Curtains for OOL: Oxygen Was Present from the Start
Free oxygen is death to life trying to evolve, but it was present early on, being formed naturally from atmospheric carbon dioxide.
What is life? What is the meaning of life? Astrobiologist Chris McKay says it’s a tricky question, but on Astrobiology Magazine, he offers a contrasting challenge: “in the search for life in our solar system what is needed more than a definition of life is a definition of death.” And what does it mean to be dead? “It means that the organism was once alive and is composed of organic molecules that are specific to life — molecules such as DNA, ATP, and proteins.” Life, therefore, consists of many non-living parts, but just putting the parts together doesn’t make them alive.
Scientists at UC Davis didn’t say it directly, but origin of life research just got dealt a death blow. A press release from UC Davis says that oxygen forms naturally from carbon dioxide:
About one-fifth of the Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running. But before the first photosynthesizing organisms appeared about 2.4 billion years ago, the atmosphere likely contained mostly carbon dioxide, as is the case today on Mars and Venus.
Over the past 40 years, researchers have thought that there must have been a small amount of oxygen in the early atmosphere. Where did this abiotic (“non-life”) oxygen come from? Oxygen reacts quite aggressively with other compounds, so it would not persist for long without some continuous source.
That continuous source was ultraviolet light from the sun. It’s just a simple one-step process to get oxygen out of the atmosphere from CO2, the scientists found with lab simulations. “According to one of the scientists who reviewed the paper for Science, Zhou’s work means that models of the evolution of planetary atmospheres will now have to be adjusted to take this into account.”
This article was reproduced on NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine without any clarification of how models will have to be adjusted, or what it means for naturalistic origin-of-life hopes. It ended, though, with this disclaimer: “Publication of press-releases or other out-sourced content does not signify endorsement or affiliation of any kind.”
Here’s the adjustment they will have to make: evolution is dead. Oxygen is death to prebiotic chemistry. It reacts with everything the origin-of-life scientists want to cook up. It destroys the amino acids the Millerites make with sparks; that’s why Miller carefully excluded it from his spark chambers. Creationists have argued this for years (see Creation.com, Answers in Genesis, ICR). Their views have now been vindicated; John Long’s evolution parade will have to fold up shop, because his Darwin magic show has no power.
Evolutionists cannot get life to start if oxygen was around. This is a make-or-break finding, and it just broke evolution. Sorry, guys; game over. Look for another explanation. Creation, perhaps?