Posts Tagged ‘Cairns-Smith’

Seven Clues to the Origin of Life

2 March, 2012

A.G. Cairns-Smith’s classic, Seven Clues to the Origin of Life was written for people like me. Short, entertaining, has an idea-hook/gimmick that pulls the reader along. He attacks the problem of “how did life begin” as Sherlock Holmes would, including Holmes quotes every chapter. (Whatcha think aboot those two cultures, CPSnow?) Well written, simple, not too many metaphores. Though, I do tend to zone out a bit when Cairns-Smith starts talking about clay…unfortunately, clay is the answer for the author.

Starts the investigation with three facts of the case (pg 5)

  1. “There is life on earth”
  2. “All known living things are at the root, the same.”
  3. “All known living things are very complicated.”

Along the way, uses basic chemistry to point out the exaggerate ease & plausability that other origin-of-life researchers propose. Reading Deamer, and others, I get the feeling that most origin-of-life scientists don’t fully go with Cairns-Smith theory, but they do admire the way he presented it to the laymen.