GEOL 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Thought Experiment, Sulfur, Abiogenesis

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31 Mar 2017
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Geology 102 Lecture 13 notes
The Origin of Life
Late Hadean/Early Archean
By the late Hadean and early Archean, Earth had
A rotating iron core→ Magnetic field
The beginnings of our atmosphere
Oceans which were nearing modern levels of salinity
Boundary between the Hadean and the Archean- 3.8 bya
Life originated sometime around 37 bya
Earliest undisputed fossils are from 3.5 bya
Early Life
The first organisms would have been prokaryotes
Prokaryotes are organisms whose genetic material is not contained in a cell
nucleus
Prokaryotes
Difficult to differentiate groups in the fossil record
Some of the oldest definitive body fossils have been found in South Africa and
date to 3.5 bya
Indirect evidence of life
Isotopically light carbon is produced by photosynthetic organisms and methane
producing members of Archaea
Photosynthesis- 3.7 bya
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Methane production 3.5 bya
Abiogenesis
But how did life originate
Abiogenesis- The chemical processes by which life arises from abiotic sources
Many scientists have attempted to replicate the chemical origins of life in
laboratories
We will covering some of the most important experiments and theories
Scientific Method
Remember, hypotheses can never be proven only disproven
Experiments are designed to falsify the hypotheses they test
Miller-Urey
Stanley Miller and Harold Urey- 1952
Based on their concept of the early atmosphere
Hydrogen
Water
Methane
Ammonia
Repetitions of this experiment yielded between 11 and 20 different amino acids
Amino acids- the building blocks of proteins
Proteins- components of all cells, includes enzymes hormones and antibodies
essential for cellular growth and repair
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Document Summary

By the late hadean and early archean, earth had. Oceans which were nearing modern levels of salinity. Boundary between the hadean and the archean- 3. 8 bya. Earliest undisputed fossils are from 3. 5 bya. The first organisms would have been prokaryotes. Prokaryotes are organisms whose genetic material is not contained in a cell nucleus. Difficult to differentiate groups in the fossil record. Some of the oldest definitive body fossils have been found in south africa and date to 3. 5 bya. Isotopically light carbon is produced by photosynthetic organisms and methane producing members of archaea. Abiogenesis- the chemical processes by which life arises from abiotic sources. Many scientists have attempted to replicate the chemical origins of life in laboratories. We will covering some of the most important experiments and theories. Remember, hypotheses can never be proven only disproven. Experiments are designed to falsify the hypotheses they test. Based on their concept of the early atmosphere.

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