Chemistry 151 Fall 2008- Exam 2- Information Dr. J Chemistry in the Primordial Age The question of the “origin of life” in our planet has attracted the attention of scientists for many years. Current theories heavily rely on our understanding of how simple molecules react to form more complex molecules. Although scientists have diverging opinions about the environment where the first chemical steps toward life occurred, there is general agreement on the following points: • The first steps toward life most likely took place >3800 million years ago. The chemical composition of the atmosphere at that time was crucial for this process, as the main source of the building blocks for biomolecules should have been atmospheric components; • Possible sources of atrnospheric substances that led to the origin of life include interplanetary dust particles, comets, high-temperature volcanic outgassing, and hydrothermal vents. • The amount of oxygen in any form (O
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