SAT Subject Biology Practice Question 46: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 46

5. How did the results of the Urey-Miller experiment affect the Oparin hypothesis?

A. The results supported the Oparin hypothesis by showing that organisms contributed to the composition of Earth's present-day atmosphere.
B. The results contradicted the Oparin hypothesis by showing that Earth's early atmosphere could not produce cells from organic molecules.
C. The results supported the Oparin hypothesis by showing that replicating membranes could form from simple molecular precursors.
D. The results contradicted the Oparin hypothesis by showing that Earth's early atmosphere was too hot and volatile to sustain living things.
E. The results supported the Oparin hypothesis by showing that biological molecules could form in conditions resembling the early Earth.

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Urey and Miller simulated the conditions found early in Earth's history (reducing atmosphere, water vapor, lightning) and showed that organic molecules, such as amino acids, could form spontaneously. Their results support the Oparin hypothesis that life on Earth originated from molecules that formed in such conditions.

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