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Author Topic:   Miller and Urey Experiment: What has changed?
Ardent Enthusiast
Inactive Member

Message 1 of 85 (303401)
04-12-2006 12:04 AM

Hi all,
Listen, I'm new to EvC, so be easy on me, alright?
In my AP Bio class, we went through the origin of life on earth, how lightening struck chemicals on primordial earth, and how amino acids were formed and these became the first proteins and nucleic acids which eventually became the first Prokaryotic cell, etc. This theory was based on the Miller/Urey experiment, which took place in 1953. My question is, why hasn't any new data been gathered on this topic, and if it has, why is it still being taught at the high school/college level?

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 04-12-2006 2:10 AM Ardent Enthusiast has replied
 Message 4 by Modulous, posted 04-12-2006 3:00 AM Ardent Enthusiast has not replied
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 04-12-2006 3:20 AM Ardent Enthusiast has not replied

Ardent Enthusiast
Inactive Member

Message 6 of 85 (303655)
04-12-2006 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
04-12-2006 2:10 AM

Hi Percy,
I do not have a scanner. I do know people who do, however, and I will scan some pages as soon as I can.
In the meantime, here's the passage I was referring to.
In the 1950's, American chemists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey tried to answer that question by simulating conditions on the early Earth in a laboratory setting. They filled a flask with hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and watter to represent the atmosphere. They made certain that no microorganisms could contaminate the results.Then, they passed electric sparks through the mixture to simulate lightening.
The results were spectacular. Over a few days, several amino acids-the building blocks of proteins-began to accumulate. Miller and Urey's experiments suggested how mixtures of the organic compounds necessary for life could have arisen from simpler compounds present on a primitive Earth.
This book was written by Ken Miller and Joe Levine by the way.
Anyway, what is this experiment doing in a 2006 Biology book? Especially alone in a 2006 Biology book. There is no mention of any other experiments relating to life on early Earth in this book. Does that mean there are no such experiments? If not, why are'nt they in the text? If so, why have these experiments not been performed?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 04-12-2006 2:10 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Matt P, posted 04-12-2006 8:06 PM Ardent Enthusiast has not replied
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 04-12-2006 9:53 PM Ardent Enthusiast has not replied
 Message 9 by Percy, posted 04-13-2006 9:19 AM Ardent Enthusiast has not replied

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