The Myth of Abiogenesis
An Impossible Evolutionist Claim

Table of Contents
What is Abiogenesis?
Standard Abiogenetic Theories Are Scientifically Untenable
Directing Clays as Proposed Vehicles for Oceanic Abiogenesis
Thermal Oceanic Vents
Life From Space?
End Notes

What is Abiogenesis?

The concept of abiogenesis is not evolution, per se. Evolution, as it is strictly intepreted in technical terms, deals with the suggested mechanisms for the progressive development of more complex lifeforms from simpler ones. Abiogenesis deals with what comes before - the origination of those very simple lifeforms from non-living chemical antecedants. However, because it is part and parcel with the whole naturalistic scheme of evolutionary science, abiogenesis can rightly be said to fall under the broader rubric of "evolution" as the term is commonly understood in lay discourse, and certainly the concept must be dealt with in any discussion concerning origins.

Essentially, abiogenetic theories propose that by some means or another, simple non-living organic precursors were "built" together to form more complex organic structures which are necessary to life systems (such as proteins, sugars, nucleotides etc.) Through this sort of evolutionary simple-to-complex process, enough life-system chemicals formed and joined together to initiate the foundation of simple lifeforms (through the production of the necessary structures for cell walls, cellular structures, etc.), and from there biologic evolution took over.

Below, the standard theory of abiogenesis, as presented in the nearly uniform testimony of evolutionist teaching and textbooks, will be demonstrated as scientifically untenable, based upon scientific knowledge which has actually been experimentally determined (rather than resting solely in the realm of theory). From there, certain recent innovations in evolutionist argumentation for abiogenesis will be critiqued. It has been my attempt in this article to make the information presented as accessible to the non-scientist as possible.

Standard Abiogenetic Theories Are Scientifically Untenable

Probably anyone who has ever taken a biology course from a public university has encountered the orthodox abiogenetic theory in their textbooks. Further, they have probably seen it presented as undeniable fact, not to be questioned except by those obscurantist religious fundamentalists. Yet there are some very serious flaws in the information presented in most standard accounts of origins in these classes. These flaws are made all the more serious by the simplicity of the mistakes made by evolutionary scientists who promoted (and often still promote) these teachings.

Those who have taken biology courses are probably familiar with the Miller-Urey experiment. This was an experiment carried out in 1953 by Dr. Stanley Miller1 (though it mimicked closely the earier experimentation of Harold Urey in 1929). The experimental concept and apparatus were very simple. His group attempted to simulate the conditions that evolutionary scientists believe were present on the early earth at the time abiogenesis was taking place. They sealed into a closed system an atmosphere of methane, hydrogen, ammonia, and water. They then heated this mixture to provide the complete atmosphere (boiling the water to obtain the water vapour). In another chambre, they ran a continuous electric current through the "atmosphere" to simulate lightning strikes which evolutionists believe must have been common on the early earth. They then collected the products in a trap after condensation of the water vapour, and analysed the results after a week of continuous electrical discharge. See Figure 1 below for a simple schematic of their experimental setup.

Figure 1 - Miller-Urey Experimental Apparatus

The results they obtained were very encouraging to evolutionists looking for a naturalistic explanation of life's origin. Miller and his group found that around 2% of the carbon in the system (from the methane) had been incorporated into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins, obviously very important for life systems), along with another 15% or so being incorporated into various other organic compounds. Despite the low yield of amino acids (not a problem for evolutionists anywise, given the tremendously long time periods they propose this to have taken place in), the results of this experiment were thought to "prove" that life chemicals could be created through the conditions proposed, and this essentially served to validate the entire naturalistic scheme proposed by evolutionists. Further support for their proposition was thought to have been provided by experimentation performed by Juan Oro, who successfully synthesised small amounts of amino acids and the nucleotide base adenine, a component of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), in an aqueous solution from simple cyanic precursors.

