We here examine the putative first step in the origin of life: the coalescence of dispersed molecules into a more condensed, organized state. Fresh evidence implies that the driving energy for this coalescence may come in a manner more direct than previously thought. The sun's radiant energy separates charge in water, and this free charge demonstrably induces condensation. This condensation mechanism puts water as a central protagonist in life rather than as an incidental participant, and thereby helps explain why life requires water.
Keywords: Colloids; exclusion zones; gels; life; origin; radiant energy; unstirredlayer.11; water.