Chuck Missler's jar of peanut butter

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Chuck Missler claims to have disproved evolution and/or abiogenesis with a jar of peanut butter. It relies on straw man arguments and misrepresentation of the science supporting these topics.

The argument

  • Heat or Lightning + Matter = Life (even if only occasionally)
  • But, the food industry relies on this never happening (life doesn't spontaneously form in food products)
  • Upon examining a jar of peanut butter, we see it contains matter.
  • We can expose the jar of peanut butter to light and heat.
  • We never see new life emerge inside the jar unless it's been contaminated from the outside.

In the interview (linked below), Chuck Missler states:

"If the theory of evolution is viable, then I should, occasionally, by subjecting this [jar of peanut butter] to energy, end up having new life."


  • Miller is speaking of abiogenesis, not evolution, so he's not even "disproving" the right thing.
  • To say that abiogenesis is "heat/light + matter = life" is like saying that "heat + gas + metal = functional car". Even though cars are perfectly viable and common, sending someone out to build one using those "instructions" will guarantee failure. This argument is a failure of over-simplifcation. Simple incomplete/inconsistent comparison as well (a.k.a a logical fallacy)
  • Abiogenesis isn't a 1-step process. It's (as far as we currently know) a progression from amino acids to basic proteins to protein bubbles, and so on. If anything, what he'd find is new amino acids in the peanut butter, which wouldn't be distinguishable from the amino acids already present.
  • Picking peanut butter as the "non-life" base is invalid towards his argument, because it is life matter already. They're called peanuts.

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