We’re often told that origin of life experiments have simulated the production of life’s building blocks under conditions that mimicked the early earth. Or at least that’s what many textbooks say. But is this really true? This video shows how origin of life researchers “cheat” by using purified chemicals that don’t reproduce actual natural conditions. Another dirty little secret is that prebiotic synthesis experiments often don’t report the bulk of the product: toxic garbage that destroys the building blocks’ ability to form more complex molecules. Watch this video to appreciate how origin of life experiments don’t come anywhere close to accounting for the vast complexity of biology. This is the first of several episodes about the origin of life presented as part of the Long Story Short series.