In my AP Bio class, we went through the origin of life on earth, how lightening struck chemicals on primordial earth, and how amino acids were formed and these became the first proteins and nucleic acids which eventually became the first Prokaryotic cell, etc. This theory was based on the Miller/Urey experiment, which took place in 1953
Normally the Miller/Urey experiment is presented as it should be: an experiment to demonstrate that organic molecules can be formed abiotically (without life). It gets mentioned a lot because it was the first/most succesful experiment to create amino acids in the labarotary using what was thought to be early earth conditions.
My question is, why hasn't any new data been gathered on this topic, and if it has, why is it still being taught at the high school/college level?
Since then, plenty has happened, as Percy indicated above. I'm not aware of what exactly is being taught in High Schools in New York, but it doesn't get a lot of class time at the lower end of biological study for two reasons that strike me:
1. Its a terribly complicated subject that would require a lot of background knowledge – more time than is available.
2. The exact nature of the origin of life is unknown. There are a number of different hypothesis. All of them quite complex; each one should be discussed, even less time to do this!
That said, I believe some high schools have involved kids making their own proteinoid microspheres (which some refer to as proto-cells), since the experiment is very easy to carry out.