Bio 4-6 - 1 The prospect of lifes origins springing from a...

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1) The prospect of life’s origins springing from a reducing atmosphere has both convincing and disproving evidence. A reducing atmosphere is composed of, N2, H2O (gaseous), H2 in addition to other “light” elements such as sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon which bond easily to create ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. The most convincing idea behind this theory is that there was very little oxygen present. If there was oxygen, the amino acids and carbohydrates would bond together. These fundamental elements of life would not last long in this situation and the spontaneous generation of complex organic molecules would not occur. On the other hand, oxygen is quintessential to organic survival. Besides the fact that no trace of carbonates have been found in early rocks and thus carbon must have been in the form of CO2, oxygen is necessary to form an o-zone layer. Without this shield, the sun’s unforgiving UV rays would have surely destroyed any chances of organic life. The debate lives on. 2) Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey conducted an experimented which synthesized earth’s earliest atmosphere. They constructed an intricate set up with a “heated ocean,” miniature “lightning,” and liquids and gases infused with elements found in a reducing atmosphere. This meant that there was little oxygen present, the atmosphere was conducted around liquid water, and the temperature was less than 100 degrees Celsius. After shocking the mixture, Miller and Urey found that the CH4 and the other elements had converted and combined to become other carbon compounds such as formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, formic acid, urea, glycine, and alanine. This substantiated the idea of chemical evolution in a reducing atmosphere because it went beyond simple hypotheses
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Bio 4-6 - 1 The prospect of lifes origins springing from a...

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