Creation Of Life
Remarkably, right before I finished this chapter, a friend confronted me with "proof" for the creation of life in a "random" laboratory experiment. After a little discussion, I realized that my buddy was pointing to the "spark and soup" experiments of the 1950's where guys like Harold Urey and Stanley Miller passed mixtures of boiling water, ammonia, methane and hydrogen through elaborate "electric spark systems" of beakers and test tubes. In those experiments, they were able to produce traces of one or two amino acids -- the "building blocks of life" -- and therefore, the media hailed these as proof for the possibility of spontaneous generation on a prebiotic Earth. 1
There were many unreported problems with these "designed" experiments. Dramatically, the greatest byproducts of these soups were tar (85%) and carboxylic acids (13%), both of which are toxic to living systems. Notwithstanding all the other issues, producing a trace amino acid in a laboratory experiment would be similar to producing a clay brick and declaring that we just figured out how to randomly design and build a New York skyscraper.
After discussing a little more of the science stuff, I turned to my friend and decided to toss him a nice graphic illustration...
"Take a frog and put him in a blender. Turn the blender on for seven minutes, or until whipped to a frothy consistency."
He stared at me with that look...
"Pour the mixture into an open container and place the container in the sun for a few million years. After a few million years, retrieve the container and examine the contents..."
I gave him a nod, "Do you have a frog?"
He thought for only a second...
"Nope, you still have frog soup," he laughed.
"You're absolutely right," I agreed. "How can you have anything but a soupy mixture containing the building blocks of frog life. With no information code to tie it all together, you have nothing resembling any kind of self-existing organism."
In this simple (yet graphic) illustration, I gave every potential to create a frog. I provided every chemical, amino acid, protein and molecule that makes up the frog's organic structure. However, if I placed this illustration in the context of a "prebiotic soup" on primitive Earth, we'd be lucky to see even one trace element or amino acid develop over the same time period -- let alone the biologic components of an entire frog!
1 See, Harold C. Urey, The Planets, Their Origin and Development, Yale University Press, 1952; and Stanley Miller, Science, vol. 117, 1953, 528-529.
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