Miller’s Second Experiment

It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are present, which could ever have been present. But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. Charles Darwin, 1871

I literally have shivers running down my spine as I type this; if you know what the Miller Experiment is and why its so important in theoretical biology regarding the origin of life, then READ THIS NOW.

In short, Miller ran a second experiment that lasted 25 YEARS, but in extremely cold ice rather than in a warm flask. The results were amazing; better yields of some nucleic acids than at room temperature. What’s more, others have found that the cold actually promotes the formation of LARGE strands of RNA in addition to preserving it for long periods of time.

It seems that the earth on which life first formed was not only devoid of oxygen, but cold like some of the icy moons of the gas giants… Simple life of a different origin than ours may exist elsewhere in our solar system.


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