Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life
A discussion is presented of the elements, or at least most of the elements, that are usually thought of as required and characteristic of living materials. A continuous evolutionary process is conceived, beginning with a bare earth and leading to the random formation of more or less complex molecules from simple ones, and gradually, by the processes of random variation, autocatalysis and selection, to more complex systems and the ordered array of desoxynucleic acid molecules which are the units that carry the continuity and order of present-day living systems.
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Amherst College amino acids ammonia atmosphere atoms were combined autocatalysis BASE—SUGAR billion years ago biological evolution California August 11 called chemical evolution carbon atoms carbon dioxide carry the continuity catalytic activity chains characteristic of living chemical system Chemistry and Radiation complex organic substances coupled reactions create order cuprous ion define delivered at Amherst desoxynucleic acid molecules developed devise earth energy to create essence essential evolutionary process example Figure flat-on formic acid genetic glycine Hutschenreuter hydrogen improve instant irradiated Langenbeck less complex living things Melvin Calvin methane nonliving system November 19 nucleic acid order of present-day ordered array organic molecule orthophosphate Oxalic acid oxidation oxygen oxygen atoms period pile porphyrin present present-day living organisms present-day living systems properties pyrophosphate linkage random fashion random formation random variations relatively complex organic rudimentary scope selecting amongst spontaneously order structure succinic acid sugar Transcription of address U. S. Atomic Energy water molecule