Evolution’s False Start: The Spontaneous Generation of Life

The date was August 28, 2011. The setting was the biennial world-championship of track and field, held on this occasion in Daegu, South Korea. The “world’s fastest man,” Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was expected to easily defend his 100-meter crown that he won in 2009 after also taking the Olympic gold in 2008. Two of his main competitors were not even in the race. Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell withdrew right before the event with a groin injury and American rival Tyson Gay was out of commission with a hip injury. Bolt had cruised through the preliminary heats, and it seemed like a gold medal was a forgone conclusion, but something very unexpected happened. After getting set in the starting block, Bolt jumped the gun!