By: Christian de Duve
341 pages, 22 b/w illus
Nobel Prize winner De Duve sums up what he has learned about the nature of life and our place in the universe. He describes how the first cells may have arisen and suggests that they may have been like the organisms that exist today near deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Contrary to many scientists, he argues that life was bound to arise and that it probably only took millennia to move from rough building blocks to the first organisms possessing the basic properties of life. He goes on to examine topics such as the evolution of humans, the origins of consciousness, the development of language, the birth of science, and the origin of emotion, morality, altruism, and love.
"A well-written, engaging scientific tour de force.... de Duve exhibits an extraordinary skill in conveying his deep knowledge of biology.... Both a first-rate scholar and an accomplished popularizer of science...de Duve moves with equal familiarity and eloquence from scientific papers to French poets.... Life Evolving forces the reader to avoid intellectual complacency and to articulate one's own arguments to effectively address his position. These are, in themselves, major reasons to appreciate the book."--Science
"This book is addressed to the educated lay person interested in the origin of life, its evolution to the present day and its philosophical implications. The reader is in for a treat of unsurpassed lucid and poetic writing. It is the testament of one of the great biologist-philosophers of our time."--Gunter Blobel, Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine
"An original thinker and graceful writer, Christian de Duve is an E.O. Wilson for the cell. In Life Evolving,
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