As far as I'm aware, almost everyone (from Dawkins to Lennox to Hovind) agrees that at some point in the past there was no life in our universe, and currently there is. Therefore life somehow arose in an environment of non-life.
What does current mainstream science think about the statement "life arose from non-life by purely material processes"? What I mean is, is that statement an a priori assumption, a potential conclusion, an actual conclusion, a wish, a research program guideline, ...?
- #1 We assume a priori it is true, because science assumes materialism: one cannot really be a scientist unless one is a materialist, 'real scientists don't believe in God.'
- #2 We assume a priori it is true, because science is about material processes: the statement might be very well be false, but in that case it falls out side the realm of science and should be studied under the heading of religion of some such: 'you can't talk about miracles here.'
- #3 We make no assumption either way, but draw conclusions based on the evidence: for example, can we find evidence of natural processes that have led to life, processes powerful enough to overcome the natural processes that we know are hostile to life?
- #4 We want it to be true, because many scientists happen to be materialists, and therefore we discard, ignore, or even censor any evidence against this statement; 'it must have happened naturally, anything else is religious nonsense.'
(Options numbered for easy of reference.)
The reason I'm asking, is that current origin-of-life research seems to be mostly involved in storytelling, or at least that is what it feels like to me: 'It must have happened; what if this behavior in this lab experiment helped to naturally bring about one piece of the puzzle, millions of years ago?' And it seems to ignore natural processes continuously trying to break down life, and again to me it feels like: 'It must have happened, so some process was strong enough to break through any opposition, so we don't have to look at that evidence.'
But I might be mistaken there. I'm not a biologist, not even a scientist, and not even a philosopher. :-)
(Note that I'm avoiding the term 'abiogenesis' here because some, like Wikipedia , define this to be a natural process; while all dictionary definitions I could find, e.g. , , just define it as 'life arising from non-life'; and some even say it is hypothetical, e.g. , . Also, many dictionary definitions, like  and , equate it to spontaneous generation, while at least one encyclopedia takes care to distinguish the two .
Note also that I'm not sure that a precise definition of 'life' would be relevant here. You can read 'DNA-based life' instead if you want, or 'the whole process that we all recognize as stopping whenever a human being or animal dies'.
Update. What I mean with 'mainstream science' is just scientists, I guess mainly biologists, and what most of them they say and do in their work and papers and conferences. I don't mean any theoretical ideal of what science should be in the eyes of scientists, philosophers, judges, lawmakers, or anyone else.)
 Abiogenesis, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Abiogenesis&oldid=1100445628 (last visited Aug. 11, 2022).