Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 344–350

A model for the origin of life

  • Freeman J. Dyson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01733901

Cite this article as:
Dyson, F.J. J Mol Evol (1982) 18: 344. doi:10.1007/BF01733901


A simple statistical model is constructed, describing the transition from disorder to order in a population of mutually catalytic molecules undergoing random mutations. The consequences of the model are calculated, and its possible relevance to the problem of the origin of life is discussed. The main conclusion of the analysis is that the model allows populations of several thousand molecular units to make the transition from disorder to order with reasonable probability.

Key words

Origin of lifeStatistical model

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Freeman J. Dyson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA