” Early Life takes hold”
The purpose of this assignment is to allow students to “travel back in time” with the latest in technology…. to seek scientific answers to questions about early life on earth. To boldly go where no one has ever gone before…(ok just kidding on that last part!!) ! There are a total of 30 questions. Each question will be worth .5 points.. Your final thought question is worth 5 points for a total of 20 points
Helpful hints: Numbers in purple represent minutes into the video
1. Early Earth’s environment:
What was early earth like 4 billion years ago? (3:15)
1. What color was the sky and the ocean?
2. What gases were present in the atmosphere? Was oxygen present? What was the sun like?
3. What was the heavy bombardment?
2. Hostile earth and Cave Research : (5:00)
1. Why did researchers Penne Boston and Donnie Northup travel to these remote caves? (5:20) ( What was the question the researchers were asking?)
2. Why did the researchers wear gas masks during their exploration of the cave?
3. What are “Snottites” and what do they use to grow (what is their energy source)?
4. Why was the discovery of these Snottites significant?
3. Carbon and the clues it leaves behind: (time 13:20)
1. What ingredients are necessary for life?(what four elements) (13:40)Why is carbon the” star of the show?
2. Briefly describe the Stanley Miller experiment of the 1950s (14:45) Why is there controversy over Miller’s experiment today?
3. According to the film, when is it hypothesized that life began?
4. Ancient rocks :
1. What clues, regarding early life, did Steven Mojsis. find in ancient rocks?
2. Where did he find these rocks?
5. Space Dust: (21:35)
1. Don Browing’s Assumption: all building blocks for life were destroyed when a rocky sphere the size of mars collided with earth …….if that assumption were true then he believes building blocks of life must have come from where?
2. How old is asteroid dust?
3. Did Space dust contain any building blocks of life?
6. Falling Meteors: (23:00)
1. What was found in the1960 meteorite that fell in Australia and why is this significant?
2. What was the question Jennifer Blank was asking in her research? (26:00)
3. Describe Dr. Blank’s experiment . What speed did she shoot her “bullet” at?
4. What were her results?
7. The leap to DNA:
“But the leap with DNA? It is still staggeringly complex. No one knows how it started or what course it took” According to the documentary, have we yet created life in the lab from non-life?
8. To take hold, perhaps life needed a safe haven: Deep within the earth (31:50)
“If life could survive an impact, could it survive impacts from other meteors? “
1. Describe the temperature , pressure and light deep within the earth’s surface
2. What are these microbes eating?
3. How often do these microbes reproduce?
9. The Ocean: (36:00)
1. What have marine biologists discovered on the ocean floor that allows for warm temperatures?
2. What gas were these ocean microbes living off of?
10. Earth’s surface (38:00)
1. What was available for early life on the earth’s surface that was not available in the other areas explored ?
2. What source of energy was available at the earth’s surface?
3. What organelle does photosynthesis take place in?
4. What are stromatolites and where do they grow? 39:00
5. Oxygen is absorbed into the ocean and forms what?
6. What else does Oxygen do besides provide a way for us to break down sugar?
11. Final Thought question: Based on your viewing of this documentary on early life, (and perhaps knowledge you have gathered from other sources) what are your final thoughts regarding “how we know what we know” about early Life?