And yet always just as far off:
In 2006, in a debate with Stephen Meyer, evolutionary paleontologist Peter Ward observed that, “Harvard University just put a hundred million dollars into a center for the origin of life,” and predicted that because origin of life research is “one of the hottest scientific areas in the world we will have artificial life I predict in a decade.” Ten years later, in 2016, also in a debate with Steve Meyer (and Denis Lamoureux), physicist Lawrence Krauss promised “We’re coming very close” to explaining the origin of life via chemical evolutionary models. We’re now 15 years out from the Meyer-Ward debate and nearly five years past the Meyer-Krauss-Lamoureux event. How are these promises of origin-of-life research faring?
At the end of last year, an article in Nature titled “The Water Paradox and the Origins of Life” admitted that there are still major problems facing some of the most basic steps in the origin of life: explaining how the first biomolecules arose in a prebiotic world. The article begins with the tagline: “Water is essential for life, but it breaks down DNA and other key molecules. So how did the first cells deal with such a necessary and dangerous substance?” The article then recounts origin of life theorists on different sides of a debate: some believe that life originated in an ocean, and others believe that life formed at the surface of the earth. What comes through clearly is that the field can’t even agree on the environment where life originated, a disagreement that stems directly from deep problems facing each proposal.Casey Luskin, “Nature Article Admits Unanswered Origin-of-Life Questions, Exposing Broken Promises of ID Critics” at Evolution News and Science Today
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.