CHEMICAL REACTIONS EXHIBIT
CENTRAL BOOKING GALLERY, BROOKLYN NY
SEPTEMBER 2, 2010-OCTOBER 24, 2010
THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH (PRE-BIOTIC EARTH EXPERIMENT)
In 1953 Stanley Miller and Harold Urey exposed a soup of methane, ammonia, water and hydrogen to heat and electricity and produced amino acids. Charles Darwin had originally proposedthis idea in 1871 when he hypothesized about “a warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia, phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etc.” resulting in protein production. Other scientists have since taken the Miller-Urey amino acid mixture, subjected it to electrical energy and synthesized components of nucleic acids. This illustrates an evolving and complex organic molecular phenomenon of organization approaching “life”. The question as to how and where in this continuum an entity (“organism”) with the capacity to reproduce and self-sustain appears remains a mystery.
THE ORIGIN OF LIFE OUTSIDE EARTH (PANSPERMIA)
Meteorites have been analyzed and shown to contain nineteen amino acids that are found in organisms living on earth. Comets and asteroids are also likely to contain such complex organic molecules. Other planets in the solar system contain elements and compounds similar to that of a pre-biotic earth and when these particles are exposed to forces such as heat, electricity and magnetism further chemical organization is likely to occur. The phenomenon of chemical evolution appears to be widespread.