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Abiogenesis refers to the process (as yet unobserved) by which non-living matter first became arranged into living organisms, also referred to as the creation of life.


The predominant scientific theory regarding the nature of this process involves self-organization, simple self-replicating molecules becoming gradually more complex, and processes much like those seen in evolution.

Although it is consistent with the theory of evolution, it is not part of that theory. Despite this, lack of supporting evidence for a scientific theory of abiogenesis is often used as an argument against the (vastly better-established) scientific theory of evolution.


Most mythologies include a story explaining the origins of non-supernatural life; these stories typically involve the existence of some supernatural life-form ("gods" such as Thor, or a monotheistic "God"), although in some cases the story is more that "it just happened".

Norse mythology, for example, says that the first two organisms were Ymir (a "frost giant") and a snow-white cow, both of whom happened to emerge from Ginungagap, the great swirling of frost at the beginning of the universe.


The predominant mythologies of the industrial and information ages, the Abrahamic monotheisms (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), all hold that a supernatural being called "God" created everything, including the universe, the Earth, life, and humanity.

In the face of scientific evidence showing more credible explanations for these events, modern Abrahamists tend to argue that while it is still literally true that God created all of these things, his role remains hidden from observation in that he is the reason why the laws of physics work as they do and the direct cause of key events not yet observed, such as the first organism (or the first self-replicating molecule).

Many Abrahamists, however, insist that scripture (the Bible, the Qur'an, or the Torah) must be taken literally. Where such insistence clearly violates the available evidence, these beliefs are called creationism.

Christian creationists hold that the creation of life is accurately described in the Biblical Book of Genesis, with God literally creating the first animals and humans from raw materials. (Presumably Jewish creationists would agree with this, insofar as the Book of Genesis is also found in the Jewish Torah. Fortunately, there do not seem to be very many Jewish creationists; Jewish fundamentalists seem to focus more on other issues.)