Stanley Miller, RIP

Stanley Miller, the chemist who stimulated a great deal of work into how life might have began on Earth, passed away last week. His experiment was groundbreaking (‘true life,’ as my older son would say). Miller, then a graduate student at the University of Chicago, simulated the Earth’s early atmosphere and zapped it repeatedly with electric currents, i.e., lightning. The experiment generated a number of the basic amino acids that form the building blocks of life.

Here’s a good obituary from the Los Angeles Times. It includes a funny, ironic comment from Miller’s advisor and collaborater, Nobel chemistry laureate Harold Urey, who said “If God did not do it this way, then He missed a good bet.”

Leave a Reply