Life on earth began in small ponds, McMaster University research suggests

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A new paper by Canadian researchers suggests life on Earth began in warm little ponds about four billion years ago.

A McMaster University professor and his graduate student say they have calculated for what’s believed to be the first time that meteorites brought the building blocks of life that accumulated in these warm ponds after land masses first appeared out of the ocean.

The theory was first suggested by Charles Darwin in a letter to his friend in the 1870s.

Ben K.D. Pearce, a PhD student at McMaster, says the theory was tested through mathematical modelling, the results of which are detailed in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

He says their team combined data from a wide variety of fields, from astrophysics to biochemistry to geological science, in a way that he says has never been calculated before.

Professor Ralph Pudritz says they plan to test the model next summer when McMaster opens an origins-of-life laboratory.

The Canadian Press