As far as the history of ideas is concerned, the notion that life can arise from non-life was linked to the rise of Communism during the 20th century and its atheistic underpinning. It was a necessary corollary to belief in Dialectical Materialism that Soviet scientists find an origin to life that did not involve God. Thus, origin of life theories of the 20th century stepped forward hand in hand with the political ideals of the day.
Soviet scientists claimed that just as Marxism shows that history must drive itself forward towards the triumph of Communism, the beginnings of life drove itself forward towards the colonization of Earth by an imperative logic. Soviet scientists believed that the cytoplasm of the cell contained the means of running the metabolism of the cell (just as the worker’s collectives supposedly ran the Soviet Union). They hotly denied that the genetic material found in the nucleus of the cell contained the program for running the cell. They claimed that the idea that the nucleus runs the cell was part of elitist ideology. DNA had been discovered by scientists in Western Europe and was therefore denounced as a capitalist hypothesis.
It seems that history had the last word, since genes did not go away and Communism fell. However, the idea that life arose by chance or by some natural means that did not involve God remained in circulation and became part of the official dogma of NeoDarwinism.