Peanut butter disproves supports evolution

The Metro has, rather sarcastically, reported on the "no new life in peanut butter" argument seen below:



This is an interesting example of using bad science to defend "intelligent design" because it's not really wrong, and is basically a badly thought out version of the Urey Miller Experiment,.

This type of experiment is pretty simple, hell even I managed to demonstrate a version of it for a science show I was once involved in. You just get a air tight tank and sterilize it to remove all traces of life (and anything else). Then fill it with what you think the early Earth had (water, methane, ammonia and hydrogen, and in newer models iron and carbonate minerals). Finally you add a source of energy, which in this case was regular sparks of electricity to simulate lighting strikes and let it run.

If you come back to it a few weeks later what do you have? Obviously you don't have a little ant roaming around like they suggest in the video. But you do get a bunch of organic molecules and even amino acids. Which are the foundation of all life on the planet.

Of crucial importance, is that this is a tiny little experiment running for a week. It has sizes and timescales we can comprehend, as such coming back to it and finding it full of fish is ridiculous, but even so the first building blocks can appear in front of our eyes.

Hows that jump to life made? There lies a noble prize. I'm sure one day we'll work it out.

But now taking into account that it took life 2 billion years to appear on Earth, and Earth has a surface area about 5000 billion times bigger than an experiment of 1 square meter it becomes reasonable to think that the Earth has enough rolls of the dice to do this buy itself.

Because it only has to do it once.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


The man who came up with this idea, Stanley Miller, past away in May 2007 (aged 77), in the picture above he is standing with his experiment, and he's not too different from the creationist with his pot of peanuts. He just thought harder. For longer.

He made this world a better, brighter, place. Carl Sagan went as far as to say that his work was:

The single most significant step in convincing many scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos.


Miller convinced me, but the peanut guy needs to work on his act.

7 comments:

wastedlife said...

This is exactly the kind of half-baked psuedo-science that drives me off the wall. Things like this "experiment", "intelligent design" and the marketing of probiotics such as what Dannon does (like the made-up names for the strains of bacteria in their yogurt, like "biffudus regularus" and "L. casei Immunitas") are misleading the minds of the general public. To them it looks just enough like real science that it must be right. Sorry to vent, but this kind of stuff just makes my blood boil.

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