Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How life began

The theory is, about 15 billion years ago (15,000,000,000) the Universe was nothing more than a very small speck of mass. This speck was probably no bigger than the head of a pin. Everything in the Universe, all the galaxies, stars, planets, and even the matter making up your body, was squished up tightly in this tiny space.

Eventually, after a very long time, this speck exploded. All of a sudden, in a giant flash of unimaginable heat and power, the Universe was born. Over a period of billions and billions of years, the Universe became what we see today. Slowly stars began to form, and around these stars planets formed.

About 4.6 billion years ago our Earth looked very different than it does today. Instead of the beautiful blues, greens and whites of today, it would have looked red and orange. The surface of our planet was covered in oceans of hot lava. Instead of breathable oxygen, the atmosphere contained a mix of deadly poisons.

Still, there was no life. No fishes to fill these oceans, no plants to cover the rocky surface, no animals to graze the wilderness. Just a barren wet rock, orbiting the Sun. The Earth's atmosphere now contained a mix of very poisonous gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and cyanide. Breathing this air would cause death to most life forms as we know them.

What forces changed this barren wasteland into the beautiful garden that it is today?

Biologists believe that the process that created life is something called evolution. Earth's ancient oceans while lifeless, were filled with the chemicals needed for life. These chemicals were not alive, but they were there sloshing around. They call these chemicals “primordial soup.”
Instead of alphabet letters, this soup was filled with amino acids, proteins, lipids, and other basic components that are commonly found in lifeforms today.