However, there are several insurmountable problems with relying upon the results of these experiments to validate the evolutionary hypothesis:

First, there was the simple fact of the tremendous amount of supposition involved in the original Miller-Urey experiments. Yes, the experiment successfully produced some amino acids, but it did so only as a result of the use of an atmosphere specifically engineered to yield amino acids, since simple molecules containing all the needed atoms were conveniently provided. Evolutionists justify the use of this atmosphere on the basis of their claim that the "early earth" had a reducing atmosphere (one lacking oxygen or other oxidising agents). Yet, the sole reason that this reducing atmosphere is proposed is so that they can then use it to justify their theories! Instead of searching for evidence and then revising their theories to the data, they were (and are) engineering the (proposed) conditions to yield the data they desired. The "reducing atmosphere" of the early earth is completely an evolutionist construct. Evolutionists themselves will make the circular argument that the earth must have had an early reducing atmosphere, since we know that chemical evolution happened, and chemical evolution could only happen in a reducing atmosphere2! In point of fact, there is absolutely no evidence that the earth has ever had a reducing atmosphere at any time, and the available evidence suggests the opposite3. Even the oldest rock layers in the geologic column, those said by evolutionary geologists to predate the formation of life on earth, all show evidence that the earth had an oxidising atmosphere at the time of their formation, due to the presence of oxidised minerals and metals contained in those rocks.

Second, due to the lack of an "early earth" reducing atmosphere, and because of the evidence for an oxygenated atmosphere throughout the earth's history, any amino acids which might yet have been formed by such a process as Miller and Urey reproduced would have been destroyed nearly instantly upon production by the atmospheric oxygen, since oxygen (either O2 or ozone) oxidatively degrades amino acids. Interestingly, if there had been an early reducing atmosphere when this abiogenesis was going on, the lack of an ozone layer would have meant that any amino acids formed in the primitive atmosphere would have been almost immediately destroyed by the intense ultraviolet radiation. Thus, it's a lose-lose situation for evolutionists on this count.

Third, in addition to the small amount of amino acids and other identifiable organic compounds, the experiment produced a large amount of organic "sludge". There has been no evidence found for the existence of this same sort of "sludge" anywhere in the geologic column, even though it should have been produced abundantly and laid down systematically throughout the entire period during which evolutionists propose that the process of abiogenesis was occurring.

Fourth, the amino acids which were produced in their experiment were completely useless from the standpoint of their use as life chemicals. This is because the amino acids which were generated in the Miller-Urey experiments were created in a racemic mix. What this means is that equal amounts of "left-handed" (laevorotary, or l) and "right-handed" (dextrorotary, or r) amino acids were formed, these two stereochemical configurations being called enantiomers4. The problem lies in that life systems utilise proteins (which are really polymers of amino acids) which are produced exclusively from l-amino acids. A protein which incorporates even a single dextrorotary amino acid into its chain is completely useless from the perspective of being used in a biologic system. There has not yet been found a single exception to this rule. Because these laevorotary and dextrorotary amino acids produced in the Miller-Urey experiment are otherwise chemically identical, they would be statistically equally likely to be incorporated into a proposed protein being built through abiogenetic processes, and hence any protein formed as a result of an early earth Miller-Urey type process would be completely useless, and would not have provided the material to give us life as we know it to universally be.

Thus, despite all the hype from evolutionists, the Miller-Urey experiment (and the Oro experiment, which suffers from the exact same problem of racemic products...nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA, all need to be dextrorotary) really accomplished little more than to present a very inefficient means of synthesising amino acids, one which will not be applied commercially any time soon. Yet, this did not deter the naturalistic theorists who then carried their proposal one step further. Abiogenesis, after amino acids and other life-necessary precursors were formed, was proposed to proceed in the primal oceans. This is where the amino acids which formed from lightning strikes would fall and eventually would polymerise into proteins which then formed simple aggregate structures which then formed simple cellular structures...... Unfortunately for the evolutionists, this proposal is even more seriously flawed than that given for amino acid production.

From a chemist's point of view, it is on its face unbelievable that trained scientists would have even proposed oceanic abiogenesis of proteins from amino acids. Let us proceed to a short overview of the chemistry involved in turning amino acids into proteins. The reaction involved is called a condensation reaction, a term which refers to a reaction that joins two reacting species into one product molecule, with the generation of a free molecule of water. In amino acid condensation, the amino portion of one amino acid (NH2) reacts with the acid carbonyl (C=O) of the other (see Figure 2 below), forming a dipeptide with the production of a water molecule. This process is then repeated with the amino end of the dipeptide attacking another carbonyl of another amino acid, and so on.

