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WorldviewsDesignCellsInvestigate Further
Impact of WorldviewsDesignCell BiologyInvestigate Further

Impact of Worldviews

Miller-Urey Experiment 1953

One of the most influential origin of life research projects. This famous experiment used a mixture of gases which were then believed to constitute the atmosphere of the early earth: water, ammonia, methane and hydrogen. These gases were also chosen because they would be required for the desired chemical reactions. Later, scientists discovered that that mixture was unstable and would never last and so came up with a new mixture of gases. As a result, scientists are now faced with a new gas mixture that is much less friendly for the synthesis of organic molecules in nature: nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water. At any rate, the initially chosen gases were circulated around a closed glass system and at one point an electrical charge zapped the gases and at another point any product produced was removed from the system to protect it from damage from further electrical discharges. None of this in any way simulated natural conditions. When examined, the product was mostly tar which is useless for any origin of life scenarios, but within it were racemic mixtures of a few simple amino acids. Since racemic mixtures are also unsuitable for life, and the mixture of gases chosen for the experiment was unrealistic, there is nothing to be learned from this experiment about how life could have spontaneously developed. And here they were only looking for the building blocks of the polymers, not the protein polymers themselves!

Origin of life studies have not explained the origin of the building blocks needed to make polymers, nor the information needed to control the making of precise cell parts, nor anything else about the living cell. The plight of these studies is bleak indeed!

Related Resources

Related Terms

  • Polymer Formation
  • Amino Acid and Proteins
  • Chirality