Miller-Urey experiment

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The Miller and Urey experiment[1] (or Urey–Miller experiment)[2] was an experiment that simulated hypothetical conditions thought at the time to be present on the early Earth, and tested for the occurrence of chemical origins of life. Specifically, the experiment tested Alexander Oparin's and J. B. S. Haldane's hypothesis that conditions on the primitive Earth favored chemical reactions that synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors. Considered to be the classic experiment on the origin of life, it was conducted in 1952[3] and published in 1953 by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago.[4][5][6]

In 2008,[7] a re-analysis of Miller's archived solutions from the original experiments showed that 22 amino acids rather than 5 were actually created in one of the apparatus used.[8] However, as noted, the atmospheric model used by Miller-Urey never matched the atmosphere of early earth at any known point; at the time of the Miller–Urey experiment, scientists thought Earth's atmosphere was composed of methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water vapor.[9] However, in current times, geochemists have concluded that hydrogen, being a light element, would have most likely escaped earth's atmosphere.[10] Consequently, the model of gases contained within an early earth would have been carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor.[9] When the Stanley Miller tested the later model, no amino acids were produced at all, thus nullifying the experiment.[11][10][9][12] Many scientists espousing Intelligent Design have used this argument to buttress their view.[13][14]

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