I-THE ORIGIN OF LIFE
“God is dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
Thus spoke Friedrich Nietzsche in his Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (The Gay Science, Section 125). Also Hegel and Dostoevsky spoke about it after Don Quixote found he had no more strength to fight for the most exalted ideals. In fact, there were others who spoke about it still much earlier, although not with such disturbing words.
Nietzsche probably referred here to the triumph of scientific rationality over sacred revelation, followed by the rise of philosophical materialism and radical naturalism. Consequently, the belief in God as a decisive factor in human affairs and the fate of the universe had come to an end. In short (we are paraphrasing), we killed God because he had meddled too much in our search for the meaning of life. However, given that man cannot live without something or someone to worship, a substitute has arisen out of this nefarious teocide –what Nietzsche seems to have foreseen by asking himself if we should not become gods ourselves. The question, clearly rhetorical, was taken literally and answered in the affirmative, until it became our present-day reality.
The new god, the god of scientific rationality, Science to be more exact and later Technology, is based on a rock –the immovable akademia, also called “scientific community”, established in 1660 by Robert Boyle and friends under the name of The Royal Society of London, later expanded across the five continents. The idea was to bring together in a single organism all the intellectual and scientific elite of the moment in order to study and understand the functioning of existence. It was that forge which produced the knives that killed God. The Royal Society had been born just two centuries before Nietzsche, Hegel, and Dostoevsky –long enough to prepare the teocide. The priests of the Society receive ecclesiastical orders on acquiring their doctorates at the universities run by the “circle”. Their canonization is now called the Nobel Prize. Its entire hierarchy is as complex as that of the Vatican. They operate organized in countless temples and lodges, which are now called institutes, research centers or university campuses, many of them clandestine. They meet periodically at congresses, their festivals of atonement, which are celebrated around the world, usually in attractive places and with a program that always takes into account the need for relaxation that characterizes man, no matter how “scientific” he may be. They are respected, admired, published, cited and subsidized. It cannot be otherwise, since Dio-tec takes proper care of his curia. Or maybe not so proper. Let’s see. As far as can be checked, intuition did not fail Nietzsche. The “greatness” of the action of assassination of God has left us in a disturbing metaphysical orphanage which begins to crumble on all sides.
As expected, Dio-tec wanted to start at the beginning, that is, to explain to us how he had created the universe, the world and in it the conditions for appearance of life, and subsequently of intelligence and consciousness. The first step was the simulation of the supposed atmosphere surrounding the primordial Earth, which facilitated the beginning of life. The experiment was called the Urey-Miller experiment:
In 1952, Harold Urey tried to calculate the chemical constituents of the atmosphere of the early Earth. He based his calculations on the (then) widely held view that the early atmosphere was reducing, and concluded that the main constituents were methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen (H2), and water (H2O). He suggested that his student, Stanley Miller, should do an experiment attempting to synthesise organic compounds in such an atmosphere.
Miller carried out an experiment in 1953 in which he passed a continuous spark discharge at 60,000 Volts through a flask containing the gases identified by Urey, along with water. Miller found that after a week, most of the ammonia and much of the methane had been consumed. The main gaseous products were carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen (N2). In addition, there was an accumulation of dark material in the water. Few of the specific constituents of this could not be identified, but it was clear that the material included a large range of organic polymers.
Analysis of the aqueous solution showed that the following had also been synthesised:
- 25 amino acids (the main ones being glycine, alanine and aspartic acid)
- Several fatty acids
- Hydroxy acids
- Amide products.
The Miller-Urey experiment was immediately recognised as an important breakthrough in the study of the origin of life. It was received as confirmation that several of the key molecules of life could have been synthesised on the primitive Earth in the kind of conditions envisaged by Oparin and Haldane. These molecules would then have been able to take part in ‘prebiotic’ chemical processes, leading to the origin of life.
Since the Miller-Urey experiment, a great deal of effort has been spent investigating prebiotic chemistry. It has become apparent that organising simple molecules into assemblies capable of reproducing and evolving is a far greater task than was generally realised during the excitement that followed the experiment. In addition, the view that the early atmosphere was highly reducing was challenged towards the end of the twentieth century, and is no longer the consensus view.
Although the significance of specific details of the Miller-Urey for the origin of life may now be in question, it began the new scientific discipline of prebiotic chemistry, and has been enormously influential in the development of ideas about the origin of life.
