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Seven Clues to the Origin of Life : A Scientific Detective Story - A.G. Cairns-Smith

Seven Clues to the Origin of Life

A Scientific Detective Story

Paperback

Published: 22nd April 1991
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This book addresses the question of how life may have arisen on earth, in the spirit of an intriguing detective story. It relies on the methods of Sherlock Holmes, in particular his principle that one should use the most paradoxical features of a case to crack it. This approach to the essential biological problems is not merely light-hearted, but a fascinating scrutiny of some very fundamental questions. 'I know of no other book that succeeds as well as this one in maintaining the central question in focus throughout. It is a summary of the best evolutionary thinking as applied to the origins of life in which the important issues are addressed pertinently, economically and with a happy recourse to creative analogies.' Nature '...a splendid story - and a much more convincing one than the molecular biologists can offer as an alternative. Cairns-Smith has argued his case before in the technical scientific literature, here he sets it out in a way from which anyone - even those whose chemistry and biology stopped at sixteen - can learn.' New Statesman

'I know of no other book that succeeds as well as this one in maintaining the central question in focus throughout. It is a summary of the best evolutionary thinking as applied to the origins of life in which the important issues are addressed pertinently, economically and with a happy recourse to creative analogies.' Nature '... a splendid story - and a much more convincing one than the molecular biologists can offer as an alternative. Cairns-Smith has argued his case before in the technical scientific literature, here he sets it out in a way from which anyone - even those whose chemistry and biology stopped at 16 - can learn.' New Statesman

Preface
Sources of quotations
Inquest
Messages, messages
Build your own E. coli
The inner machinery
A garden path?
Look more closely at the signposts
A clue in a Chinese box
Missing pieces
The trouble with molecules
Crystals
The clay-making machine
Gene-1
Evolving by direct action
Takeover
Summing-up: the seven clues
Glossary
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521398282
ISBN-10: 0521398282
Series: Canto
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 22nd April 1991
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 0.9
Weight (kg): 0.19