Our knowledge of our solar system has passed the point of no return. Increasingly, it seems possible that scientists will soon discover how life is created on habitable planets like Earth and Mars. Scientists have responded to a renewed public interest in the origin of life with research, but many questions still remain unanswered in the broader conversation. Other questions can be answered by the laws of chemistry and physics, but questions surrounding the origin of life are best answered by reasonable extrapolations of what scientists know from observing the Earth and its solar system.
Origin of Life: What Everyone Needs to Know is a comprehensive scientific guide on the origin of life. David W. Deamer sets out to answer the top forty questions about the origin of life, including: Where do the atoms of life come from? How old is Earth? What was the Earth like before life originated? Where does water come from? How did evolution begin? After he provides the informational answer for each question, there is a follow-up: How do we know? This question expands the horizon of the whole book, and provides scientific reasoning and explanations for hypotheses surrounding the origin of life. How scientists come to their conclusions and why we can trust these answers is an important question, and Deamer provides answers to each big question surrounding the origin of life, from what it is to why we should be curious.
Section 1: How to Assemble a Habitable Planet
Section 2: From Not Alive to Almost Alive
Section 3: What We Still Need to Discover
David W. Deamer is Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is author of several books, including Assembling Life (Oxford University Press 2019).