The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview
"Essential reading for people in disciplines ranging from philosophy to biology. It is simply the best general book that I know on the question of the origin of life." --Michael Ruse, author of Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction? "Fry has fashioned a masterful account of the history, philosophy, and science of the origin of life and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Her story weaves profound Western ideas of who we are and where we came from, from Aristotle to Gould, from Kant to NASA." --Woodruff Sullivan, University of Washington "A rich source for the specialist and thought-provoking reading for the lay person." Gunter Wachtershauser, University of Regensburg, Germany How did life emerge on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? These questions, until recently confined to the pages of speculative essays and tabloid headlines, are now the subject of legitimate scientific research. This book presents a unique perspective--a combined historical, scientific, and philosophical anaylsis, which does justice to the complex nature of the subject. The book's first part offers an overview of the main ideas on the origin of life as they developed from antiquity until the twentieth century. The second, more detailed part of the book examines contemporary theories and major debates within the origin-of-life scientific community. Topics inclue: - Aristotle and the Greek atomists' conceptions of the organism - Alexander Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane's 1920s breakthrough papers - Possible life on Mars?
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INTRODUCTION THE ORIGIN OF LIFEA SUBJECT WITH A PAST AND A FUTURE i
SPONTANEOUS GENERATIONUPS AND DOWNS
THE REVIVAL OF THE BELIEF IN SPONTANEOUS GENERATION
LOUIS PASTEURTHE DEATHBLOW TO SPONTANEOUS GENERATION
BETWEEN PASTEUR AND DARWINA DEAD END
AN ERA OF OPTIMISM
EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE
MANFRED EIGENS MODEL
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abiogenesis activity amino acids astronomers atmosphere autocatalytic believe biochemical biological Biosphere building blocks Cairns-Smith carbon dioxide catalysts catalyzed cell century chance chemical chemistry claim coacervates complex conception creationists Darwin Duve Dyson Eigen emergence environment enzymes evidence evolution evolutionary experiments extrasolar planets extraterrestrial formation function Geison genes genetic Haldane homochirality hydrogen hydrothermal hypercycle hypothesis ideas inorganic Kauffman living systems Mars Martian Martian meteorite McKay mechanisms membrane metabolic meteorite microorganisms minerals molecular Monod mutation natural selection naturalistic nucleic acids nucleotides Oparin organic compounds organic molecules Orgel origin-of-life research Origins Life Evol panspermia Pasteur peptides philosophical physical planetary planets polymers possible postulated Pouchet prebiotic primitive primordial Earth processes produced proteinoids proteins pyrite quasi-species question reactions replication ribozymes RNA world rock Sagan scenario scientific scientists self-replication sequences solar system specific spontaneous stars structure suggested surface synthesis temperatures template terrestrial tion University Wachtershauser Wachtershauser's