Chris Gordon-Smith, IT professional and scientific/environmental researcher, Origin Of Life: Twentieth Century Landmarks
Since the year 1953 thousands of pages have been written covering most disparate opinions on the validity of the above mentioned experiment. Interestingly, the syntheses produced by that aqueous solution demonstrated, precisely, that life cannot have started like this.
Urey “based his calculations on the (then) widely held view that the early atmosphere was reducing…” Can science be based on opinions or points of view? Obviously not, since the study of opinions clearly does not belong in the field of science. In fact, this particular opinion was discarded radically some time later. Akademia today has very different opinions about the primordial atmosphere of our planet. Are we progressing? Let’s not be carried away by mirages that have nothing to do with reality –they are still only opinions.
The fact that Dio-tec tries to get out of this mess by calling the “opinions” of his high priests “work hypothesis” does not solve anything, since hypotheses are opinions, assumptions or proposals based on limited evidence. In this case there is no evidence, even limited, because when the atmosphere as we know it was just forming, there was no one there to analyse its components and, therefore, the hypothesis that gave rise to Miller’s experiment was based on another hypothesis, unsupported by any empirical evidence.
…he passed a continuous spark discharge at 60,000 Volts… According to the scientific opinions of the fifties, now widely discarded, life could have started as a result of electric discharges of lightning on Earth’s primordial atmosphere. It is true that thunderstorms were “believed” to be very common at that time, but where did Miller get that the energy needed for life to happen was 60,000 volts?
“The analysis of the aqueous solution made a week later showed that 25 amino acids had been synthesized, among other substances.” Now, if it takes a week for 25 amino acids to get synthesized, how many amino acids, molecules or lipids would have been found synthesized 70 years later? Dio-tec has no answer to this question. He simply insists on publishing a dissertation in the corresponding journal and on repeating it until it becomes a new universal “scientific” truth, widely accepted. Despite all that, we still think that they should have kept that “primordial soup” in their laboratory until now and have continued to bombard it with electric shocks of 60,000 volts to originate a cell, or recognize their failure. Our question is: What did they do with the soup? Both Urey and Miller have already died, but not so the University of California at Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology, the Columbia University of New York, the University of Chicago –to name a few of the institutions that had contributed to Miller’s career. They could have watched over “the soup” and now we might know something more about its ingredients.
“The Miller-Urey experiment was immediately recognised as an important breakthrough in the study of the origin of life.” This is not about breakthroughs and immediate recognition later on entirely discarded, but about finding out how the first cell originated. The point we are at in the process of investigation is of little importance. What is the difference between the most renowned biologists and common men such as us with regard to the knowledge of the origins of life? Evidently, scientists fear that people might be led to doubt their professional capacity to explain everything and that’s why they make such haste, which inevitably forces them to rectify all their breakthroughs.
“The experiment began the new scientific discipline of prebiotic chemistry, and has been enormously influential in the development of ideas about the origin of life.” It is true that each time a new discipline is created, a new field of research is also created with its corresponding high-flying priests, grants, journals, institutes, publications and congresses… a matrix adjacent to the general matrix. As for the “development of ideas about the origin of life”, there is no doubt that those have not ceased to be profusely developed and spread everywhere; not that we know now more about how life originated and even less for what reason.
Wikipedia offers a highly revealing detail about Miller’s life and career:
Fortunately with the help from Berkeley faculty he was offered a teaching assistantship at the University of Chicago in February 1951, which could provide the basic funds for graduate work. He joined this post and got registered for a PhD program in September. He frantically searched for a thesis topic to work on, meeting one professor after another, and he was inclined toward theoretical problems as experiments tended to be laborious.
This apparently innocent teaching appointment reflects in our opinion the typical attitude of the majority of akademia members. Miller enrolls in a PhD program without knowing what really interests him. We actually have grounds to wonder about what really happened in that laboratory in 1953.
Stanley Miller continued to synthesize until his death in 2007. He managed to produce a wide variety of inorganic and organic compounds essential for cellular construction and metabolism. The same was achieved by many other researchers using other methods, other conditions and other sources of energy. What none of them has achieved is to originate from these compounds a living organism. Thus what we have in our flask is a lot of synthesized amino acids, but we still do not know how life began.
