Important Theories about the Origin of Life Help (page 2)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Aug 30, 2011

The Modern Theory Of Biogenesis

After Pasteur’s experiment, the old idea of spontaneous generation gave way to the modern Theory of Biogenesis ( buy -oh- JEH -neh-sis). Biogenesis is the theory that “life” (bio) is “produced” (genesis) only from other things that are already alive. Two living male and female human beings, for instance, can mate and produce offspring that are also alive.

But our present-day observations about biogenesis still don’t answer the question, “How did the very first life come into being on our planet?” Most evidence seems to point to a primordial (pry- MORE -dee-al) soup on the surface of the early Earth. Primordial means “first in order”; that is, existing first before other things. The basic idea is that a primordial soup of complex organic compounds existed within the early oceans. Under the right conditions, such as the input of lots of energy from lightning striking the water and volcanoes spewing hot lava, these complex organic chemicals combined together and acquired a membrane around themselves. After this, they somehow became alive. Perhaps these first primitive micro-organisms were a species of ancient bacteria. According to the Theory of Biogenesis, these ancient bacteria eventually gave rise to all other living things on our planet.


Practice problems for these concepts can be found at:  From Dawn To Darwin Evolution Test

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