The Oldest Sedimentary Rocks : Evidence For The Origin Of Life

3774 Words Aug 4th, 2015 16 Pages
1. Analysis of the oldest sedimentary rocks provides evidence for the origin of life

List the atmospheric gases believed to have existed on early earth
The atmospheric gases believed to have existed on early earth are: water vapour hydrogen methane ammonia Describe the hypothesised conditions and environment of early Earth
Early Earth is predicted to have been a very hostile environment. Due to high levels of tectonic activity, there were thought to have been many volcanic eruptions. These eruptions mixed with high temperatures caused an out-gassing of volatile molecules and initiated gases such as methane, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide to exist. However, even after the introduction of these gases, oxygen was still not
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Discuss the implications, for the origins of life on Earth, to the existence of organic molecules in the cosmos.
Through the studying of meteorites and discoveries such as the Murchison meteorite, scientists can conclude that life on Earth could have originated from organic molecules found in meteors that have left the cosmos and fallen to Earth. However this theory conflicts with the idea that the origins of life started through chemical reactions in the Earth’s atmosphere.2
Describe the Urey and Miller experiments
During the time the experiment was carried out, scientists all around the world were desperate to discover the origin of life and the type of environment needed for life to begin. Urey and Millar were determined to do just that, and in the process, changed the approach of the scientific investigations into these topics. The two scientists set up a system that tried to replicate the environment and conditions of early Earth. They used methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water, all molecules that were believed to have to be the major components of the atmosphere of early Earth. They then used a power supply to run a continuos electrical current into the experiment, which simulates the lightning storms that is thought to have been common on early Earth. Water was also heated to induce evaporation, replicating the ocean. The water vapour would travel into a flask
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