Reasons to Believe

Propenal and Propanal

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

The search for an extraterrestrial chemical origin for life has hit another roadblock. American astronomers discovered two additional complex, saturated organic molecules in the interstellar medium that some researchers believe provide a little bit of hope for a naturalistic explanation of life’s origin. The team failed, though, to detect the more complex three-carbon sugar glyceraldehyde (CH2OHCHOHCHO). The newly discovered molecules are propenal (CH3CHCHO) and propanal (CH3CH2CHO) which rank as two of the heaviest molecules yet found in the interstellar medium. The addition of these molecules to the other 120 carbon-base molecules found in the interstellar medium, however, still does not provide the necessary ingredients and physical conditions for the production and preservation of either proteins, DNA, or RNA. Thus, it still stands that the only possible cause for life’s origin is a supernatural Creator.   

·         J. M. Hollis et al., “Green Bank Telescope Detection of New Interstellar Aldehydes: Propenal and Propanal,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 610 (2004): L21-L24.


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Subjects: Molecular Evolution

Dr. Fazale Rana

In 1999, I left my position in R&D at a Fortune 500 company to join Reasons to Believe because I felt the most important thing I could do as a scientist is to communicate to skeptics and believers alike the powerful scientific evidence—evidence that is being uncovered day after day—for God’s existence and the reliability of Scripture. Read more about Dr. Fazale Rana