Darwin and the Origin of Life

Front Cover
NewSouth, Incorporated, 2013 - 62 pages
In this volume, excerpted from Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy (NewSouth Books, 2013), Anthony Moss contributes a thorough historical account of science's attempt to answer the question of how life first emerged from inanimate matter. Beginning with the Greeks, Moss tells a captivating story about the evolution of scientists' thinking and experimentation on the origin of life question. In one of his many letters, Darwin even mused about a warm little pond on the early Earth where simple chemicals exposed to heat, light, and electricity may have begun the changes that ultimately led to life. From the 1970s onward, sophisticated primitive earth "simulation" experiments and laboratory studies of molecular evolution have provided a wealth of data about life's possible origin. Darwin's principle of natural selection guides and inspires all of this work. But now, instead of a shallow, warm little pond, the evidence points to the depths of the ocean as the cradle of life. To say more would spoil this exciting, still unfolding, skillfully told tale.

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Thermodynamics of origin of life: Why is there life?
(Why does life originate and exist now? It is the main question!
How does life originate? It is the second question!)
The transition between the animate and inanimate matter is a slow. It was predestined by the action of "thermodynamic principle of the substance stability" ( http://www.mdpi.org/ijms/papers/i7030098.pdf ) which describes the forward and backward linkages at the transmission of information between structural hierarchies during the chemical and biological evolution. http://gladyshevevolution.wordpress.com/article/thermodynamic-theory-of-evolution-of-169m15f5ytneq-3/
See: Thermodynamics and the emergence of life.
The phenomena of life can be explained on the basis of quasi-equilibrium hierarchical thermodynamics of dynamic systems which stands at the solid foundation of thermodynamics of JW Gibbs. Theory can be constructed without using the concept of dissipative structures of I. Prigogine and his ideas about negentropy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYr1G5TZO50 http://gladyshevevolution.wordpress.com/article/science-evolution-and-reality-169m15f5ytneq-12/
From the point of view of thermodynamics, the phenomenon of life is defined as: "Life is the process the existence of the constantly renewed polyhierarchical structures during cycles of transformation of labile chemical substances in the presence of liquid water on the planet."
Georgi Gladyshev
Professor of Physical Chemistry

About the author (2013)

Anthony Moss is Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University. He earned a BA in Cell Biology from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Marine Cell Biology and Physiology from Boston University Marine Program. He teaches undergraduate Honors Biology, undergraduate and graduate Cell Biology, Wound Repair, and Light Microscopy. His training was originally in cellular physiology and biochemistry, and he currently studies ctenophore and jellyfish structure and function, as well as the marine microbes associated with jellyfish.

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