Great SciAm post today which is directly relevant to two of my previous posts: “Urey-Miller Experiment – A Dead End?” and “Historical vs. Operational Science”. Related to the latter, the following statements from Horgan’s SciAm article, from an interview with Stanley Miller, are especially relevant:
“Miller acknowledged that scientists may never know precisely where and when life emerged. “We’re trying to discuss an historical event, which is very different from the usual kind of science, and so criteria and methods are very different,” he remarked. But when I suggested that Miller sounded pessimistic about the prospects for discovering life’s secret, he looked appalled. Pessimistic? Certainly not! He was optimistic!”
The great Stanley Miller puts this perfectly. Yes, historical science is different than operational science which is a challenge for origin of life scientists, but should we give up on striving to understand the origin of life? Of course not!