Figure 2 - Amino Acid Condensation to Form a Dipeptide

As can be seen, this reaction features water as one of the products. In organic chemistry, there is a very basic principle known as Le Chatelier's Principle, which basically states that in a reversible reaction (represented by the arrows pointing in both directions, above), the progress of the reaction will always proceed in the direction needed to maintain equilibrium between the concentration of products and reactants. A large excess of a species on one side of the arrows will force the reaction to proceed away from the side with the large excess. This is important in our present discussion when we note that the theory of abiogenesis which is generally presented, and which is found in our biology textbooks, takes place in the ocean. An ocean is a very large body of water. Water was a product of the condensation reaction between two amino acids or peptides. Thus, a product of the reaction is present in an exceedingly high concentration compared to any other species in the reaction mix, regardless of how much lightning action has been going on. Le Chatelier's action would push this reaction so far towards the hydrolysis side (the opposite reaction of condensation, in which peptides are split up into amino acids) that there would be essentially no reaction at all. Simply put, oceanic abiogenesis under the proposed scheme is absolutely impossible.

Directing Clays as Proposed Vehicles for Oceanic Abiogenesis

Realising the inherent impossibility of the simple version of their theory, evolutionists have moved on to more exotic versions of abiogenesis. One of these routes is to rely upon certain types of organophilic clays which are proposed to have served as "directors" for the reactions needed to produce simple biologic molecules, first proposed by the Scottish chemist Cairns-Smith. Organophilic clays are suggested as promoters of early chemical evolution for several reasons. It has been discovered that amino acids and other organic molecules will adhere to certain types of clays. Further, many of these clays can encourage and direct polymerisation of amino acids5. The extremely small particle size of clays results in a much greater effective surface area (in relation to a comparable mass of regular mud or rock) upon which these reactions can take place. It has been found that these clays partially exclude water from within their macroscopic "structure", and hence, the polymerisation advances without as serious of a Le Chatelier effect working against it. Also, the crystalline structure of the individual clay particles has a simple organised structure, which aids in directing the reactions, and are thought by many evolutionists to have allowed the clays to "input" the original organised information which eventually developed into the life-information coding we see in present biology. Cairns-Smith summarises the pertinent difficulties with traditional oceanic abiogenesis and the proposed solutions provided by organophilic clays in his volume on the subject released in 19826.

From these discoveries, evolutionists have already made the wholly unsubstantiated leap of assuming that these provide strong support for abiogenesis and "help to solve the question of the origin of life". It's obvious! The amino acids were directed by these clays in their polymerisation, and that is where life originated!

A typical claim runs as such,

"Cycles of wetting and drying produced by the ocean tides cause stress in the clay that translated into energy. These cycles can link molecules of amino acids together by transferring energy .... The ions in clay act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions ... when in the presence of clays some organic molecules can also perform functions like enzymes"7

Realising that the original "spark to bark" theories were too simplistic and did not provide any sort of substrate to encourage polymerisation in an oceanic environment (needed to overcome the Le Chatelier's pressure against amino acid condensation caused by the local overabundance of water), the idea of clays providing the necessary energy and the necessary efficient direction of peptide polymerisation was advanced and has been ran full steam ahead. Throw in the prerequisite "millions and millions of years" to overcome the added difficulty of the miniscule concentrations of these amino acids in something as large as an ocean (and thus the extremely low probability of even two of these amino acids meeting up, much less enough to make a full-fledged protein), and you have a theory which the evolutionists are in love with.

Yet, this whole line of reasoning begs the question. Fine, these clays can adhere organic molecules such as amino acids, and can direct their polymerisation into proteins, the building blocks of life. However, the research into these clays does not address the question of where the amino acids in question came from, it is just assumed that the amino acids would be there. Still, we have the insurmountable odds for the evolutionist to overcome: the lack of evidence for any sort of reducing atmosphere which means both no "starting materials" for the lightning amino acid production and also too much oxygen around for it to do any good anywise, the fact that UV coming through such an ozone-less atmosphere (assuming it DID exist) would destroy any amino acids, etc.

