beginning but what if that were not so? We also look and think everything has to have an ending. Why because it is the world in which we now live and it has its limitations. We are also limited by time, space, distance and many other things. Just think if we became a being without those limitations. How would life then be?

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Rarebear I clearly pay attention to what you all said.

“The only reason that there is life on Earth is that environmental conditions were suited to life. Period”
Yes,that is definitely right. But I’m curious as why Our Earth ‘need’ such life elements to thrive in it. Yes,our Earth were filled with these life supporting ‘composition’ but does that doesn’t explain why life are ‘allowed’ to exist on it. With or Without life our Earth,like any other planets will still exist. Please imagine our prehistoric Earth with lots of ‘life compunds’ but there’s no life,is that make any sense? The fact that there are life on Earth could prove that life serve some unexplored purpose for Earth,despite Earth is not a living thing but it has the power to maintain or cause cycle on itself.

I believe there are reasons for life on this Earth. Not aesthetically,of course,but functionally.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@JustmeAman That is what I said aliens theory is one of the most plausible explanation for life on Earth. An experiment project.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @Rarebear – the answer is “because there could be life’.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir With or without that Earth will still exist. Is that mean the presence of life on Earth is none other than ‘decomposition’ coincidence? Probably. I believe there’s something more than that,and I’m looking for it. They probably serve some purpose for the Earth.

JustmeAman's avatar


I would not say it is an experiment but it happens on a regular basis and we progress through life and its experiences. We have been through this before and will again.

lilikoi's avatar

There is no NEED.

Vortico's avatar

I think mathematically, so I’ll offer my 2 cents.

Let’s say that there is a 1E-80 chance that the chemical reactions needed to start a life sequence at any given second at any given place happens. Now assume there are 1E60 of these sizes of space in our solar system and 1E20 seconds in a given time frame. With large enough variables, it is bound to happen sometimes.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@JustmeAman No,that one,the experiment statement is my opinion. I just say that your response somehow correlate with my perspective about this issue.

Regular basis,but that didn’t explain the reason about life on Earth. It’s more suitable for the continuation of life on Earth.

@lilikoi I fix it. I said ‘need’. Which I personally translate (if I’m not lack of vocabulary) as the reason for what is caused by action.

@Vortico Can you elaborate that theory? I hope it can fundamentally explain this issue since it sounds partial for me.

Rarebear's avatar

Again, you are assigning active causality, but using the words “need”, and “allowed”. There simply is no reason for it.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Rarebear That’s all?. Not even a hypothetical reason? Whether we exist or not we won’t affect the existence of Earth,is that what you mean? But the fact that life can not and will never disappear from Earth after they’re exist (Even with mass nuclear war or asteroid invasion) prove that Earth still maintains its life form,and of course those life form serve ‘something’ for the Earth. Do you think I’m too imaginative about this idea?
Please forgive my Vocabulary,I must admit that I may occasionally use it in ineffective way.

Vortico's avatar

I choose not to participate in the argument dealing with the Earth’s “need” for life, so I will continue with the original question.

@Doctor_D The theory is very basic, with the general idea being that a low probability repeated many times over will result in a higher probability. Once life has been initiated, the population will grow easily at a logistic rate, and using Darwin’s theories of natural selection, the lifeforms will take on abstract forms. This is contradictory of the entropy theory, which makes the idea of life so interesting.

gondwanalon's avatar

First consider the question: What is life as we know it? Life on Earth can’t exist without DNA. Therefore one might say that life is DNA or DNA is life. Also DNA will only function properly under the comparatively mild temperatures and pressures found here on Mother Earth.
There are no planets or moons that have the same characteristics as Earth on our solar system. That is why Earth is like the Garden of Eden of life.
How and why did Earth acquire the ideal circumstances to sustain life? How was DNA developed on (or came to) Earth? We can only wonder. We guess but no answer is ever good enough and we suffer for not knowing the secrets.

Trillian's avatar

@Doctor_D You keep asking why earth needs life. That is the problem. You are asking a question based on a faulty assumption. You have not establilshed that earth needs tha life here. You are indrectly implying direction. And here you say;
“But the fact that life can not and will never disappear from Earth after they’re exist…prove that Earth still maintains its life form,and of course those life form serve ‘something’ for the Earth.”
Again, this is not a provable fact. It is an asumption. And it does not prove what you are asserting.

JustmeAman's avatar

You are asking a question based on our limited understanding of life and one of which we have no way of explaining. Life has always been and will always be.

Rarebear's avatar

@Doctor_D Nope. No reason whatsoever.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Vortico Thank you for your elaboration. Not too general,but I understand. I won’t argue with this theory (like many other people who did,most theory are arguable) since I believe every theory has its own place.

@Trillian Not every hypothesis/theory really need to be physically proved to ensure its truth. Assumption that are formed by accumulation of rational or several scientific aspects is enough to be branded as hypothesis or theory (if more accurate/complete).
Do you think the theory about several gases compound that create life on Earth is provable? Has anyone witness/try that on our very first prehistoric Earth? We can’t actually prove it. It’s an assumption made by combining several/certain scientific cases. That is the same like my statement about life that you quote on me,it’s not necessarily can be proven but it’s a fact (Of course,you/no one want to use this Earth as an experiment media,right?).

Trillian's avatar

@Doctor_D Actually, the scientific process is all about proving theories and showing quantifiable empiric evidence. You are stating things as fact that are not fact. You can’t do that. If you have a theory, you are welcome to state it as such, then in a scientific manner you can try to prove or disprove that theory.
You cannot state as fact that the earth needs life. You cannot state as fact…ach. See my above post. I’ll just be repeatin gmyself.
It doesn’t matter if I think your theory is provable or not. I’m not the one expounding it and I have other ways to use my time. I’m just telling you that there is a way to go about proving or disproving a theory. Stating speculation as fact is not a crime, but it costs you credibility.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Trillian My theory about Earth that ‘needs’ life and alien interference cannot be proven by any scientific methods nor you can rely on such evidence,but it has the potential of existence and it’s somehow rational. It’s not unusual that rational assumption is the root of most hypothesis. Beside,if you aware,I said that I personally adopt this idea and the way I write the post reflect my personal idea.

HungryGuy's avatar

Because some amino acids accidentally bumped into each other under the right conditions a long time ago.

KhiaKarma's avatar

We’re somebody’s sea monkeys.

Vortico's avatar

@KhiaKarma Well, that explains a lot!

JustmeAman's avatar

Don’t listen to those that only make statements to put down an idea or push it away as if they KNOW… They do not and their sarcastic attitude proves that without doubt. If you truly want to discover things then open your mind and seek. Try meditation and self discipline and you can find about anything you want or need. It sometimes takes years but if you don’t start then where will you be in those same spent years if you do nothing? Life is an opportunity and it is a huge learning experience one that needs not be wasted.

Good luck and remember to Seek, Knock and Discover with an open heart and mind.

kess's avatar

The Purpose of this earth is the for the purposes of Life itself,
As it sustains and perpetuates itself
And even more specifically to
maintain the purity of all things, which is Life itself.

Why would one ask a question and not expect an accurate answer?

Don’t you know that since the question and it’s answer are one,
where there is one surely without doubt the other is there?

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