For 20 years, the question of how nucleotides, the building blocks of both RNA and DNA, could have spontaneously formed during the beginning of our planet has beguiled researchers. The problem seemed so insurmountable, in fact, that in 1999 two leading researchers, Gerald Joyce and Leslie Orgel, remarked the spontaneous appearance of nucleotides "would have been a near miracle."
However, John D. Sullivan, a chemist from the University of Manchester, and his colleagues Matthew W. Powner and Béatrice Gerland have discovered a "recipe" for the nucleotides using the same base component thought to have existed on a primitive Earth. So far, he has only been able to recreate two of the four nucleotides, but he is confident the other two will soon follow.
"My assumption is that we are here on this planet as a fundamental consequence of organic chemistry," said Sullivan in regards to his discovery.
Do you agree with Dr. Sullivan? Does such a discovery necessarily imply we are the products of chemical laws? Can a peace exist between this breakthrough discovery and belief in a divine creator?
The full story of Dr. Sullivan's discovery can be found in The New York Times. His research paper was recently published in the science journal Nature and is available to all subscribers.