This is an interesting introductory storyline behind a Wild Talents game, one that I use in my own story telling: a base understanding of where “super powers” come from without having to resort to either the unexplained, some strange radiation, or a new gene. Character archetypes in this storyline should cost 5 points, as a mutant, though alternative character options are, of course, still doable.
The trouble with the very understanding of life is that we lack the senses to grasp the entirety of it. Only in the most recent of history have we even developed words that can represent the truth, and even those words are lacking in the finer details of meaning. Science fiction has generated words like multiverse, and planes of existence, finally allowing text to portray the basic principles behind life itself.
Scientists who reject the evolutionary process are a growing number, because no matter how well they can create amino acids in precisely the perfect environment for it, converting those into a single protein cell is not only improbable, but seemingly impossible. There are just too many “missing links” which science simply can not resolve, due to a lack of sensory capacity which allows them to see the precise requirements to generate life. Not that science will forever lack that capacity, or fail to understand and express it, but for now that capacity is failing. As such, many scientists are resorting back to their faith to explain life. Those explanations are even further from the truth of course.
What they can’t see is the astral dimension which exists in parallel to our own, in exactly the same space. What they can’t perceive is the astral energy that permeates our world. Life, the first protein cell, was (for lack of a better word in our language) “created” by an influx of astral energy that arranged the amino acids and bound them together. From that very moment, astral energy has been funneled onto our planet, expanding life, placing its finger (again, for lack of a better word) on the evolutionary path repeatedly. Each of these events has been preceded by similar events. Catastrophic loss of life, or in rarer cases, the thinning of barriers between the physical plane and the astral plane, such as for that first protein cell.
Astral energy is a bit like water, and life a bit like a natural formed tunnel within a planet that the water rushes through. When life sees a diminishment, this astral energy is still trying to push equal quantities through. Much as a water faucet will jet water out when you put your finger on it in an attempt to block the water, so jets out astral energy into the remaining life on the planet, usually into those life forms most open to astral energy, for whatever reasons. Evolution.
Needless to say, this means that apocalyptic level events, or even mass genocide, tends to create new entities that can better adapt to their environment, as Astral Energy forces adaption for its own survival. In superhero terms, it means that an apocalyptic level event would be a fantastic way of introducing superheroes into a world in which none exists. Nuclear war, Yellowstone exploding, comet crashing, Hadron collider mishap, even sun bursts. To make it even more interesting, astral energy only works during the event, the continuation of a species requires the usual procreational events. When humanity feels threatened due to the rise of a “new” species, extinction of that species could be as quick as the creation of it.