chemical evolution

Cultural Dictionary

chemical evolution definition


The formation of complex organic molecules from simpler inorganic molecules through chemical reactions in the oceans during the early history of the Earth; the first step in the development of life on this planet. The period of chemical evolution lasted less than a billion years.

Note: Many of the steps in chemical evolution can now be reproduced in the laboratory.
Note: Some scientists believe that all or most of the Earth's original organic molecules were created in space and were brought to the Earth's oceans by meteorites.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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