Diamonds May Have Sparked Life, Say Researchers | The Institute for Creation Research
Diamonds May Have Sparked Life, Say Researchers

Researchers cannot seem to figure out how the first living cell came from a soup of inert chemicals using only the forces of nature and time.

Some time ago, the concept of an “RNA world” was invoked to salvage the sinking evolutionary paradigm. Since DNA and protein were evidently too difficult to spontaneously generate, researchers posited that the first life was RNA-based. The “RNA world” ran in the news1 and made its way into textbooks.2 However, the theory is being quietly abandoned because of the dramatic instability of RNA—it could not last long enough to evolve.

Today, researchers have a new hope: diamonds.

German chemists at the University of Ulm found that when diamonds are treated with hydrogen, thin layers of water form on their surfaces. They also found that diamonds conduct electricity, and propose that these properties, in conjunction with nearby biochemicals, could have sparked the first living cell. Their research will appear in the August issue of the American Chemical Society’s Crystal Growth & Design.3

The find may inspire new experiments with electrified diamonds placed in tubes of organic soup. However, this promises to demonstrate the same deficiencies as the famous 1953 Miller-Urey experiment,4 which only succeeded in forming a black sludge from electric sparks in special gases. The gooey tar contained trace amounts of some simple chemicals—tiny pieces of molecular machines, like broken rivets off an airplane. At the time, this experiment was heralded as evidence for the possibility of a spontaneous generation of life.

However, in that experiment, “newly sparked” chemical products were isolated from the electric current for protection. This also isolated them from any further development. The generated chemicals were also extremely simple, small, and diluted in comparison to the large and complex molecules found concentrated in living cells. Also, the chemicals were mixed, not separated into right or left-handed forms.5 Finally, the experiment, though carefully planned, produced a randomized mixture with none of the complex arrangement of parts (i.e., the necessary organization) that is found in living cells.

An honest evolutionary scientist has admitted that “decades of persistent failure to create life by the ‘spark in the soup’ method (or to find such productions in nature) have caused some researchers to seek other approaches to the great enigma.”6 Adding diamonds to convert soup into cells promises no more success than adding meteors, RNA, or chemists. Blind faith seems to be required to insist, diamond or not, that any natural process can spontaneously generate life. An informed faith can infer a more sufficient cause for the origin of complex living cells: an all-wise Creator.

References

  1. Study Offers Insights into Evolutionary Origins of Life; Artificial Enzyme Able to Synthesize RNA. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research press release, issued May 17, 2001, accessed online July 29, 2008.
  2. Stryer, L. 1995. Biochemistry, 4th Ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 115-116.
  3. Britt, R. R. Diamonds May Have Jump-started Life on Earth. Posted on LiveScience.com July 26, 2008, accessed July 29, 2008.
  4. Miller, S. A. 1953. Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions. Science. 117: 528-529.
  5. The “handedness” of molecules is essential for correctly functioning biochemical processes. See McCombs, C. 2004. Evolution Hopes You Don’t Know Chemistry: The Problem With Chirality. Acts & Facts. 33 (5).
  6. Milner, R. 1993. The Encyclopedia of Evolution: Humanity’s search for its origins. New York: Henry Holt, 274.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article was posted on August 1, 2008.

The Latest
CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...

NEWS
Roe v. Wade Overturned
On Friday, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, overruled its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that purported to recognize a constitutional right to...

NEWS
Anthropologist Wows Scientists
Jeremy DeSilva of Dartmouth College gave an evening presentation at the end of this year’s week-long American Society of Mass Spectrometry conference....

NEWS
Plesiosaurs: Designed for Swimming in the Beginning
Plesiosaurs (“near lizards”) were an amazing group of aquatic reptiles. Their clear design includes unique flippers and streamlined bodies...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Natural Selection Part 3: A Seductive Swindle | Creation.Live...
Darwin’s idea of natural selection involves long ages of trial and error, making it a fundamentally death-driven concept. Could such a process...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Natural Selection Part 2: A Poor Personification | Creation.Live...
Charles Darwin compared natural selection to a human breeder, but the analogy has faced substantial criticism, even from within Darwinian camps. What...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Natural Selection Part 1: A Darwinian Deception | Creation.Live...
In his book On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin outlined the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. But what was Darwin’s purpose...

NEWS
Imaginary Dinosaur Science Runs Wild in Jurassic World: Dominion
Wild imagination abounds in the new Jurassic World: Dominion movie. Even a fully-feathered dinosaur is shown swimming below the ice at one point. But this...

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bring Your Family to the ICR Discovery Center and Celebrate the...
The ICR Discovery Center Anniversary Celebration on September 3, 2022, will unveil new science exhibits, hands-on activities for the whole family, the...

CREATION PODCAST
Where Did Our Sun Come From? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
What makes our sun so unique? Where does the sun get its power? Looking at the evidence, how old is our sun? On this episode of The Creation Podcast,...