The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations


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How old do most scientists think Earth is?

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1. What scientist is credited with the idea that early life on Earth formed through a series of reactions that made simple compounds gradually more complex?

2. Miller and Urey used all of the following substances to simulate Earth's early atmosphere EXCEPT _____.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

There are a number of theories on the origin of life on Earth, and this quiz and worksheet combination will help you test your knowledge on some of these theories. The practice questions on the quiz will test you on characteristics of the formation of Earth, as well as scientific hypotheses and experiments related to the Earth's origin.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on:

  • The scientific consensus on the age of the Earth
  • Scientist who believed early life on Earth formed from simple compounds becoming more complex
  • Miller and Urey's use of elements to simulate Earth's early atmosphere
  • The term for small droplets that can maintain their internal environments

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet will allow you to test your skills in the following areas:

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw and retain the most important information on the prevalent theories about the origin of life on Earth from the related lesson
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately identify main terms and phrases, such as the term for small droplets that can regulate their environment, and the hypothesis of the formation of early life on Earth through the gradual complexity of simple compounds
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding Miller and Urey's experiment on Earth's early atmosphere
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about theories on the origin of life on Earth

Additional Learning

To learn more about this topic, review the accompanying lesson titled The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Describe primitive Earth
  • Discuss the early stages of life on Earth
  • Understand the result of the Miller-Urey experiment