Chapter

Historical Understanding of Life’s Beginnings

John Oró

in Life's Origin

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233904
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233904.003.0002
Historical Understanding of Life’s Beginnings

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This chapter discusses a number of physical and chemical creative processes in the history of the Universe that are relevant to the origin of life. These creative processes have continued from the Big Bang through the formation of stars and galaxies, the nuclear synthesis of biogenic elements in stars and supernova explosions, the formation of molecules in circumstellar and interstellar clouds, and, eventually, the formation of planetary systems such as our own. The chapter also discusses biological evolution—the evolutionary process from ancient microbes to present-day species. Finally, it discusses major scientific discoveries of extrasolar planets having similar orbits and masses with those of the Earth and the continued search of evidence of life in other planetary systems.

Keywords: Big Bang; nuclear synthesis; biogenic elements; stars; supernova; circumstellar clouds; interstellar clouds; planetary systems; biological evolution; extrasolar planets

Chapter.  14732 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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