Which one of the following sets of elements was primarily responsible for the origin of life on the Earth?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2012 Prelims]
(a) Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sodium
(b) Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen
(c) Oxygen, Calcium, Phosphorous
(d) Carbon, Hydrogen, Potassium
- The origin of life on Earth is believed to be closely linked to the formation of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon chains from carbon and hydrogen.
- These chains are a vital component of cell membranes, which are essential to life.
- Additionally, amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are composed of five elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur.
- Furthermore, if we replace sulfur with phosphorus, these same five elements also make up nucleic acids such as DNA.
- Therefore, option 2 is the correct answer.