The very idea that living cells could be produced from dead chemical elements continues to perturb evolutionists. They try to back up laboratory experiments with the unlimited propaganda offered by the most influential media in each country, but are still unable to explain how the first living organisms managed to appear. In other words, they still have no basis on which to build an evolutionary tree of life –the dream and fulfillment of their careers.
Jeff Krauss expressed his opinion in QUORA in this regard:
To claim that experimentally creating nucleotides is a step in explaining the first self-replicating RNA molecule and it’s ten enzymes necessary for it to function as such, is like saying that knowing the formula for ink is the first step in interpreting whether Hamlet was psychotic.
Dio-tec’s line of action in the face of failure is to backtrack; covertly and on tiptoe, and return to the starting point. It is an easy procedure to follow since once out of school virtually nobody remembers what happened in 1953, so we are not surprised to read the following statement in the study entitled “Miller-Urey Experiment, Amino Acids and the Origins of Life on Earth” by Julian T.Rubin:
But other experiments maintain that the early atmosphere of Earth could have contained up to 40 percent hydrogen –implying a much more hospitable environment for the formation of prebiotic organic molecules. The escape from hydrogen from Earth’s atmosphere may have occurred at only one percent of the rate previously believed based on revised estimates of the upper atmosphere’s temperature. In this new scenario, organics could have been in the early atmosphere, leading us back to the organic-rich soup-in-the-ocean concept. This studies make the experiments conducted by Miller-Urey and others relevant again.
The wheel has gone full circle. People, keep synthesising. Let’s see what John C. Anderson says in his “Equivocal Evidence”:
Many biology textbooks contain diagrams of the experiment’s apparatus, with captions that give the impression that these experiments actually demonstrated how the building blocks of life were formed. For example, in Biology: Principles and Explorations (2001), a diagram of the Miller apparatus appears with the following caption: “Miller simulated the early Earth’s conditions as hypothesized by Oparian, Urey, and other scientists. His experiment produced the chemicals of life.” What this caption doesn’t make clear is that the conditions “hypothesized by Oparian, Urey, and others” are now rejected. As noted in the body of the text, “we now know that the mixture of gases used in Miller’s experiment could not have existed on early Earth.”
(Jonathan) Wells remarks (Icons of Evolution , 2000) that although it “is still featured prominently in textbooks. . . for more than a decade most geochemists have been convinced that the experiment failed to simulate conditions on the early Earth, and thus has little or nothing to do with the origin of life.” Why, then, is this rejected model still being presented in this very recent biology textbook?
Simply put, Dio-tec does not know how life originated. Hence, the need to use ambiguous inaccuracies, the fate shared by the most common sources of popular scientific belief, namely textbooks and encyclopedias. Let’s see some examples from the latter:
In 1953 American chemists Harold C. Urey and Stanley Miller tested the Oparin-Haldane theory and successfully produced organic molecules from some of the inorganic components thought to have been present on prebiotic Earth.
As the Miller-Urey experiment demonstrated, organic molecules can form from abiogenic materials under the constraints of Earth’s prebiotic atmosphere.
A classic experiment in molecular biology and genetics, the Miller-Urey experiment, established that the conditions that existed in Earth’s primitive atmosphere were able to produce amino acids, the subunits of proteins (complex carbon-containing molecules required by all living organisms). In essence, the Miller-Urey experiment fundamentally established that the primitive atmosphere of the Earth was capable of producing the basic components of life from inorganic materials.
His study has become a classic scientific textbook definition of the origin of life, or more specifically, the first and definitive experimental evidence of Oparin-Haldane’s theory of the “primordial soup”..
As is more than evident, by means of simple linguistic manipulation the three encyclopedic texts cited give the clear impression that in a laboratory experiment Dio-tec originated life.
We have all gone to school (this being mandatory), where we received the foundations of our future opinions, knowledge and the so-called general culture. In short, it is at school where we turn into bricks of the akadamic wall. Today it would be more appropriate to say –where one becomes an android. Very few choose to upgrade themselves in the years following graduation. It is at school where we are taught not to reflect; to study and pass exams with the best possible grade. It is at school that that we are exposed to an overbearing and systematic indoctrination from which it is very difficult to escape. It works in the same way in all educational systems around the world, since they all come from the same source –the nucleus of the akademia. Let’s see a concrete example, that of the Texas State Board of Education, USA. It comes from Casey Luskin’s commentary published in “Evolution News and Science Today”, June 15, 2011, entitled “Miller-Urey Experiment ‘Icon of Evolution’ Alive and Well in Proposed Texas Instructional Materials”:
In his path-breaking book Icons of Evolution, biologist Jonathan Wells exposed how many textbooks keep recycling inaccurate evidences for chemical and biological evolution (the “icons”) long after their pull date. Unfortunately, as a Discovery Institute study documented last week, many of the “icons” cited by Wells are alive and well in supplementary instructional materials recently submitted by publishers to the Texas State Board of Education. A prime example is the Miller-Urey origin of life experiment. Four publishers–Apex Learning, Cengage Learning, School Education Group (McGraw Hill), and Technical Lab Systems–have proposed instructional materials for Texas that perpetuate classic errors about the famous experiment.
