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Provides a broad academic overview of the current understanding of the origin and early evolution of life. Drawing on evidence from biology, chemistry and geology, it emphasises limitations in our understanding and takes a critical attitude towards pseudo-scientific approaches.
1: Introduction. 2: The Geological Time Frame. 3: Early Ideas on the Origin of Life. 4: What is Life?. 5: Origin of Life. 6: From the RNA-World to the First Cell. 7: The Evolution of Metabolism. 8: The Eukaryotic Cell. 9: Multicellular Organisms - Origins as Cell Colonies. 10: Sex, Species Concepts, and Evolution. 11: Our Anaerobic Inheritance. 12: The Molecular Tree. 13: Evidence from Geology. 14: Transitions During the Evolution of Life
The classical, recurrent themes are treated in a clear and interesting style of writing. The scope of the book is broad enough to be useful to advanced undergraduate or graduate students as well as to any reader possessing a college scientific background ... The book contains a lot of helpful information as well as personal indepth reflections. BioEssays