Another Bad Idea


It’s a zinc world after all?

When the Miller-Urey experiment was performed in 1953, the two scientists generated amino acids in an environment they believed was much like the early earth (a “reducing” atmosphere of methane, hydrogen, ammonia, and water vapor). However, the problem is that the conditions they used are no longer considered to be accurate for when life supposedly arose on earth.

Nowadays, the accepted idea is that the early earth had a “neutral” atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Performing the Miller-Urey experiment with this type of atmosphere fails to generate any amino acids. This is a problem for naturalists, and it is further compounded by UV rays that often foil even the most fantastic abiogenesis suppositions.

But naturalists have never met a problem they couldn’t leave God out of. Since God couldn’t have created life (according to them), a new explanation is needed, which is where the work of Armen Mulkidjanian of the University of Osnabrueck, Germany, and Michael Galperin of the U.S. National Institutes of Health comes in.

According to the two scientists, life originated on structures similar to deep-sea vents. Although the location is nothing new, their explanation is:

They argue that under the high pressure of a carbon-dioxide-dominated atmosphere, zinc sulfide structures could form on the surface of the first continents, where they had access to sunlight. Unlike many existing theories that suggest UV radiation was a hindrance to the development of life, Mulkidjanian and Galperin think it actually helped.

Why zinc? Zinc sulfide stores the energy of light and this property means that a “zinc world” hypothesis is considered more plausible than orgin-of-life theories that cannot account for UV rays. Beyond this, Mulkidjanian and Galperin point out that some proteins in modern cells contain high levels of zinc, especially those considered “evolutionarily old.”

Every year, new ways in which life could have originated pop into existence, get media coverage, and then fade away. Life came from rocks, mud, crystals, and now zinc. Sometimes scientists piece theories together to give them new—well—life, as with the deep-sea vents here, and other times they claim life came from all of the above.

The bigger question that rarely gets asked is this: why so many hypotheses? Naturalists would claim that science works by making hypotheses and testing them. We agree. But abiogenesis does not lie within the realm of science.

The scientists find zinc and suddenly have “proof.”

Take the zinc world, for example. The human body contains other metals besides the one these researchers have focused on, and the proteins that are supposedly “evolutionarily old” contain much more than just zinc. But because zinc is important to this claim, the scientists find zinc and suddenly have “proof.” Why not a “rust world” because blood contains iron? Or a “sodium world” because the oceans contain salt?

With operational science, we can take a claim and perform repeatable experiments. Abiogenesis research will never move past conjecture and hints because there’s nothing to test and no first-hand account to check. Scientists can point to interesting aspects of our chemical composition or dream up life-nurturing scenarios, but they cannot perform scientific exploration on imagination. Taking something that we can see (e.g., zinc in proteins) and affixing “evolutionarily old” to the front of it only diverts attention from the fact that spontaneous generation goes against the laws of nature—both in the present and however many billions of years these scientists care to throw at the problem.

If there is one solid fact tying all these various hypotheses about life springing up from non-life together, it is that it must have happened. The only alternative is a Creator—and many scientists would much rather be accountable to zinc than the God they so desperately want to keep out of the equation.

Further Reading

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