Textbooks commonly claim that in the 1950s, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey performed experiments showing how the “building blocks” of life, such as amino acids, could have arisen on the early Earth. Textbooks typically show a diagram of the glass apparatus used by Miller and Urey to purportedly simulate lightning strikes hitting the earth’s early atmosphere. The claim is usually made that the experiments accurately simulated early earth conditions by using the gasses methane and ammonia to represent the earth’s early atmosphere.
The Miller-Urey experiment is typically cited to lend plausibility to a “primordial soup” hypothesis, and the unguided chemical origins of life. But many leading theorists today have abandoned the Miller-Urey experiment and the “primordial soup” theory it is claimed to support. In February 2010, NPR reported that biochemist Nick Lane believes that the primordial soup theory is “past its expiration date.”
Unfortunately, textbooks rarely inform students that the Miller-Urey experiments probably did not accurately model the early earth, or that leading theorists no longer consider the Miller-Urey experiments as a viable explanation for a “primordial soup.” As noted, at least four publishers have proposed instructional materials to the Texas State Board of Education that present inaccurate, misleading, or one-sided information about the Miller-Urey experiment. By doing so, these publishers have failed to follow state science curriculum standards, which call for materials that help students “analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.”
The article explains in detail why the information contained in the textbooks of each of these four publishers is deliberately misleading. As an example, we propose to quote some fragments of the commentary on the materials presented by two of these publishers.
The Cengage Learning curriculum overstates and misstates the results of the Miller-Urey experiment, declaring: “With energy provided by sunlight, lightning, and the heat of volcanoes, those compounds apparently came together to form amino acids. Those amino acids, in turn, reacted with each other to form proteins, the building blocks of all forms of life. In 1953, American chemist Stanley Miller (1930-) showed in a laboratory experiment how such reactions might take place.”
Stanley Miller died in 2007, so this text wrongly implies he is still alive. More importantly, the passage misrepresents Miller’s experiments by claiming that they showed how organic molecules could arise on the early Earth. There is no objective evaluation, analysis, critique, or presentation of all sides of the evidence pertaining to this claim.
In a section titled “4.3.1 Life on Earth, The Formation of Biological Molecules,” this proposed instructional material states regarding the Miller-Urey experiment: “They found that when gases that existed in the Earth’s early atmosphere were subjected to continuous, high amounts of energy under certain chemical conditions, amino acids were formed.” As seen in the diagram below, the Apex curriculum wrongly implies that the early Earth’s atmosphere contained appreciable amounts of ammonia and methane:
The Apex curriculum concludes that “It may have been possible for organic molecules to form spontaneously in primitive oceans.” However, there is no evaluation or critique or presentation of all sides of the data pertaining to this claim.
The author finishes by asking the following question:
How Long Will Students Be Misled? The big question now is whether the Texas State Board of Education will force publishers to correct this misinformation. More than a decade after Icons of Evolution–and more than a half-century after Miller-Urey–isn’t it time for students to get an accurate description of the facts about this 1950s experiment?
This article was published in 2011. We are sure that neither then nor now the Texas State Board of Education has taken the trouble to correct the disinformation of its textbooks or that it intends to do so. After the assassination of God, governments and, therefore, educational systems, have been forced to offer students and the population in general, an alternative explanation of existence, and the only one they have at hand is that of the malicious Dio-tec. The final result is a materialistic conception of life that must be applied to all branches of knowledge. Consequently, the educational system is expected to treat the Milley-Urey experiment with great reverence. We are confident that no one on the Texas State Board of Education has deigned to read the book Icons of Evolution. They do their job and collect their salary. Their job is to ensure that Dio-tec receives unconditional support. Their salary? A handful of dollars.