What did the first organism eat?


I am one of those foolish theists who believes in God with all his heart. But, I would be willing to give great credit to the possibility of spontaneous life if someone can give me a very simple answer to a very simple question.

What did the first organism eat?
and how did it do so?

Thank you for reading this.

Eating seems to imply a mouth; are you sure you want to muddy the waters with that suggestion? I recommend being as precise as you can since you are debating this with people who don’t share your opinions.

But in an attempt to answer the question I think you wanted to ask: my guess is some organic molecule(s)? :woman_shrugging:

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Who is going to explain to plant life that they are not organisms?

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No clue. I am not a biologist, I am an atheist.

However, your ignorance is showing. What do you mean by “eat” do you mean “gain nourishment”?

If that is what you mean look at any single celled simple animal…remember 3rd grade biology? Nah? probably not, theists tend to have not have payed attention in grade school.

There are books on early earth environment. Now, make the connection between simple single cell self replicating life and the chemical soup they swam/floated/flagellated in…your answer is there.

Try a library.


Hi @Lukang

What you’re doing there is irrational, it’s called an argumentum ad ignorantiam or appeal to ignorance fallacy. Not having contrary evidence for a claim doesnt validate it.

I don’t know how life started on this planet.

I’m an atheist because no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity.

Can you?

Incidentally the word eat, as Nyarl points out, might be a misnomer, as single celled organisms wouldn’t eat, in the sense we understand it.

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OK. Let’s turn it around. The Bible tells us that god created plants and trees before it created the sun. So how did the plants and trees maintain photosynthesis without the sun?

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Great question. Can you define what would qualify as an organism? There are quite a few options at the cellular level. Are you aware that cells exist that have no cell walls. This happens in certain clays. So what you have is an organism without actually having an organism. * osmotic environment: an environment with controlled net movement of molecules from a region of high solvent concentration to a region of low solvent concentration through a permeable membranes.

Life occurs in volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean. It occurs in sulpher rich boiling pools of Yellowstone. There is evidence of panspermia and life floating through space on meteorites.

A worm was recently discovered that eats plastic bags and leaves behind antifreeze. Figure that one out?

We know that the elements of life, amino acids, have been constructed in a laboratory from inorganic materials.

What we know is that life is amazing. The first life may have existed in an RNA world.

You are operating from a point of view of existing the way you exist. The first life form could have been as alien to you as anything you can possibly imagine. If you are really interested, instead of posing a silly question to a bunch of atheists (Silly because you are asking atheists a biology question… you should be in a biology forum . Not Here.) The fact that no one here can answer your biology question or the fact that no one can answer your biology question DOES NOT move you even one inch closer to a God.

I don’t know what the first life form ate… therefore God. SORRY… a really stupid argument.


@Lukang Welcome to Atheist republic, I hope your time in here is positive.

There are some biology forums that may answer your question better, this is an atheist forum. And many of those questions can be answered from some web sites.

A good start would be abiogenesis.

I have no choice but to avoid some important information lacking in your OP. therefore my reply will be based not only on assumptions but it will be my uneducated opinion as well because I have no education in that field.

That being said, I am assuming that by the first organism (whatever that may be or mean to you) that the 2nd, 3rd and so on organisms have not yet been created.

Based on that there are 3 possible answers.

  1. The organism is feeding off itself or other organisms like its own.
  2. The organism is feeding off the 2nd, 3rd or so on organisms which came to life immediately or soon after the 1st organism
  3. The organism is feeding on something else but like I said, I have no knowledge on this

Now where does this take us in your topic? I have no idea what you’re aiming for nor what the real answer is. Do you? What do you think it fed on and why does this matter?

Just chemicals in the environment, you know, what more or less what plants do?


This last summer I was out walking my dog, accompanied by our neighbor’s lovely 12 year old daughter. I know she is smart as a whip and loves to be challenged.

So as we were standing under a large willow tree, I pointed at it and asked “where did this tree come from? It started as a tiny seed, and on level ground. Now look at it, the ground is still there, but the huge tree has grown up.”

After allowing her a few minutes to offer explanations, I pointed out that it got it’s energy from the sun, and almost the entire tree came out of the air and water. The tree absorbed water, carbon dioxide, energy and some chemicals, and converted it into oxygen and energy-rich organic compounds.


Research in the field of prebiotic chemistry has now moved on to examining the behaviour of synthetic protocells, in order to gain insight into the likely behaviour of the first prototype life forms.

You’ll find several apposite papers here, here and here.

Reading that lot should keep you occupied for about two years.


Hi! I wonder why you say foolish? Perhaps you could say.
Its not a foolish question, though it is a bit like
“which came first, chicken or egg”.
My understanding is that there would not really be a
“first organism” as such, there being no bright line
distinction between “living” and “non living”.

It appears reasonable to think life arose in
an envitonment rich in a varirty of more or
less complex organic molecules
such as arise under a wide variety of
conditions-amino acids even exist on
A self replicating molecule that
incorporates pre existing components
from the environment is not an organism
nor could it reasonably said to
be eatung, but its a good start!

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there are plenty of single called organisms in the world. I think you should learn something about the world before you make an argument. Biology 101, everything that is alive, eats. Lol metabolism is one of the necessary characteristics of something to be called alive in the first place. So…your an idiot. And the single called organisms in the world that do exist, like bacteria eat dead bacteria in order to stay alive. Do you truly have no education whatsoever? We covered both of these things in my high school biology class.

ya, I’ve looked into this. Give me your reference on one called organisms with no enclosed structure. I can’t find it. If evolution is the path that you are following, then the characteristics of the first organism should resemble the final one. This makes sense. The consideration that an organism could suddenly take energy from vibrations in the earth and use it for itself resembles no life firm on earth, so it doesn’t make sense that we would have evolved from this creature. I imagine if we would have thought, it would be a human that could suck the electricity out of a light bulb and use it for energy. Your getting kind of ridiculous by making these insinuations that this being could be alien to us. It shouldn’t be at all according to the all mighty dumbass Darwin. Try again.

So bacteria get their energy from bacteria? It seems that eventually bacteria would run out of other bacteria to eat, since they are the sole source of food?

If I was in a closed system and provided air and this light bulb, I use the light bulb to grow plants and eat them.

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lmao thank you for this nonsensical jibber jabber lol

Please explain. I can describe it in terms you can comprehend.

It is true that bacteria eat peices of other bacteria that have died and organic compounds. Thank you for making that point, and yes, photosynthesis is used by some bacteria. That brings us to an even better point though, which is that both photosynthesis and metabolism require DNA in order to to do these processes.

Yes, I’m going to ask about where DNA came from lol, but I’ll save you the time and effort of pointing out the recent abiogenesis experiment where DNA was formed by using chemical reactions, because the part of the experiment that was not mentioned, even by Richard Dawkins himself (I like to call him little Richard, lol) was that the other 99.9% of material created outside of the DNA during that experiment was toxic to the DNA itself and would have killed it instantly, not to mention the fact that it never would have duplicated in the first place…

You can put Frankenstein together as often as you want, but life is an entity that fights entropy. Entropy would literally have to be inverted in order for that DNA to start replicating itself, and the reason for that is because only God has the power to create such a thing. Thats why it says in Genesis that God formed Adam from the ground and BREATHED LIFE INTO HIM. Only real power can do this. And God is the only source of real power. The God of Israel and the universe. The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.Yewah, and His Son Jesus Christ.