LOOKING FOR ANSWERS TO THE GENERATION OF LIFE – THE INVALIDITY OF MILLER’S EXPERIMENT
Well aware of the terrible odds against the possibility of life forming by chance, evolutionists were unable to provide a rational explanation for their beliefs, so they set about looking for ways to demonstrate that the odds were not so unfavourable.
They designed a number of laboratory experiments to address the question of how life could generate itself from non-living matter. The best known and most respected of these experiments is the one known as the “Miller Experiment” or “Urey-Miller Experiment”, which was conducted by the American researcher Stanley Miller in 1953.
With the purpose of proving that amino acids could have come into existence by accident, Miller created an atmosphere in his laboratory that he assumed would have existed on primordial earth (but which later proved to be unrealistic) and he set to work. The mixture he used for this primordial atmosphere was composed of ammonia, methane, hydrogen, and water vapour.
Miller knew that methane, ammonia, water vapour and hydrogen would not react with each other under natural conditions. He was aware that he had to inject energy into the mixture to start a reaction. He suggested that this energy could have come from lightning flashes in the primordial atmosphere and, relying on this supposition, he used an artificial electricity discharge in his experiments.
Miller boiled this gas mixture at 100 0C for a week, and, in addition, he introduced an electric current into the chamber. At the end of the week, Miller analysed the chemicals that had been formed in the chamber and observed that three of the twenty amino acids, which constitute the basic elements of proteins, had been synthesised.
This experiment aroused great excitement among evolutionists and they promoted it as an outstanding success. Encouraged by the thought that this experiment definitely verified their theory, evolutionists immediately produced new scenarios. Miller had supposedly proved that amino acids could form by themselves. Relying on this, they hurriedly hypothesised the following stages. According to their scenario, amino acids had later by accident united in the proper sequences to form proteins. Some of these accidentally formed proteins placed themselves in cell membrane-like structures, which “somehow” came into existence and formed a primitive cell. The cells united in time and formed living organisms. The greatest mainstay of the scenario was Miller’s experiment.
However, Miller’s experiment was nothing but make-believe, and has since been proven invalid in many respects.
THE INVALIDITY OF MILLER’S EXPERIMENT
Nearly half a century has passed since Miller conducted his experiment. Although it has been shown to be invalid in many respects, evolutionists still advance Miller and his results as absolute proof that life could have formed spontaneously from non-living matter. When we assess Miller’s experiment critically, without the bias and subjectivity of evolutionist thinking, however, it is evident that the situation is not as rosy as evolutionists would have us think. Miller set for himself the goal of proving that amino acids could form by themselves in earth’s primitive conditions. Some amino acids were produced, but the conduct of the experiment conflicts with his goal in many ways, as we shall now see.
Miller isolated the amino acids from the environment as soon as they were formed, by using a mechanism called a “cold trap”. Had he not done so, the conditions of the environment in which the amino acids formed would immediately have destroyed the molecules. It is quite meaningless to suppose that some conscious mechanism of this sort was integral to earth’s primordial conditions, which involved ultraviolet radiation, thunderbolts, various chemicals, and a high percentage of free oxygen. Without such a mechanism, any amino acid that did manage to form would immediately have been destroyed. The primordial atmospheric environment that Miller attempted to simulate in his experiment was not realistic. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide would have been constituents of the primordial atmosphere, but Miller disregarded this and used methane and ammonia instead.
Why? Why were evolutionists insistent on the point that the primitive atmosphere contained high amounts of methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and water vapour (H2O)? The answer is simple: without ammonia, it is impossible to synthesise an amino acid. Kevin McKean talks about this in an article published in Discover magazine:
Miller and Urey imitated the ancient atmosphere of earth with a mixture of methane and ammonia. According to them, the earth was a true homogeneous mixture of metal, rock and ice. However in the latest studies, it is understood that the earth was very hot at those times and that it was composed of melted nickel and iron. Therefore, the chemical atmosphere of that time should have been formed mostly of nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O). However these are not as appropriate as methane and ammonia for the production of organic molecules.14
After a long period of silence, Miller himself also confessed that the atmospheric environment he used in his experiment was not realistic. Another important point invalidating Miller’s experiment is that there was enough oxygen to destroy all the amino acids in the atmosphere at the time when evolutionists thought that amino acids formed. This oxygen concentration would definitely have hindered the formation of amino acids. This situation completely negates Miller’s experiment, in which he totally neglected oxygen. If he had used oxygen in the experiment, methane would have decomposed into carbon dioxide and water, and ammonia would have decomposed into nitrogen and water. On the other hand, since no ozone layer yet existed, no organic molecule could possibly have lived on earth because it was entirely unprotected against intense ultraviolet rays. In addition to a few amino acids essential for life, Miller’s experiment also produced many organic acids with characteristics that are quite detrimental to the structures and functions of living things. If he had not isolated the amino acids and had left them in the same environment with these chemicals, their destruction or transformation into different compounds through chemical reactions would have been unavoidable.
Moreover, a large number of right-handed amino acids also formed. The existence of these amino acids alone refuted the theory, even within its own reasoning, because right-handed amino acids are unable to function in the composition of living organisms and render proteins useless when they are involved in their composition. To conclude, the circumstances in which amino acids formed in Miller’s experiment were not suitable for life forms to come into being. The medium in which they formed was an acidic mixture that destroyed and oxidised any useful molecules that might have been obtained. Evolutionists themselves actually refute the theory of evolution, as they are often wont to do, by advancing this experiment as “proof”. If the experiment proves anything, it is that amino acids can only be produced in a controlled laboratory environment where all the necessary conditions have been specifically and consciously designed. That is, the experiment shows that what brings life (even the “near-life” of amino acids) into being cannot be unconscious chance, but rather conscious will – in a word, Creation. This is why every stage of Creation is a sign proving to us the existence and might of God.