What scientific evidence exists for abiogenesis?


What scientific evidence exists for abiogenesis?


Abiogenesis is the theory that life on Earth was spontaneously created from non-life substances. Aleksandr Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane independently came up with this idea so it is called the Oparin-Haldane Theory.

Answer and Explanation:

The main scientific evidence for abiogenesis comes from the Miller-Urey experiment that occurred in 1953. In this experiment, Harold Urey and Stanley Miller tested the Oparin-Haldane theory by simulating the conditions of Earth 3.5 billion years ago. At that time, the four major gases in the atmosphere were water vapour, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. The oceans were hot and thunderstorms were common.

To simulate these atmospheric conditions for their experiment, the four major gases were sealed in a sterile flask. This sterile flask was connected to a flask half-full of water. This water was forced to go through the water cycle by being heated, so it would evaporate, and cooled, so it would condense back into water. This simulates water in the ocean evaporating, interacting with the gasses in the atmosphere, and condensing back into the ocean. To stimulate lightning, electrodes created sparks around the flask holding the gases.

One week after the experiment began, the solution in the flask was tested and five amino acids were found in the solution. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins, which are essential to living beings. Before this experiment, it was thought was amino acids could only be produced in living beings. In the Miller-Urey Experiment, these essential building blocks of life were created from non-living substances, thus supporting the theory of abiogenesis

Learn more about this topic:

Abiogenesis: Definition, Theory & Evidence

from College Biology: Help and Review

Chapter 19 / Lesson 15

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