Lightning Cooks Up Weird Science
Get a charge out of this headline from New Scientist. A couple of scientists from University of Arizona studied fulgurites, the structures formed in sand by lightning strikes. They found that they contain phosphites (oxidized phosphate molecules). They theorized that lightning strikes could have provided phosphites which the primordial soup used to build RNA and DNA. The way New Scientist put it
Lightning may have cooked dinner for early life.
Early microbes may have relied on lightning to cook their dinner, say researchers.
When lightning strikes sand or sediment, the path followed by the bolt can fuse into a glassy tube called a fulgurite. A new analysis of these remnants suggests that lightning fries the nutrient phosphorus into a more digestible form.
Today bacteria can get all the phosphites they want from steel corrosion, the article said.
New Scientist seems determined to win Stupid Evolution Quote of the Year at all costs. They’ll toss out any weird idea that comes along as long as it is something about evolution. So now, lightning may not have only zapped life into being, it could have fed its new creations (see “Chef Charlie” in the 08/22/2005 commentary). Our intelligently-designed dumbmeter was not made for this rate of farcical fatuous flapdoodle. Their latest concoction would need another full serving of wit to be called half-witted.