Origin Of Life: Who Believes What? Essay, Research Paper
Which was came first, the chicken or the egg? One can’t come about without the other. So where did the first one come from? This is the question that, people in general as well as scientists, have been pondering for hundreds of years. There are several different beliefs, probably more scientific than Christian, and in this report I will tell you about four of them. Because there are so many scientific theories I will be telling you three of those and one of the Christian. The first theory I will begin with is based on “spontaneous generation.” This was the theory that life could arise from non-living, already existent, material. In other words they “magically” appeared. An example supporting this idea was the production of maggots. These insects would appear on decaying meat or mice in barns. It was said that they come from the wheat or rice left in dark damp conditions. This theory was first attempted to be disproved by Francisco Redi in 1668 and Spallanzi in 1767; but they did not succeed. Then about one hundred years later the theory was disproved when Louis Pasteur perfected his pasteurization process. This experiment was done by boiling beef broth in two separate tubes: one that would allow air both in and out and one that would only allow air out. After he sterilized it the tubes were set aside for a while untouched. After a while bacteria grew in only the tube allowing air to flow both ways; thus disproving the “spontaneous generation” theory. Alexander Oparin and J.B. Haldane proposed the second theory, brought about 200 years later in the 20th century. Their theory, based on molecular evolution, suggests that most primitive forms of living organisms were produced from inorganic molecules through reactions with one another. The hypothesis was that the primitive atmosphere of the earth consisted largely of a few molecules: H2O, CO2, CH4, and NH3. Between these chemicals, a mixture exposed to an energy form produces many organic compounds. These compounds are what would have formed the “primordial soup” of which the first living organisms would have arose from. In 1950 Oparin and Heldanes’s theory was put to test by Stanly Miller and Harold Harvey. These men designed a lab experiment in which an electronic spark was passed through a mixture of chemicals through to have been present in the early atmophsere of the earth. The results of the products formed were examined and the conclusion was as expected. They found amino acids, urea, and fatty acids; all the compounds of which are found in all living organisms. These experiments are done over and over using different combinations of energy and gases and another compound also included in living things: nuclei acid bases. The more current theory of the molecular evolution, however, suggests that the simple organic compounds evolved through time into the self-replicating nucleic acids that are present today. The third, and final scientific theory is called the Big Bang Theory. No, it doesn’t involve fireworks, but it does perform the same general action. Being of the best known, and the widely accepted, the Big Bang theory is the belief that the universe was created in a big explosion about 12-15 million years ago, as far as scientist can prove anything, all the matter of the world was thought to be confined as one small, dense point. That’s right, a single point, and nothing else but that point. Then due to some sort of reaction, or high pressure, the point exploded. The point began to expand at a tremendous speed into space. The universe began to fill up with a dense “soup” of subatomic particles such as quarks and leptons and their equals. Soon after, about 0.01 seconds, the quarks and leptons united to form electrons and protons. Three minutes later hydrogen and helium atoms were forming- the material composed of stars and galaxies. Among all of this molecular activity, the explosion also created a mass amount of radiation. Millions of years later, after atoms formed compound after compound the radiation has decreased greatly and that small point which started everything has become the earth as we know it. The final theory, and also well know, is the religious explanation. All of the religion based stories explain the origin of life and how living things were created. The best known story that tells about how God created everything in seven days comes from the Book of Genesis- “in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth?So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he they.” Some modern religious thinkers still believe what Genesis says, others have slightly changed the story and say that it is a symbolic account of creation. Although you probably already knew one or two theories of how we came about, hopefully you’ve learned more about them. Also, now you may know more of the scientific theories and how they are mostly based upon something already being here to work with. You should also realize, after reading these varied theories, that there is not one exactly correct hypothesis. Many of these have been around and believed for hundreds of years and haven’t been 100% proven; but they haven’t been 100% successfully disproved either.