The Origins of Life

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The Origins of Life

Before any speculation toward the origin of biotic forms, what was present at the formation of the earth that could result in inorganic, then organic, and later biotic creatures? Early atmospheric conditions have been theorized to be present due to planetesimal collisions releasing gases present in the Earth, after the initial atmosphere of Hydrogen and Helium escaped Earth’s gravity assisted by heat energy. The earlier atmosphere is believed to have consisted mainly of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen (bonded to other elements) in such forms as CO2/CO, N2, and H20. Stanley Miller, through experimentation, shows that given an energy source like heat or electric charge it is possible to form reactions that create complex molecules, and through subsequent experiments nucleic acids like adenine were even formed. This is the premise for the “hot” theories of the origin of life. Given there are many derivative possibilities like process evolution, chemoautotrophic, and photoautotrophic origins, the basis is that given an energy source (heat) basic elements can form and break bonds to become increasingly complex.

Given the theories have technically been progressing since 1922 and A.I. Oparin’s hypothesizing, the major strides have been in recent research. Through studies of volcanic activity, fossils, and archaebacteria, speculation leans heavily toward evidence provided by “hot” theory experiments. Given that it is quite plausible and possible that the early earth had the suggested “hot” environment providing heat and monomers that can combine to become polymers, the main step to come into question is, when did these polymers amount to life? “Life for Dummies” would suggest that life requi...

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