But only “twitching on the table,” he says:
Three geophysicists from the Technical University of Denmark, writing in Geophysical Research Letters, simulated the requirements to light sparks in the assumed prebiotic atmosphere. They used Miller’s original mixture and the revised mixture by Kasting (1993) that was more weakly reducing than Miller’s mixture of hydrogen, methane, and water vapor. The results were not encouraging. The possibility of spark generation is too doubtful to raise the Miller-Urey zombie to walking position…
No sparks; no amino acids. No amino acids, no life. Perhaps some molecules would form from UV light or cosmic rays, but those energy sources lack the pizzazz of sparks. The textbook cartoons would be boring without those blue sparks in the flask. Everybody seems to have assumed that sparks in the flask were a good proxy for sparks in a prebiotic atmosphere. One should never assume such a key piece of the story without evidence. These authors believe it “might have been more challenging… than previously thought.”
It’s not clear what the team accomplished if anything.David Coppedge, “Zombie Science: Miller-Urey Experiment Is Back from the Dead, Barely” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 10, 2022)
Coppedge: “It’s not clear what the team accomplished if anything.” The main accomplishment is to have something to write a journal paper about, keeping the idea alive.
The paper is open access.