Stanley Miller is reducing to his constituent chemicals now


Sad news: Stanley Miller died on Sunday. If you don’t know who he was, go read this interview.

(via Evolucionarios)

Comments

  1. Marc Connor says

    Indeed, his bright spark has gone out. But the pond did fill up with quite a few new possibilities because of it.

  2. Coragyps says

    He did a lot of really nice OOL-related work. I await the Cretinist response to his passing with distaste-in-advance.

  3. wright says

    There is sadness in losing such a mind. But his contributions will probably survive us all.

  4. Fernando Magyar says

    “The public’s imagination was captivated by the outcome of the experiment,” said Jeffrey L. Bada, a professor of marine chemistry at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography who was one of Miller’s graduate students at UCSD and a leading expert on the chemical origin of life. ”

    Whatever happened to the public that used to be captivated by the possibilities that are the result of scientific understanding?
    Oh, never mind, they’re watching TV while they are text messaging in their SUVs on their way to church. Science is just sooo boring.

  5. says

    Stanley Miller’s place in scientific history is as secure as anything can be. It’s a pity that creationist quibblers keep whining about how the Miller-Urey experiment has been invalidated by later discoveries, but they’re just idiots. Or invincibly ignorant. The experiment showed definitively that chemical compounds associated with organic life could be generated in the absence of life. If Miller and Urey made assumptions about the early earth that are no longer generally accepted, that’s entirely beside the point. Since the Miller-Urey breakthrough, their seminal experiment has been run under many different assumptions about primeval environments and the results confirm the original key finding: precursors of organic life can arise in many different circumstances.

    Nevertheless, brace yourselves for the smug creationists who will shake their heads in mock sadness about how poor Stanley Miller’s experiment was eventually refuted and his life’s work came to naught. Not true!

  6. thwaite says

    Speaking of watching TV, KQED (the San Francisco PBS) is currently (re-)showing “Origins”, deGrasse Tyson’s series. Its second episode “Origins of Life” gives due prominence to Stanley Miller’s work. linky

  7. melinda says

    :(
    I wrote an article on “The Origin of Life” for school when I was in 3rd grade. My parents called him up so I could talk to him, and he answered my questions! That was pretty cool of him, to talk to a little kid.

  8. chuko says

    I discovered the Miller-Urey experiment in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was very small. It was probably the most exciting thing I’d ever read and a big influence on my choice to pursue science.

  9. HP says

    . ← in memoriam, Stanley Miller.

    [TAW, reading Spanish is not quite the same thing as speaking Spanish. If you can’t read Spanish, you haven’t been paying attention. OTOH, leer español no es el mismo hablar español. Claro, no hablo español, pero leer, puedo. Un poco. Or something. Feel free to laugh. I can read Spanish, but cannot speak or write it. Y PZ? No lo se.]

  10. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Those experiments feels like they were done in the dawn of time, so I was surprised to see that Miller was still among us. And now he is gone; but before that he definitely enhanced prebiotic chemistry.

  11. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Those experiments feels like they were done in the dawn of time, so I was surprised to see that Miller was still among us. And now he is gone; but before that he definitely enhanced prebiotic chemistry.

  12. Fernando Magyar says

    Leer Espanol es facil, pero Catalan, http://blocs.mesvilaweb.cat/node/view/id/51274
    Dio mio!

    Wow this blog never ceases to stretch my mind in some way.
    As a native speaker of Portugues, Spanish is a piece of cake for me to read. I can also read and speak a bit of Italian and French, I also still vaguely recall my Latin classes in school which have helped me to be able to read a book in Rumanian.

    So I thought it a bit strange when a commenter on Evolucionarios put up a warning that his link was to a site in Catalan, I figured that *any* native speaker of Spanish should be able to at least read it. Well I did struggle through it and got maybe 75% of it. What a great new experience for me! Thank you Pharyngula for expanding my linguistic horizons.

  13. N.Wells says

    Sadly, I’d have thought he was oxidizing. He’d have appreciated the distinction.

  14. says

    One of my awe moments at the universe was realizing that virtually all our heavier atoms have been through a sun once, or we’d be helium beings. We are made of starstuff.

  15. TAW says

    TAW, reading Spanish is not quite the same thing as speaking Spanish. If you can’t read Spanish, you haven’t been paying attention.

    Yeah I know. I was just being lazy.

    Actually… I SPEAK spanish but it’s very hard for me to read it. I’m a native speaker of spanish (I’m from mexico), but I haven’t read spanish in years. Pathetic, I know. I keep saying I’ll try to read a book or something in spanish, but I never do.

  16. Arnosium Upinarum says

    “Stanley Miller is reducing to his constituent chemicals now…”

    And what a fine configuration of chemicals he was, too.

    It bums the hell out of me that we live in a society that obsesses over the death of an abominably ignorant anti-natural anti-evolutionist in favor of a person who actually SHOWED how complex chemistry could arise from simple chemical ingredients.

    Hardly a word out of the mainstream news media!!! Shameful. Dispicable.

    I hate to place them together in the same sentence, but Falwell is indeed reverting to the very same ‘constituent elements’ as Miller is. No difference there (except perhaps an irrelevant matter of mass). They were both stupendously complex organisms made of simple chemical parts. The whole difference between them was in how they were put together while they were still metabolically functional (alive) and within what (ultimately chemical-inspired) social environment they adapted to or co-evolved with. Such is the intrinsic character of complexity: it can express both genius and abject idiocy.

    Unfortunately, the latter example clearly has a much greater influence on a majority of surviving complex configurations.

    sigh