Scientific Method

What is Oparin's Hypothesis?

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March 09, 2009 10:12PM

In 1924, Aleksandr Oparin (and John Haldane separately in 1929) hypothesized that the formation of amino acids and proteins from non-living chemicals, a process known as "abiogenesis", could have occurred in the conditions present shortly after the formation of the Earth. This process would not be observable now because other organisms would absorb created proteins, which would be rare anyway due to the higher concentration of oxygen in Earth's current atmosphere. Oparin's Hypothesis (also called the Oparin-Haldane Hypothesis) remains unconfirmed as a possible source for life on Earth. Experiments that simulated past conditions on the Earth did generate some simple amino acids, but not in the form or complexity of organic proteins.