'Life', a word as old as time, yet as incomprehensible as infinity. Since the very beginning of history, mankind has been trying to discover the answer to the ultimate question- Where did it all begin?
Over the years, people from different strands of the society with varyings views and perceptions have come up with their own versions of the 'story of life'. Spiritual leaders and followers gave the credit of creation to the Gods they worshipped. With innumerable religions and infinite Gods, it is no surprise that there are several variations of the origin story. Yet most of them share the fundamental elements.
Through the sight of science, the origin of the earliest life form on our planet can be traced back to roughly 3.5 billion years, about 1.5 billion years after the Earth itself came into being. 'Abiogenesis' is the scientific term used to describe the natural process of life forming from non-living matter. Despite the occurrence of abiogenesis being universally acknowledged, the events that led to it are extensively debated even within the realm of science. Scientists and researchers are still analyzing abiogenesis to determine the conditions under which inanimate matter birthed life.
Over the years, they have conducted diverse experiments to gain a greater understanding of abiogenesis.
The Miller-Urey experiment or the Urey experiment of 1952 laid the cornerstone of such endeavors. This experiment was aimed at simulating the conditions that were estimated to be present in the Earth's atmosphere at the dawn of life and chemically examine them. The experiment was successful in producing amino acids, the building blocks of life, as the result of the simulation. The Urey experiment played a pivotal role in the formulation of an entirely new branch of study that dealt with the chemical fabrication of the planet before the beginning of life.
In due course, the Miller-Urey experiment was succeeded by several efforts, all of them on the quest of unraveling the greatest mystery known to man. Now, after centuries of exploration and experimentation, modern science has ultimately discovered the answer to that age-old question- Where did it all begin?
It began 3 billion years ago, from the depths of the ever-changing ocean, as a single cell that was born a survivor. It was that tiny cell that transformed this world into what it is today and evolved to emerge as the single most advanced life form on the face of the Earth and continue to evolve. And us humans, we who have sailed the seven seas and conquered the endless night sky, we who battled our way through the world, we who have come a long way now seeks to return. Striving to find the way back to the place we started from, like a lost little puppy, as if closing the circle of origin.
By: Brighty Ann Sarah
School: The High Range School
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