Origin Of Life

Formaldehyde is new may-have chemical for origin of life

Spread the love

In “Did deadly formaldehyde give life to Earth?”, Clara Moskowitz tells us, “Scientists test the theory in their lab, and say the answer is most likely ‘yes'” (MSNBC4/4/2011):

“We may owe our existence on this planet to interstellar formaldehyde,” said researcher George Cody of the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., in a statement. “And what’s ironic about it is that formaldehyde is poisonous to life on Earth.”
Cody and his collaborators, Conel Alexander and Larry Nittler of Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, studied carbon-containing meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites for clues about where their organic compounds originated.[ … ]

Since this chemical reaction could have occurred naturally, based on what scientists know of the early solar system, it seems like a good bet that it produced many of the initial organic compounds in our nearby cosmos, the researchers said.

“Establishing the likely origin of the principal source of organic carbon in primitive solar system bodies is extremely satisfying,” Cody said.

The article follows the new approach recommended to science writers of not offering a dissenting opinion, thus circumventing context. Comments?

(Note: Here are seven OOL theories.)

6 Replies to “Formaldehyde is new may-have chemical for origin of life

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    As I have been saying for years:

    “Anything but design!”

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    BREAKING: The collapse of MG’s claims on CSI, Dembski, the Durston CSI metric, meaninglessness and the definitions of Orgel

  3. 3
    Eugene S says:


    Believe me, at some point they will come up with a theory that the world came into existence as a result of a burp of a primeval tortoise.

  4. 4

    Well, I have to agree, these musings are “anything but design”!

    The carbonaceous chondrites have L-amino acids and complex organics derived from things like chlorophyll, which are highly specific to life. Yet because heat can break down these organics to formaldehyde, the argument is that formaldehyde is the origin! This is like smelling the burning cookies and saying, “Wow, look what smoke is capable of condensing into in the oven!”

    There are so many inconsistencies I don’t know where to begin, but for starters, formaldehyde is not a chiral molecule, but all the other stuff in carbonaceous chondrites is both chiral and non-racemic. How does this purported origin in formaldehyde explain that?

  5. 5
    uoflcard says:

    It’s also like saying: “We know how marble forms THERFORE we know how marble chess pieces originated.”

  6. 6
    Joseph says:

    And Stonehenge is made out of what?

    Producing the building blocks doesn’t produce the building.

    Just sayin’…

Leave a Reply