Archive for origins

Life As We Know It…well, almost

Posted in science with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2009 by airtightnoodle

La Jolla, California…one of my favorite places on the planet…and now in the science headlines.

Researchers at the Scripps Institute have synthesized RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves.  But that’s not all.  The RNA enzymes also appeared to “breed” and even “evolve”.

Interesting stuff!  Read more about it in the news here.

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Miller-Urey experiment revisited

Posted in science with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2008 by airtightnoodle

The famous Miller-Urey experiment, frequently attacked by creationists, appears to have produced more intriguing results than the original scientists first suspected.  The experiment is famous for producing amino acids from an apparatus filled with methane, hydrogen, and ammonia–the conditions that were once believed to represent the early Earth’s atmosphere.  Eventually these conditions were considered to be inaccurate.

Jeffrey Bada, one of Miller’s former students, found that Miller had done more work on this issue that was never published when he inherited Miller’s possessions after his death.

Miller had left samples in a box:

…from a device that spewed a concentrated stream of primordial gases over an electrical spark. It was a high-powered variation on the steady-steam apparatus that earned him fame – but unlike that device, it appeared to have produced few amino acids, and was unmentioned in his landmark 1953 Science study, “A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions.”

Bada and his team analyzed these samples that Miller left behind and found no fewer than 22 amino acids.

This should comfort all the packrats out there.  Don’t throw anything away!  🙂

You can read more about this here.

Kenneth Miller speaks at UT

Posted in Evolution with tags , , , , on April 6, 2008 by airtightnoodle

Miller spoke at UT in Austin recently on April 4. This is pretty much the same talk I’ve seen in person elsewhere. To view it, you’ll have to download a plug-in from the University of Texas website. It’s a bit long, but he puts on a very nice presentation defending evolution while going through many points of creationism, intelligent design, etc. If you’ve read the book “Finding Darwin’s God” much of this will be familiar to you.

Go here to watch the presentation.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to download the plug-in you can watch a similar presentation by Miller from You Tube below:

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