Don’t know why it took me this long to even think of this question (maybe I did years ago and never wrote it down), but here’s what I was thinking about: There’s dozens of different theories of abiogenesis (and several mythologies too but frankly bible-thumping has exactly zero place in this thread and I recommend keeping that to yourself), but the general gist of the lot is that some four billion years ago or so, natural electric/thermal/chemical reactions between organic chemicals in the oceans formed into complex self-replicating chemicals that eventually organized into more complex systems of self-replicating chemicals which eventually resembled the life that exists today. Cool peas. There’s plenty of experiments demonstrating possible mechanisms by which this could happen so let’s take that for granted.
So my thought then is that, our oceans not only contain plenty of simple organic matter, but also plenty of more complex organic matter. Presumably, new life could still spontaneously generate. The general answer I found doing a quick Google search was that either abiogenesis can no longer occur because the present environment is different than it was a few billion years ago, or that it may possibly still occur, but it doesn’t matter because existing life can easily consume it in its simplified state.
I remember reading someone (I think it was Craig Venter but I could be totally getting it wrong) was taking samples from improbable places and discovering thousands of new species everywhere he went. Even coal mines, highly acidic and nasty places without all that much natural moisture, were rich in microbial biodiversity. So it seems fair to suppose that new life would be immediately crowded out. But why suppose? Can a new virus spontaneously generate and infect an ocean population? Is it possible for a spontaneously generated gene to self-insert into a hapless microbe, creating a new mutation? Are there any places on earth at all sequestered enough that new life would be able to form and reach critical mass before it was all consumed? Can that still be happening today?
Just thinking about that, maybe this will be an interesting discussion, maybe it’ll make a big argument, maybe noone will care. Cheers.