Understanding the evolution and beginnings of biochemistry is a fundamental problem which needs to be addressed in origins of life research. The development of highly complex chemical systems from simple inorganic beginnings is difficult to comprehend and has resulted in much heated scientific debate. The debate is further fuelled by the fact we know very little about conditions present on the early Earth at the time life began. Owing to the highly dynamic nature of the Earth, the geological record for the earliest period of Earth's history when life began is practically non-existent. Without geochemical indicators, we have no idea about the composition of the atmosphere or oceans, when or how much water was present on the Earth's surface or the chemical inventory present before the emergence of life. There has been much speculation and argument around all of these points about what could be acceptably deemed ‘prebiotically plausible’ environmental conditions. We do know that life started somewhere, but the where, when and how may only be solved by a process of elimination by experimentation.

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