12th Class Biology Origin of Life Origin of Universe and Earth

Origin of Universe and Earth

Category : 12th Class

Philosophers and scientists have been busy to solve the riddle as to how the universe and our earth were formed and how and when 'life' originated on earth. The branch of life science for the study of 'Origin of life' and evolution of different forms of life on earth was called Bioevolution or Evolutionary Biology by Mayer, (1970).




The study of universe or cosmos is called Cosmology. Our earth belongs to the Solar system having nine stars called planets constantly rotating around a common Sun. On the basis of the order of the distance from the sun these planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto while moon is a satellite of earth. The universe is made up of matter and energy and it was formed about 10 to 13 billion years ago as a red hot, dense, rotating gaseous cloud of cosmic dust called Ylem or primaeval matter. The Ylem consisted of particles of matter (like neutron, proton and electron) and antiparticles of antimatter. Scientists like Lemaitre (1931), Gamow (1948), Dicke (1964) etc. supported the Big-Bang Hypothesis which explains that collision between these particles and antiparticles caused a tremendous explosion to form atoms of hydrogen. Cosmic evolution began with the fusion of hydrogen atoms with progressively heavy atoms of different elements. Stellar systems and stars were formed by spreading of original gaseous cloud into the space and divided into smaller and larger masses. Most of the stars are masses of red hot gases even today.

Kant (1755) and Laplace (1796) supported Nebular Hypothesis which explains our solar system to have evolved about 4.5 to 5 billion years ago from a rotating red-hot gaseous cloud containing millions of free atoms of different varieties. First of all sun was formed when this cloud condensed, next the planets were thrown off from the sun and later on, in turn satellites were thrown off by planets. However, Nebular hypothesis was rejected by astronomers of present century like Weizsacker (1944), Alfen (1950) and Hoyle (1955).

According to them the sun was originally surrounded by a disk of rotating gas. Later many rotating concentric whorls were formed by break up of the disc and by gravitation and rotation particles of each whorl collected and condensed to form a planet. Our earth was formed about 4.6 billion years ago as a red hot gaseous cloud of free atoms with temperature of 5000o to 6000oC.

Structure of present earth : The earth is orange like in shape. Its pole to pole diameter is 12640 km and equatorial diameter is 12783 km. It is about 15 crore km away from sun and about 484000 km away from moon. Due to tremendous temperature gases existed in atomic form but gradually they cooled down in hundreds and millions of years into molten core. According to density other elements got stratified. Earth contains the central solid core, the middle mantle and shell and outer crust. The earth rotates at its polar axis in one day and it rotates around the sun \[365\frac{1}{2}\] in  days or one year. 

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