Saturday, February 16, 2008


In the early fifties, there was a flurry of attempts to crate life in the laboratory by simulating the Earth’s primordial soup and passing electricity through it. The key experiment, and the most famous, was performed by Miller and Urey. After operating the experiment for a week, Miller and Urey were able to demonstrate the existence of organic compounds in the controlled setting. Thus, while the experiment didn’t produce life, it produced the remnants of life (or to turn it around, the building blocks of life). The experiment is widely performed today with new conceptions of what the conditions on Earth were at the beginning. As none of the experiments produced viable life, the explanation for the origins of life has shifted to attempting to hypothesize how various atoms and molecules of atoms might have spontaneously combined in the primordial soup. Needless to say, nothing has worked.
Of course, as usual science is attempting to explain something that it hasn’t even defined. For example, some definitions of life include viruses, others don’t. Some consider life to be the opposite of life. It appears to be one of those things like beauty, we can’t define it, but we know it when we see it. One thing is certain, however, it formed spontaneously in a primordial soup (unless it came from outer space, which is really stupid, because if it came from outer space, then the question should be, how did it form before it got transported here? Science loves to answer questions by giving the appearance of answering them.)
As for the primordial soup theory, that was a 1920s conjecture that came, after the Miller/Urey experiment in the 50’s, accepted, which means that instead of ever again questioning the primordial soup theory, science bickers about what it was made of. Much more important, and indicative of scientific ignorance, is the unquestioned assumption that life needs to be formed spontaneously.
(to be continued)

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