Microbiology

Origin of Life



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The theory that refers to spontaneous generation suggests that life may have evolved from non-living forms of matter (also called chemical evolution). Charles Darwin hypothesized that life may have evolved in the bottom of a pond. Although some of the evidence gathered to support this theory is strong, I am skeptical about believing that life evolved spontaneously. Many scientists have tested the spontaneous generation theory and have concluded that life cannot evolve from non-living objects.

Scientists such as Francesco Redi and Charles Darwin observed and experiemented to find circumstantial data to base their claims on. For example, Redi conducted an experiment to see if rotting meat turned into maggots; the evidence he found did not support the spontaneous generation theory, but he still believed in the concept. Some of the evidence that many scientists have found does not appeal to my definition of phenomena. 

Another theory that pertains to the origin of life is the Panspermia theory which suggests that life evolved in space. The theory hypothesizes that living organisms were transported to planet earth as celestial beings in the form of meteorites and comets. Joshi (2008) explains, “Theories abound, from those based on religious doctrine, to the purely scientific, to others that border on science fiction.”

“One possibility that hovers on this border is the panspermia theory, which suggests that life on Earth did not originate on our planet, but was transported here from somewhere else in the universe.” (para. 2). Credible astrologers have obtained some evidence that supports this theory. For instance, astronomers such as Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe gained popularity for ruling that microorganisms can survive in planets other than the earth. Joshi (2008) informs, “The fact that organic matter is relatively common in space could also support the idea of extraterrestrial life.”

“Organic matter refers to matter composed of compounds that contain carbon.” “All living things on earth are carbon-based.” “A variety of organic compounds have been detected in meteorites that have landed on earth, including amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins (and proteins are primary components [sic] all of living cells.” (para. 5). Although this evidence is rules as credible, I feel that scientists should continue searching for evidence to back up this theory; I personally do not believe that life could have evolved this way.


References

Joshi, S., (2008). Origin of Life: The Panspermia Theory. Retrieved January 21,

2009, from,

http://www.scienceinsociety.northwestern.edu/content/articles/2008/


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