Further, even if amino acids were able to make it to these clays, there is still the stereochemistry issue. Remember that, aside from being left- or right-handed, these amino acids produced in the evolutionists' hypothetical scenario are otherwise chemically identical. These directing clays will still produce proteins incorporating these racemic amino acids, and would still be useless from a biological standpoint. Some researchers investigated the potential of clays which selectively bound organic enantiomers based upon chirality. However, the effect was far too small to meet the 100% homochiral requirement for producing life as we know it, and the theory was dropped8. A similar idea postulated that quartz crystals could adsorb one enantiomer of a chemical species preferentially over the other, due to the dissymetric nature of the quartz crystal structure. However, experimentation found no adsorption preference. Further, since the chirality of quartz crystals are evenly distributed across the earth, there would still be the issue of competition in such an "early earth" environment between right- and left-handed directors.

An additional difficulty with the theory that these clays, through the repetitive organised crystalline structures of their particles, could produce complex biotic species lies in the vast gulf in complexity between these two. While the clay particles do have an organisation from their crystal structures, this organisation is very simple. Meanwhile, even the simplest life form, and the biochemical molecules which enable this life to be life, are far more complex. Even the most basic of biochemical species which would be needed to lead up to the chemical evolution of life are far too complex to have been directed by a simple crystalline structure.

As such, directing clays as the saviour of abiogenetic theory proves to be a red herring for the evolutionist.

Thermal Oceanic Vents

Realising the deficiencies of past theories, the evolutionists have now turned to undersea thermal vents as a possible source of escape. These vents are openings in the ocean floor from which geothermal energy is released into the surrounding ocean. The reason evolutionists are interested in them lies in that these vents, where temperatures can often reach in excess of 300ºC, provide them with a couple of possible theories to solve the "origin of life problem". In 1998, Brandes reported the demonstration of mineral-catalysed reduction of nitrogen and nitrous oxides to form ammonia in undersea thermal vents9. The proposal from this data is that the ammonia would have escaped into the early earth atmosphere, where it would have provided a critical component of the reducing atmosphere needed by evolutionists as it would be the nitrogen source for the amino acids. Also, the ammonia (which is a greenhouse gas) would help to warm the earth through the greenhouse effect, providing a more conducive environment for later life to develop outside the ocean. Of course, given the current lack of any evidence whatsoever for an early reducing atmosphere, this theory has no correlation with the facts already obtained. Merely demonstrating in a laboratory that ammonia could form through reactions at these undersea vents does not necessarily mean that this did happen, nor does it substantiate any of the further argumentation which is built upon the assumption of early ammonia production.

Evolutionists are also enamoured with the possibility of undersea vents as the source of abiogenesis because the heat from these vents would provide a localised area with enough energy to overcome the Le Chatelier's driving force against amino acid condensation. This theoretically would allow amino acids to form dipeptides in spite of the Le Chatelier's push against it, and these peptides would them be quickly swept away from the vent and cooled by the surrounding water, preventing the heat of the vent from destroying the newly-formed dipeptide. This species would them be able to be drawn back into the vent, quickly reacted with another amino acid to form a tripeptide, swept out before degradation occurs, and repeated ad infinitum. A Japanese researcher, Koichiro Matsuno, demonstrated the feasibility of this by constructing a flow system which simulated this sort of a scenario. His group injected the amino acid glycine into their flow system, and obtained an oligopeptide built through this stepwise process10.

This is hailed as a great discovery by evolutionists, who propose that it demonstrates the strong possibility that the building blocks of life developed abiogenetically in just this way. Of course, we again see that their excitement over this causes them to take a huge and unsubstantiated leap in logic. Remember, in his experiment, Matsuno fed glycine into his system to obtain the peptides. However, the experiment cannot answer the question of where these amino acids came from in the first place. Even with the information that undersea vents could generate ammonia, this ammonia would still have to be converted into amino acids in the atmosphere....practically impossible in either a reducing or an oxidising atmosphere, because of the ultraviolet and oxygen degradation issues respectively.

