Exploring Our World

 The Origin of Life

The Law of Biogenesis

“Finally, in the mid-1800s, Louis Pasteur designed an experiment that disproved the spontaneous generation of microorganisms. From that time on, biogenesis, the idea that living organisms come only from other living organisms, became a cornerstone of biology.” (Glencoe Biology, 2006, p. 381) 

“Biologists have accepted the concept of biogenesis for more than 100 years.”

(Glencoe Biology, 2006, p. 382) 

“Historically the point of view that life comes only from life has been so well established through the facts revealed by experiment that it is called the Law of Biogenesis.” (Biology: a search for order in complexity, Moore and Slusher, 1984) 

Chemical Evolution - Spontaneous Generation - Abiogenesis

Although they have changed the terms a few times, the meaning is basically the same: life came from nonlife through the right mixture of chemicals. It is believed by many that Louis Pasteur and others proved that wrong through experimentation. 

3 Unanswered Questions Regarding Abiogenesis:

Question # 1

“Isn’t Biogenesis a law of science?”

In spite of this fact, students are taught the contrary: abiogenesis, life comes from non-life. 

Question # 2

“Is the hypothesis of abiogenesis (life from non-life) scientific?” (Has it ever been observed?)  

“Scientists disagree about the details of the process that led to the origin of life. Most scientists, however, accept that under certain conditions, the basic molecules of life could have formed spontaneously through simple chemistry.” (HOLT BIOLOGY, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2006, Pg. 256) 

Question # 3

“If chemical evolution isn’t happening today, how do we know it happened in the past?” 

Paul Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University. In New Scientist, Vol. 179 (2403):32, July 12, 2003 stated: “It’s a shame that there are precious few hard facts when it comes to the origin of life... the how part has everybody stumped. Nobody knows how a mixture of lifeless chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell.”

Robert Gange, Ph.D. (research scientist with extensive research in the field of cryophysics and information systems.), Origins and Destiny, 1986, p. 77 stated: “The likelihood of life having occurred through a chemical accident is, for all intents and purposes, zero.”

Miller-Urey Experiment

In 1953 two scientists by the name of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey performed an experiment in a laboratory for the purpose of trying to create life from chemicals. Under controlled conditions, drawing on years of experience, they designed the experiment to produce the best possible results, yet they only produced two amino acids, which actually bond with tar and are a toxic to life. Yet many claimed the experiment proved it could have happened. 

Two Problems with the Experiment:

(1) They used the wrong molecules.

In Holt Biology 2006, on page 254 it states: "We now know that the reductant molecules used in Miller's experiment could not have existed in abundance on the early Earth. Four billion years ago, Earth did not have a protective layer of ozone gas, - Today ozone protects Earth's surface from most of the sun's damaging ultraviolet radiation. Without ozone, ultraviolet radiation would have destroyed any ammonia and methane present in the atmosphere."

(2) They left out oxygen.

They also did not include oxygen, even though it is believed oxygen did exist in abundance in earth's early atmosphere. The existence of oxygen however would have ruined the experiment. 

Left-handed Amino Acids

1. A mixture of left-handed and right-handed amino acids is a poison to life.

2. All biological proteins (all life) contain 100% left-handed amino acids.

3. When a living organism dies, the natural property of amino acids is to revert to a mixture (left-handed and right-handed).

4. When a solution of left-handed amino acids is left alone, the amino acids slowly alter until the solution becomes approximately a mixture of 50/50 right-handed and left-handed amino acids.

In "life" or "death," the natural tendency is half left-handed amino acids, and half right-handed. All life forms are made up of 100% left-handed amino acids.

Life is a miracle!