At Science, we learn that researchers think that sunlight might have given life on Earth the needed jolt to produce life:
A new study suggests that the iron-and-sulfur clusters at the heart of many life-critical enzymes could have been floating around Earth’s primordial seas some 4 billion years ago, produced by nothing more than primitive biomolecules, iron salts, and a previously unknown ingredient—ultraviolet (UV) light.
To find out whether iron-sulfur clusters were a core ingredient for life from the start—or whether the first organisms got along fine without them—Mansy and his team recreated the conditions of early Earth in their lab. University of Trento biochemist Claudia Bonfio removed oxygen and mixed together a brew of iron and glutathione, a sulfur-containing peptide likely present in the prebiotic chemical soup. When the iron was in an oxidation state that predominated on early Earth, iron (II), nothing happened. But when Bonfio flicked on the lights, a transformation took place. … More.
Needless to say, there are many, many other theories.
One problem is that the origin of life is not like the laws of physics. It is a historical event in time. It is more like World War II than it is like Newton’s Laws of Motion.
It might be easier to find out how to create life in the lab (whether or not it happened that way in nature billons of years ago) than to ever determine how exactly it did happen back then, in the absence of a really clear line of evidence.
No harm in it of course, as long as fanatics don’t take over.
See also: Maybe if we throw enough models at the origin of life… some of them will stick?
What we know and don’t know about the origin of life