Origin of Life

Introduction

You may have already know that somebody somewhere has mixed a few chemicals together, ignited it with a spark, and created life, or at least amino acids. Science fiction or science fact? You decide after you read what Dr. Miller did in his lab. Is it possible to create life from nonlife? Redi, Spallanzani, and Pasteur all created experiments that disproved this hypothesis. So how did life start? Several easy-to-remember ideas are presented in this section for you to enjoy.

On top of that, have you ever noticed how the east side of South America looks like it could fit into the west side of Africa like a jigsaw puzzle? If so, you are not alone. If not, go look at a map more closely. Wegener thought that perhaps they were once joined and somehow separated. The learned people of Wegener's time thought he was separated … from his good sense. We now know that he was right. You and I are riding on the top of large chunks of real estate that are slowly moving. The movement of these vast continental plates has been the speculated source of massive extinctions followed by periods of immense speciation. Curious? Read on.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biology © 2004 by Glen E. Moulton, Ed.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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