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Ch 8: The Origin & History of Life On Earth

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons about the origin and history of life on Earth, including its major eras. These lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

The Origin and History of Life On Earth - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The origin and history of life on Earth are key parts of the study of life science. In this series of life science video lessons, you'll get a broad overview of generally accepted thinking on how life began on Earth. You'll learn about several theories and concepts, including cell theory and spontaneous generation. You'll also learn about timelines of major eras and the characteristics that defined them, as well as evolutionary change and the ways in which it occurs. At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the concepts of spontaneous generation, biogenesis and cell theory, and learn how these ideas developed
  • Discuss the environmental conditions that made life on Earth possible
  • Define and identify periods, eras and eons that mark the timeline of life on Earth
  • Describe evolutionary change in the contexts of speed and purpose

Video Objective
The Beginnings: Spontaneous Generation, Biogenesis, and Cell Theory This lesson describes the characteristics of cells and how new living things come into existence.
The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations Explore how the oceanic and atmospheric conditions made life possible, and learn about the four stages believed to be necessary for life to begin.
The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras Find out about the Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic eons and the eras they contained, with an emphasis on the three most recent eras - the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic.
Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms Compare and contrast catastrophism vs. gradualism with regard to how rapidly evolutionary change occurs. Discuss adaptation and its role in evolution.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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