Paul asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 3 years ago

What is the Urey-Miller experiment?

2 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Miller-Urey experiment (or Urey-Miller experiment) was an experiment that simulated hypothetical conditions present on the early Earth and tested for the occurrence of chemical evolution (the Oparin and Haldane hypothesis stated that conditions on the primitive Earth favored chemical reactions that synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors; the Miller-Urey experiment tested this hypothesis). The experiment is considered to be the classic experiment on the origin of life. It was conducted in 1953 by Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey at the University of Chicago.


    The experiment used water (H2O), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen (H2). The chemicals were all sealed inside a sterile array of glass tubes and flasks connected together in a loop, with one flask half-full of liquid water and another flask containing a pair of electrodes. The liquid water was heated to induce evaporation, sparks were fired between the electrodes to simulate lightning through the atmosphere and water vapor, and then the atmosphere was cooled again so that the water could condense and trickle back into the first flask in a continuous cycle.

    At the end of one week of continuous operation, Miller and Urey observed that as much as 10-15% of the carbon within the system was now in the form of organic compounds. Two percent of the carbon had formed amino acids, including 13 of the 22 that are used to make proteins in living cells, with glycine as the most abundant. As observed in all consequent experiments, both left-handed (L) and right-handed (D) optical isomers were created in a racemic mixture.

    The molecules produced were simple organic molecules, far from a complete living biochemical system, but the experiment established that the hypothetical processes could produce some building blocks of life without requiring life to synthesize them first.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • David
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    There is much speculation about life arising in many places in the universe in an on-going fashion. But what does scientific observation and experiment tell us? We never see evidence for anything like a 'primordial soup', nor any life arising spontaneously. We only see living things reproducing 'after their own kinds.

    Huxley's eagerness to prove his 'new' idea of abiogenesis provides a somewhat comic episode in the history of biology, conveniently forgotten because of its embarrassment to evolutionists.

    Nowadays most scientists and teachers take a somewhat 'schizophrenic' approach. They deny spontaneous generation, recognizing Pasteur's proofs against it. At the same time they say life arose spontaneously in the past, when we weren't around to observe or measure the process.

    How ironic that many sceptical scientists demand that God show Himself to their measuring instruments before they will believe, yet they accept the unproven, unscientific idea of 'abiogenesis' without a qualm!

    In the late 1850s, spontaneous generation of cellular life was also being discredited on another front of biological research, even while Darwin was about to bring it back in a different form.

    It is typical for atheists to portray creationism as a fanatical anti-scientific religion, and evolution as dispassionate, objective science. Evolutionists have, on the whole, always had a strong bias and religious dimension in their quest to explain the universe without a Creator to make it. Despite the spectacular failure of all experiments to demonstrate abiogenesis, they have spread this unproven doctrine far and wide.

    When you look at the real world, Materialism fails! The notion of eliminating exclusionary materialism has gone way past the quantum physics community and is found to varying degrees in most sciences. Both scientists and the common man recognize there is something wrong with modern science, and are starting to ask the right questions.. Now it is just a matter of time!

    It is now recognized that the Miller-Urey line of research is simply a ‘revival of the antique notion of spontaneous generation’ because

    ‘… it suggests that given the primordial soup, with the right combination of amino acids and nucleic acids, and perchance a lightning bolt or two, life might in fact have begun “spontaneously”. The major difference is that according to what biologists customarily called spontaneous generation, life supposedly began this way all of the time. According to the “soup” suggestion, by contrast, it began this way only once in the immeasurably distant past.’ [Serafini, A., The Epic History of Biology].

    Ridley concluded that the early forms of life, and how natural selection could shape them, are ‘so obscure at the primordial stage that we can only guess why complexity might have increased’.

    When confronted with this evidence, supporters of abiogenesis argue that science must be naturalistic, and we have no choice but to tell the best story we have, even if it is not a complete or even accurate story. [Johnson, P., Reason in the Balance; The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education, 1995]. See what happens when you deny verifiable truth? You must tell a lie otherwise.

    Although widely heralded by the popular press for decades as ‘proof’ that life originated on the early earth entirely by natural conditions, the Miller-Urey experiments have actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion. This set of experiments—more than almost any other carried out by modern science—has done much more to show that abiogenesis is not possible on Earth than to indicate how it could be possible.

    Thousands of experiments, and all of the recently gained knowledge of molecular biology and genetics, have only served to strengthen the most fundamental law of biology, laid down by Virchow over a century ago: 'omni cellules e cellules' (all cells come from other cells), also known as the Law of Biogenesis. Life only comes from life. This was the law established by the Author of Life.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.