Can Science Explain The Origin Of Life?

The theory of evolution tells us how life diversified after it got started, but how did the first evolving creatures come about?


Darwin’s theory of biological evolution helps us understand how simple life forms can give rise to complex lifeforms, but how did the first reproducing creatures come about? The origin of life needs its own explanation. Scientists don’t currently have a complete explanation for life’s origins, but different labs around the globe are looking into the idea that life may have emerged from chemistry.

In this animation you will learn why they are studying this idea, and you’ll get to see a few of the fascinating things they have discovered.

For Teachers

The content of this video meets criteria in the following Disciplinary Core Ideas defined by Next Generation Science Standards. Use our videos to supplement classroom curriculum.


Our videos benefit from guidance and advice provided by experts in science and education. This animation is the result of collaboration between the following scientists, educators, and our team of creatives.

  • Jon Perry
  • Jeremiah Deasey
  • Anthony Danzl
  • Rosemary Mosco
  • Jordan Collver
  • Zaid Ghasib
  • David Lynn, PhD
  • Eric T. Parker, PhD
  • Tom Cochran


Overview of current research

Self assembly

RNA synthesis

Early fossils

Metabolic pathways

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