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  • Fossil evidence dates back to 3.5 billion years ago, but how did the species that became fossils come to exist? The Miller Urey experiment shows that amino acids were spontaneously created from raw materials. 
  • Water vapor
  • Miller and Urey made an apparatus, such as the one to the left, which held gases similar to the ones found on earth over a pool of water. Several amino acids formed spontaneously from inorganic raw materials. 
  • According to a hypothesis, RNA stored both genetic information and catalyzed the chemical reactions in primitive cells.  Later in evolutionary time DNA took over as the genetic material and proteins became the major catalyst and structural component of cells. 
  •  If this idea is correct, then the transition out of the RNA world was never complete; as we have seen in this chapter, RNA still catalyzes several fundamental reactions in modern-day cells, which can be viewed as molecular fossils of an earlier world.
  • metabolism 
  • some scientists believe that metabolism first started life on earth. Metabolism is the ability to break down carbon dioxide in the presence of a catalyst into organic molecules.  this is part of the building blocks of life. 
  • RNA was the first known form of genetic material on earth.
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