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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CB026:

Miller-Urey type experiments produce toxic chemicals, such as cyanide and formaldehyde, but not amino acids.


Discovery Institute. 2003. A preliminary analysis of the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks currently being considered for adoption by the Texas State Board of Education., p. 5.


  1. Cyanide and formaldehyde are necessary building blocks for important biochemical compounds, including amino acids (Abelson 1996). They are not toxins in this context.

  2. Miller-Urey experiments produce amino acids among other chemical compounds (Kawamoto and Akaboshi 1982; Schlesinger and Miller 1983).


  1. Abelson, P. 1996. Chemical events on the primitive earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 55: 1365-1372.
  2. Kawamoto, K. and M. Akaboshi. 1982. Study on the chemical evolution of low molecular weight compounds in a highly oxidized atmosphere using electric discharges. Origins of Life 12(2): 133-141.
  3. Schlesinger, G. and S. L. Miller. 1983. Prebiotic synthesis in atmospheres containing CH4, CO, and CO2. I. Amino acids. Journal of Molecular Evolution 19(5): 376-382.

Further Reading:

Ellington, Andrew D. and Matthew Levy. 2003. Gas, discharge, and the Discovery Institute. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 23(3-4): 39-40.
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created 2003-11-17