Life is everywhere around us, so abiogenesis should be a breeze. The environment is great for life, and we have access to all the [material] building blocks, including simple atoms, simple and complex molecules, full body parts, and “almost alive” (the recently dead) full bodies.
We’re endowed with the human brain, the most advanced entity in the universe, and recently we made great progress in understanding life. The desire to succeed has been a recurring dream throughout human history as, perhaps, some hope that the god-like power to create life would put an end once and for all to faith. The “Origin of Species” would finally have an Origin.
The widely cited Miller–Urey experiment demonstrated that several organic compounds could be formed spontaneously. So was the experiment a success? Not when you’re trying to create life and all you end up with are “compounds”. The fact that this experiment is cited seven decades later, shows the lack of progress in this area. Periodically we learn about this or that new experiment, but the story quickly fizzles as there’s no follow up success, and we’re back to Miller–Urey.
But why is Abiogenesis so hard? Perhaps for the same reason AI Rise of the Machines is not happening and all evolutionary experiments of the “typing monkeys” genus end in failure. There’s that extra ingredient that eludes. It seems Randomness generates only noise and Unguided Selection selects nothing at all.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Life gives folks some hope. We’re told there are so many galaxies like ours in the Universe and each one has so many planets like Earth that statistically the chance of life out there is very high. But so far we still have a total known population of 1 (one) planet supporting life. Sure, there might be water out there, the right temperature, pressure, and other goodies. But is life = water + oxygen + carbon + other lifeless goodies? It seems not. Else we would get new life in labs right here on Earth. Quantity does not transform into higher Quality. “Arising” of this or that has yet to happen.