Further, while demonstrating the technical feasibility of their theory, Matsuno's experiment was very dissimilar to the early prebiotic conditions theorised by most evolutionists. His experiment used a glycine solution of 0.1M concentration, far higher than the concentration would have been in any early earth ocean, where the concentration has been theorised to be more along the lines of 10-7M,11 or six orders of magnitude lower. Further, the peptides were formed in extremely low yields, and the longest chain formed was a hexapeptide with six amino acids. Yet, even the simplest proteins in biological systems have upwards of 100 amino acids in their polymer chains. Also, the reactions which produced these peptides were catalysed by the addition of Cu++ ion as CuCl2, a condition which cannot be claimed to have existed in these early earth thermal vents with any surity. Lastly, the Matsuno experiment did not address the issue of the handed-ness of the amino acids being used to produce the peptides. In fact, it could not do so, as his group used glycine, which is the simplest of the amino acids, and the only one with an achiral centre, thus having no handedness to begin with. However, with chiral amino acids from a hypothetical atmospheric production, we would likely again see that a racemic mix would produce heterochiral peptides at these undersea vents, which again renders these products completely useless in biological systems.

Hence, Matsuno's experiment does little in the way of actually demonstrating the truth of abiogenesis. It does show that evolutionists will latch onto one seemingly favourable experimental result which really has little do with any proposed "real world" circumstances, and expand it into a verification of their whole theoretical system without the slightest bit of actual logical reasoning for doing so. As with directing clays, undersea thermal vents were an option explored by evolutionists as they sought to overcome the issue of the impossibility of amino acid condensation in an ocean, since they could conceivably provide enough energy to drive the reaction despite normal equilibrium concerns. Yet, overcoming this, they still cannot answer the challenges put forward by the lack of evidence for an early reducing atmosphere, the degradation of amino acids by ultraviolet radiation, the heterochirality of proteins formed from racemic amino acids.....

Life From Space?

In an attempt to overcome the issue of racemic amino acids which have plagued every other proposed abiogenetic theory, some evolutionists are now turning to the near-vacuum of space for the left-handed amino acids which they need to make their theories work. Probably because of the medium in which this theory operates (space, with all its mystery), this line of investigation has been the subject of more attention from the popular media than many of the other abiogenetic theories. This results, unfortunately, in the non-scientist being presented with enthusiastic claims of evolutionary success which have little basis in reality, and the science presented in these accounts is often imprecisely stated and not well-understood by the writers. This article is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

The basic concept behind space-initiated abiogenesis lies in the production of amino-acids through the action of solar or other space-borne energy upon chemical precursors in a variety of media, such as comets, nebular gas clouds, asteroids, etc. The twist, though, is that evolutionists believe they have found the answer to the chirality problem, in that they have found what they interpret to be indicators that amino acids produced in space can have a preference for left-handedness, which were then subsequently transported to earth and formed the building blocks of life (proteins).

Scientists first discovered the presence of amino acids in the Sagittarius B2 molecular cloud, which is located in a star-forming region, in 1994. This indicates that starlight from the protostars may be providing the energy needed to cause precursor molecules to react and form these amino acids (though, notably, only the achiral glycine was discovered in the cloud). Bernstein et. al. experimentally replicated the conditions thought to be present in these interstellar clouds, and produced four amino acids12. That is all well and good, but does nothing to answer the question of chiral bias. For this, most evolutionists researching in this field turn to the action of circular polarised light (polarised light in which the plane of polarisation is constantly changing). The polarisation of light does not have a direct effect upon the handedness of molecules (i.e. we cannot predict from the absolute stereochemical configuration of a molecule the polarisation of light which it will absorb). However, the polarisation can have an indirect effect on the results of reactions which occur in its presence and the products generated. This is because both enantiomers of a species will absorb polarised light with different planes of polarisation (e.g. the right-handed enantiomer may have peak absorbance at +17.5º while the left-handed peaks at -8.3º).

