Sedimentary Minerals under Reducing Conditions
Professor Oparin, in his classical publication in 1924 (1), was the first to emphasize that the primitive atmosphere of the Earth was reducing and that this has important consequences for studies of the origins of life. His proposal that organic compounds were synthesized in a reducing atmosphere provided the conceptual framework for the burst of activity in the field of experimental prebiotic chemistry that was initiated by Urey and Miller (2). It is now widely believed that prebiotic synthesis occurred in a reducing or, at least, a nonoxidizing atmosphere. However, very little has been written about the implications of Oparin’s proposal for the discussion of the inorganic chemistry of the prebiotic Earth. Here we indicate some ways in which the inorganic chemistry of oceans and lakes on the primitive Earth is likely to have differed from the chemistry with which we are now familiar.
KeywordsEvolutionary Biochemistry Ferro Cyanide Hydrogen Sulphide Hydroxyl Apatite Hydrogen Cyanide
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