The Origins of Life
Before any inquiry can be made into biological evolution, the question of the origins of life must have an answer. For without first having an answer, evolution is deprived of its starting point. (Mader 2006) thus the origins of life have become one of the most significant questions in modern day biology, signifying an extensive hole in human’s knowledge of life and the development of life. Throughout history there have been many attempts in explaining the origins of life, it has now been segregated into 4 stages of chemical evolution and there are hypothesis on how each of these came about.
In contemplating the puzzle of abiogenesis there must first be a thought into what is meant by “life”. For at what stage of development is life considered to be present and by what guide lines is life to be defined. This in itself is no easy question and many a debate has be waged over the issue (Luisi, 1998) there has been no agreement made upon the issue thus making the query into the origins of life more difficult. However, it is agreed that organisms must have four important properties; growth, metabolism, reproduction and evolution(Skinner, Porter and Botkin 1999). Therefore in the attempt of an answer, the cell is accepted as the basic unit of life as it displays all four qualities.
The first hypothesis concerning abiogensis originated, as did many scientific theories, from the ancient Greek philosophers. Aristotle proposed the hypothesis of spontaneous generation which was accepted as it was the most concise theory available and was based on evidence that many found Indisputable. Aristotle’s model of spontaneous generation’s main supporting evidence was the continual appearance of fleas from putrid matter and mice from dirty hay. With the development of scientific method and its wide spread use this hypothesis was quickly proved ridiculous based upon the views of Oparin and Haldane which was that life is a property of matter (Yockey,1995). This...