This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life's connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals, water, and atmosphere, and the physics and chemistry of carbon compounds.
Deamer argues that life began as systems of molecules that assembled into membrane-bound packages. These in turn provided an essential compartment in which more complex molecules assumed new functions required for the origin of life and the beginning of evolution. Deamer takes us from the vivid and unpromising chaos of the Earth four billion years ago up to the present and his own laboratory, where he contemplates the prospects for generating synthetic life.
Engaging and accessible, First Life describes the scientific story of astrobiology while presenting a fascinating hypothesis to explain the origin of life.
The book is published by University of California Press.
"This intriguing scholarly text offers many fascinating insights into origin-of-life research.... Highly recommended." (Choice)
"An authoritative voice weighs in on a sprawling debate that's been raging in the scientific community for many decades, and lays out a succinct and persuasive hypothesis for the origin of life on Earth. Deamer also provides a unique window into the evolution of astrobiology, a field in which he's viewed as both a forefather and an innovator." (Scientist)
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Not for the faint of heart
Great book on Origins of Life
I would recommend at least a high level high school Bio and Chem background to enjoy this book. I have listened to this book several times and purchased the paper version as well. Each time I get something new out of it. Well written, nicely organized and thought provoking.
How life becomes an emergent property of chemistry is one of the great puzzles. Dr. Deamer makes some very plausible hypothesis and presents some of the difficult challenges in a very readable manner.
Nice narration. Does a good job on the difficult task of describing chemical formula.
Although he does not spend much of the book addressing the "Creationists". I think he does a good job on addressing their flawed point of view.
- Richard S. Zipper