As noted above (and which was a condition detrimental to proposed reducing atmosphere schemes), ultraviolet light degrades amino acids through photolysis. When circularly polarised light of the right polarisation is absorbed by the amino acids formed by reaction, right-handed amino acids are preferentially degraded, which results in an enrichment of left-handed amino acids (which are not destroyed as readily) in resultant mix. It is from this that evolutionists theorise that the original preference for left-handed amino acids was generated and subsequently transported to earth, from the initial destruction of right-handed amino acids, leaving no competition for the laevorotary molecules in the development of life. Hough et. al. discovered that infrared light emanating from the Orion Nebula is circularly polarised13, likely by the action of interstellar dust acting as a polarising grate. This discovery all but confirmed in the minds of many evolutionists the truth of the amino acids from space theory.

However, there are several fundamental problems with this theory, as well. While it is true that light with the right polarisation can somewhat selectively destroy dextrorotary amino acids, we need to remember that the light in the Orion Nebula was found to be circularly polarised, which means that light of all polarisations would interact with any potential amino acids. For polarised light to be enantioselective, it must fall within a narrow band of polarisations14. For the broad band of polarisations present in the Orion light (and presumably, other interstellar polarised light sources), the enantioselectivity would be largely negated, which means there would be little to no preferential selection for left-handed amino acids. This problem is enhanced by the fact that even given the presentation of the right polarised light to degrade one enantiomer, the other is also still degraded to a certain (though lesser) extent. In point of fact, experimentation has demonstrated the practical impossibility of relying upon circularly polarised light to yield enantiomeric selection anywhere near what evolutionists need to make a strong case for their arguments. Kagan et. al attempted to prepare optically pure camphor using circularly polarised light, starting with a racemic mix15. Their results showed that even by the time they had 35.5% optical purity, they had lost over 99.99% of their total material. To achieve optical purity through the means of circularly polarised light is a practical impossibility.

Further, the whole theory rests on a series of mental leaps which are not well substantiated. Though the Orion Nebula emitted polarised infrared light, the Hough team did not report the presence of polarised ultraviolet light (though it was assumed to be there as well). Further, there is no evidence that amino acids exist in the Orion Nebula, nor is there any evidence that the amino-acid bearing cloud in Sagittarius is illuminated with polarised ultraviolet light. Essentially, the evolutionists are stringing together a fact from one experiment together with an essentially unrelated fact from another experiment, and trying to bridge the gap with wishful thinking.

From this, plus the aforementioned experimental impossibility of resolving the needed optically pure molecules, one would think this theory would be put to bed like the rest. Yet, evolutionists received another injection of enthusiasm for this theory from the discovery of amino acids in the Murchison meteorite, which had a slight excess of left-handed amino acids which was first reported by Silfer et al.16. However, while the presence of some of the amino acids in the Murchison meteorite may be due to the production of these chemicals in space, the enantiomeric excess of left-handed amino acids is likely due to contamination with terrestial biotic matter (remember, it was a meteorite after all, and would have jumbled about quite a lot of lifeforms, especially microscopic, when it slammed into the earth's surface). This rebuttal to the claims for Murchison is strengthened by Bada's observation that amino acids which are not found in terrestrial proteins, including alpha-dialkyl amino acids such as isovaline, were found as racemates in the meteorite17. Thus, the only amino acids present in the Murchison meteorite for which we could be sure there was no contamination with additional earthly amino acids turned out to be present in racemic mixtures. This strongly suggests that Murchison's left-handed excess for life-necessary amino acids was the result of the injection of earth amino acids, and thus, that the left-handed enantiomeric excesses observed were not extraterrestrial in origin. Once again, evolutionist enthusiasm is dampened by the evident facts.


