"One can, then, conceive the production, by purely mineral means, of all natural hydrocarbons. The intervention of heat, of water, and of alkaline metals -- lastly, the tendency of hydrocarbons to unite together to form the more condensed material -- suffice to account for the formation of these curious compounds. Moreover, this formation will be continuous because the reactions which started it are renewed incessantly." -- Marcellin Berthelot, chemist, 1866
"The atomic theory, adopted later by the Epicureans, came to us, and she is still professed today by the majority of chemists. It thus seems that it is by a kind of natural affinity that the alchemists reported their origins to Democritus." -- Marcellin Berthelot, chemist, 1885
Science Daily: Abiotic Synthesis Of Methane: New Evidence Supports 19th-Century Idea On Formation Of Oil And Gas.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2009) — Scientists in Washington, D.C. are reporting laboratory evidence supporting the possibility that some of Earth's oil and natural gas may have formed in a way much different than the traditional process described in science textbooks.