Describe the series of events that scientists believe led to the formation of the first cells on earth.
The first cells are thought to have evolved in the massive oceans of our primitive Earth about 3 billion years ago. Jolted by the fierce electrical energy from frequent lightning storms and by the intense, unabated radiation from the sun, four molecules (methane gas [CH4], water [H2O], and ammonia [NH3]) which made up the primitive atmosphere were forced to collide and split apart. The first organic molecules, similar to amino acids, are thought to have formed in this tempestuous environment. Clustering into heavy droplets, these molecules are believed to have been washed by driving rains from the atmosphere into the warm, shallow seas below. There, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates evolved and arranged themselves over time into sophisticated, organized structures…the first cells.