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The Theory of Spontaneous Generation of Life - Louis Pasteur Weighs In
by Jack Wellman
2010-05-05 07:44:31
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In 1952 a graduate student in Chicago attempted to emulate prebiotic conditions on a young Earth billions of years ago. But organic life and DNA were never "created. * What biochemists cannot do given almost unlimited funding, time, and contact with the brightest and best scientific minds in the world, a simmering, primordial stew". There have been several other simulation experiments over the years, yet not even one time, has anyone, anywhere, ever been able to make the sugar-like molecules dioxy-ribose and ribose necessary to build DNA and RNA molecules.1
morningdashearthorgspontgenerlouispasture_400Amino acids come in two forms called right and left-handed because one is a mirror image of the other. Proteins which contain all left-handed amino acids will connect correctly with the surrounding proteins. However, if a right-handed amino acid is included, the shape of the protein is changed and the protein will not work in a living cell.
Scientists have not been able to cause amino acids dissolved in water to join together to form proteins. The energy-requiring chemical reactions that join amino acids are reversible and do not occur spontaneously in water.
What is being taught is that simple chemicals became concentrated in the ocean, making an organic broth of ever more complex chemicals out of which life emerged. Amino acids are essentially, the building blocks of life, can form via natural chemical reactions unrelated to life.
The theory that life began when proteins, DNA, and RNA were formed by chance, or at least by chemicals coming together…whatever you want to call it, is one that can never have conclusive proof (Abiogenesis). And that also goes for the origination of the DNA/RNA. Every science experiment that has ever been attempted to form life, has revealed that amino acids don't form as readily with any kind of stability. The amino acids that did manage to form during experiments, immediately tended to break apart every time.
Random chemical reactions are not what any biochemist would bet on when making something as detailed as DNA, even in the fullness of time. Recent discoveries have added even more woes to the primordial stew hypothesis.

If the origin of DNA/RNA continues to remain one of the greatest , and potentially unsolvable scientific mysteries, then the door is wide open to a supernatural explanation. Questioning, unbiased scientists should be free to go down that path. Evolutionist’s are still hoping, after 100 years of trying, that some day a purely chemical explanation for the origin of the complex DNA molecule will miraculously appear, but they still wait and wait. Just like the theory, 150 years old and holding…as a theory.
Has lazy mixing spoiled the primordial stew? By the middle of the 19th century, the theory of biogenesis had accumulated so much evidential support, due to the work of Louis Pasteur and others, that the alternative theory of spontaneous generation had been effectively disproven. Pasteur himself remarked, after a definitive finding in 1864, "Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment."2 The collapse of spontaneous generation, however, left a vacuum of scientific thought on the question of how life had first arisen.
The theory of Spontaneous Generation (and it is only a theory) has been around a long time, in fact since at least Aristotle’s time (4th Century BC). It was universally accepted (including by scientists) that simple living organisms could come into being by spontaneous generation. This was the idea that non-living objects can give rise to living organisms. It was common “knowledge” that simple organisms like worms, beetles, frogs, and salamanders could come from dust, mud, etc., and food left out, quickly “swarmed” with life. This is what Darwin and most scientists thought at the time.
Louis Pasteur believed that bacteria could not develop this way (by spontaneous generation), like in sealed containers, because the life force could not get in. The theory of spontaneous generation was finally laid to rest in 1859 by the young French chemist, Louis Pasteur. The French Academy of Sciences sponsored a contest for the best experiment either proving or disproving spontaneous generation. Pasteur's winning experiment was a variation of the methods of Needham and Spallanzani. He boiled meat broth in a flask, heated the neck of the flask in a flame until it became pliable, and bent it into the shape of an S. Air could enter the flask, but airborne microorganisms could not - they would settle by gravity in the neck. As Pasteur had expected, no microorganisms grew. When Pasteur tilted the flask so that the broth reached the lowest point in the neck, where any airborne particles would have settled, the broth rapidly became cloudy with life. Pasteur had both refuted the theory of spontaneous generation and convincingly demonstrated that microorganisms are everywhere, including the air we breath.
What he proved was that there is no such life force in air itself, and organisms do not arise by spontaneous generation in this manner. To quote Louis Pasteur, “Life is a germ, and a germ is Life. Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow of this simple experiment…Spontaneous generation is an obsolete theory regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence.” 3

1. Kerr, R. A. October 6, 2006. Has lazy mixing spoiled the primordial stew? Science 6 314:36-37.
2. Oparin, Aleksandr I. (1953). Origin of Life. Dover Publications, New York. pp. p.196. ISBN 0486602133.
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generation

Originally published on: http://www.associatedcontent.com/jackwellman


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Emanuel Paparella2010-05-05 12:43:12
Marx got many of his social observations but he had it right in one respect when he pointed out that man can know with more certitude what he himself has created, social institutions and cultural artifacts, than what he has not created nature and life itself. But of course the temptation to play God is a tenacious one not easily given up. It begins the human drama and explains the banishment from the garden and the loss of original innocence. In fact to be able to create life is to become a god; that is the secret subconscious desire built on an illusion riding a delusion that a creature can eventually know scientifically with 100% certitude what he himself has not created. Fat chance.

Emanuel Paparella2010-05-05 12:44:53
Errata: Marx got many of his social observations wrong...

Boghos L. Artinian MD2010-05-18 21:54:51
What, in the phenomenon of 'spontaneous generation of life', is so special that man must duplicate it to be convinced that it can happen? Everything in the universe was created by spontaneous generation since the Big Bang: Energy, subatomic particles, protons and electrons, atoms, molecules, organelles and so on. Life is a property of organization and will eventually appear everywhere in the universe whether by spontaneous generation or otherwise!

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