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1. How did the Miller-Urey experiment impact the way scientists think about the origins of life?

2. Use what you know about the Miller-Urey experiments to discuss the factors needed for life to arise, and speculate on whether life could arise on another planet.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. The Miller-Urey experiment attempted to set up the early earth chemical conditions to see if life could arrive without having been there before. If memory serves, they were able to get a few nucelo-bases and amino acids to form. This allowed them to conclude that if these conditions were present life could spring from nothing..

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  • CRR
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Why the Miller–Urey research argues against abiogenesis

    by Jerry Bergman


    Abiogenesis is the theory that under the proper conditions life can arise spontaneously from non-living molecules. One of the most widely cited studies used to support this conclusion is the famous Miller–Urey experiment. Surveys of textbooks find that the Miller–Urey study is the major (or only) research cited to prove abiogenesis. Although widely heralded for decades by the popular press as ‘proving’ that life originated on the early earth entirely under natural conditions, we now realize the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is now recognized that this set of experiments has done more to show that abiogenesis on Earth is not possible than to indicate how it could be possible. This paper reviews some of the many problems with this research, which attempted to demonstrate a feasible method of abiogenesis on the early earth.

    Source(s): CR YEC
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  • 6 years ago

    1) The experiment was designed to show that the building blocks of life were able to form on their own. At the time, many scientists thought that chemical reactions on their own, under the conditions on the early earth, would not have been sufficient to build up complex organic molecules. The Miller-Urey experiment showed that amino acids (more than the 20 that modern life uses) were able to form on their own, in significant quantities, as well as nucleotides. The experiment isn't concerned with the origin of life itself, though - it only showed that the building blocks of life could form on their own, and didn't address how those building blocks assembled or how life began.

    2) We know that the building blocks of life were able to form on their own, given the right mix of chemicals, and the right temperature. From later experiments all the way up to cutting-edge science, we know of a number of ways that life could have formed on its own. We don't know how it DID start, but we know many plausible ways by which it could have started. Given similar conditions on other planets, it's possible that life could arise there as well.

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