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SC.912.L.15.8 Origin of Life

Nature of Science

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Organisms, Populations and Ecosystems

Classification, Heredity and Evolution

What You Need To Know

  • You need to know the scientific explanations of the origin of life on Earth.

Example One

One of the accepted scientific theories describing the origin of life on Earth is known as chemical evolution. According to this theory, which of the following events would need to occur first for life to evolve?

A. onset of photosynthesis

B. origin of genetic material

C. Synthesis of organic molecules

D. formation of the plasma membrane


Example Two

Which types of organisms developed first due to the early environmental conditions on Earth? 

A. prokaryotic and aerobic

B. prokaryotic and anaerobic

C. eukaryotic and aerobic

D. eukaryotic and anaerobic


Example Three

The Miller-Urey experiment of 1953 was designed to test the hypothesis that lightning supplied the energy needed to turn atmospheric gases into organic molecules such as amino acids. Which of the following describes why the Miller-Urey theory is widely accepted today?

A. Amino acids spontaneously form from molecules in the atmosphere today.

B. Organic molecules are present today in extremely high concentrations.

C. The process of synthesizing organic molecules from a mixture of gases has been successfully modeled in the laboratory. 

D. No other alternative hypotheses have been introduced. 


Example Four

The diagram below shows a proposed theory of the origin of eukaryotic cells, called endosymbiosis.


Which of the following explains why cells that contained mitochondria-like organelles had an evolutionary advantage?

A. They were able to photosynthesize

B. They had more DNA

C. They were able to make more use of available energy

D. They were immune to bacterial invasion.


origin of life.jpg
video tutorials.jpg
Crash Course - History of Life on Earth
Please select a video file.
BozemanScience - Evidence for Origin of Life
Abiogenesis: Miller-Urey and Orgel
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Animation: The Miller-Urey Experiment
Please select a video file.

In Your Book

General Biology - Chapter 12, pg. 358

Honors Biology - Section 19.3, pg. 462

Additional Activity Links