The whole notion of abiogenesis is a construction built by evolutionists so that they can dismiss the whole notion of God from the generation of life. Rather than a supernatural being creating the life found on this earth through His own Wisdom, evolutionists seek to find an entirely naturalistic means by which to explain the existence of life on this planet. Yet, as seen above, the whole notion of abiogenesis rests upon an exceedingly weak foundation which is actually contrary to much of the scientific knowledge which we actually have obtained through extensive experimentation. Abiogenesis, in fact, violates several basic principles of chemistry and biochemistry which are so universally held as to be axiomatic. To get around these difficulties, evolutionary scientists have turned to various means of modifying their basic abiogenetic theory so as to resolve one or another of the problems presented. Yet, while pointing to directing clays, undersea thermal vents, interstellar amino acid generation, or several of the other more esoteric and generally dismissed theories, evolutionists manage to resolve (or often, just give the illusion of resolving, in the popular image framed by the media) one problem, while yet failing to address the other difficulties. Thus, abiogenesis, as far as can be seen from the actual experimental work and knowledge (apart from any concern for philosophical arguments or pure theory), is not supportable from true science. While debunking abiogenesis does not necessarily imply the truth of special Creation, it does help to eliminate one of the foundations of the false construct of evolution which humanistic scientists hope to erect in opposition to Creation. As such, there is no reason for the rational person to accept evolutionist assertions about the "truth" of abiogenesis, nor to consider the various abiogenetic theories as a reason to disbelieve in the creation of life by God's hand.

End Notes

(1) - S.L. Miller, "A production of amino acids under primitive Earth conditions", Science, Vol. 117, pp. 528–529
(2) - For example, J.C.G. Walker, Evolution of the Atmosphere, p.224
(3) - For example, E. Dimroth and M.M. Kimberley, "Precambrian Atmospheric Oxygen: Evidence in the Sedimentary Distributions of Carbon, Sulfur, Uranium and Iron", Can. J. Ear. Sci., Vol.13, pp. 1161-1185; I.B. Lambert, T.H. Donnelly, J.S.R. Dunlop, and D.I. Groves, "Stable Isotope Compositions of Early Archaean Sulphate Deposits of Probable Evaporitic and Volcanogenic Origins", Nature, Vol. 276, p. 808
(4) - The "handedness" of these molecules refers to the absolute configuration of the four atoms which are bonded to the carbon which serves as the stereocentre, and the difference between a "left" and "right" handed amino acid is that they are mirror images of each other (like your left and right hand....if you hold your hands out flat in front of you, you will see that they appear to be mirror images, and if you set them flat on top of each other, palms down, they will not overlap congruently). Other than this stereochemistry, these molecules, though, are chemically identical)
(5) - see A. Katchalsky, "Prebiotic synthesis of biopolymers on inorganic templates", Naturwissenschaft, Vol. 60, pp 215-220 for this on Montmorillonite, a common clay
(6) - A.G. Cairns-Smith, Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life
(7) - J. Erikson, Dying Planet, p. 12
(8) - B. Youatt, and R.D. Brown, "Origins of chirality in nature: A reassessment of the postulated role of bentonite", Science, 1981, Vol. 21, pp. 1145–1146
(9) - J.A. Brandes, et. al., "Abiotic nitrogen reduction on the early Earth", Nature, vol. 395, pp. 365-367
(10) - E. Imai, H. Honda, K. Hatori, A. Brack, and K. Matsuno, "Elongation of oligopeptides in a simulated submarine hydrothermal system", Science, vol. 283, pp. 831-833
(11) - C.B. Thaxton, W.L. Bradley, and R.L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin, Ch. 4
(12) - M.P. Bernstein, J.P. Dworkin, S.A. Sandford, G.W. Cooper, and L.J. Allamandola, "Racemic amino acids from the ultraviolet photolysis of interstellar ice analogues", Nature, Vol. 416, p. 401–403
(13) - J. Bailey, A. Chrystosmou, J.H. Hough, T.M. Gledhill, A. McCall, S. Clark, F. Menard, and M. Tamura, "Circular Polarization in Star-Formation Regions: Implications for Biomeolecular Homochirality," Science, vol. 281, p. 672
(14) - see F.A. Cotton, and G. Wilkinson, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: a Comprehensive Text, 4th ed., pp. 669-676
(15) - G. Belavoine, A. Moradpour, and H.B. Kagan, "Preparation of Chiral Compounds with High Optical Purity by Irradiation with Circularly Polarised Light", J. Amer. Chem. Soc., vol. 96, pp. 5152–58
(16) - M.H. Engel, S.A. Macko and J.A. Silfer, Nature Vol. 348, pp. 47–49
(17) - J.L. Bada, "Origins of homochirality", Nature, Vol. 374, pp. 594–595