The so-called “Primordial Soup” theory postulates that the first living organism developed on Earth’s oceans within a milieu of nitrogen, ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide and water. Add some energy (say from lightening in a storm) to this “soup” of basic inorganic material and certain chemical reactions occur, yielding more complex organic compounds. In classic experiments, for example, Miller and Urrey showed that under some natural conditions resembling conditions of the early Earth, organic chemicals can be constructed from inorganic precursors.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
Thus, it has been shown that under certain conditions, organic stuff can be generated from inorganic ingredients. This finding has heralded the so-called “Primordial Soup” theory, which postulates that the first living organisms developed spontaneously from organic molecules which themselves developed spontaneously from inorganic precursors.
The following steps summarize the hypotheses of the Primordial Soup theory:
1. Within a young Earth, there were inorganic chemicals such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and cyanide. These inorganic substances were readily available in the oceans of the Earth.
2. These substances reacted chemically to produce organic molecules such as amino acids and nucleic acids.
3. Once organic molecules were available, the first living organisms developed from these constituents.
For the primordial soup theory to be valid, all 3 of the above hypotheses must be true. All three have to be demonstrated to be valid. ALL of the above hypotheses must be demonstrated in order to validate the Primordial Soup theory. Let us examine the data to see whether all the hypotheses inherent in this theory have in fact been demonstrated to be true:
Regarding the first hypothesis, it is of course difficult to know for sure what substance was or was not readily available a billion years ago when the first living organism is thought to have developed. Did the young Earth contain Ammonia? Did it have sufficient quantities of cyanide as is required for the classic Miller-Urrey experiments? The reality is that notions of what did or did not exist one billion years ago are speculative. We do not know was or was not present a billion years ago. But let us say that it is at least plausible that these precursors did exist. So, let us say that condition #1 outlined above is true.
The next hypothesis (#2) inherent in the Primordial Soup theory is that it is possible to take these common inorganic chemicals, add energy to them under the right conditions, and obtain amino acids and nucleic acids. It is important to note that this last statement has been repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated in the laboratory. Of the fact that organic molecules can be gotten from inorganic ones there is no doubt. Thus hypothesis #2 appears to be plausible.
Hypothesis #3 requires that living organisms result from the availability of organic chemicals. It seems to postulate that if we bring amino acids and/or nucleic acids together, then we would spontaneously obtain living things!
Of course the problem with this hypothesis is that this has never occurred in laboratory conditions. That is, no experiment has ever demonstrated the production of living organisms from organic constituents. It has NEVER been done! In fact, numerous attempts in innumerable laboratories have utterly failed to produce a living organism despite a concerted effort.
It seems, therefore, that the Primordial Soup theory’, which inherently contains 3 components, has not been demonstrated to be correct. While its initial 2 hypotheses are at least plausible, its 3rd hypothesis – namely the notion of the spontaneous generation of a living organism from organic constituents – has repeatedly been shown to be implausible.
Now, how does a hypothesis that repeatedly fails experimental verification come to be called a theory’? When empirical evidence repeatedly and consistently contradicts a given hypothesis, scientists reject and abandon the hypothesis. Why then call the Primordial Soup hypothesis a theory’? At best the notion of origins from a Primordial Soup is a failed hypothesis.
If the reader has any remaining doubts that this true, consider this: Is there a suggestion that we debate the “Theory of Gravity”? Are we asked to debate whether we believe the Theory of Relativity? That we are asked to opine on the validity of Primordial Soup theory itself is evidence that the latter is likely not a theory at all!