Molecular Theory of Evolution

Outline of a Physico-Chemical Theory of the Origin of Life

  • Bernd-Olaf Küppers

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-IX
  2. Introduction

    1. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 1-4
  3. The Molecular Basis of Biological Information

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 7-10
    3. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 11-28
    4. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 29-34
  4. Principles of Molecular Selection and Evolution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-35
    2. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 37-39
    3. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 40-102
    4. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 103-125
  5. The Transition from the Non-Living to the Living

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 129-153
    3. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 154-174
    4. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 175-209
    5. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 210-227
    6. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 228-242
  6. Model and Reality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 243-243
    2. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 245-256
    3. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 257-278
    4. Bernd-Olaf Küppers
      Pages 279-283
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 285-324

About this book


The subject of this book is the physico-chemical theory of the origin of life. Although this theory is still in statu nascendi, it has been developed in recent years to the point where a coherent presentation is possible. The book is intended as an introductory text for students of physics, chemistry or biology. This interdisciplinary aim has necessitated a choice of material based on the lowest common denominator of physicists and biologists. In particular, the predominantly mathematical and biological sections have been presented at the most elementary l.evel possible. The less mathematically inclined reader can omit Sections (5.3)-(5.5), (5.7)-(5.10), (6.2), (6.3), (9.1)-(9.3), (12.1) and (13.3) without losing the overall view. For critical reading of the manuscript, for discussions and for many useful suggestions I wish to thank M. Eigen (Gottingen), w.e. Gardiner (Austin), D. Porschke (Gottingen), P. Schuster (Vienna), P.R. Wills (Auckland) and P. Woolley (Berlin). The translation of the original, German manuscript into English was kindly undertaken by Paul Woolley. During this and subsequent stages of revision he introduced a great many improvements in the text and the presentation of material. My particular thanks are due to him for his decisive contribution to this book. Last of all I wish to thank Ingeborg Lechten for typing the text in its various stages of evolution. The completion of this book is largely to be attributed to her patience and efficiency.


biology chemistry evolution physics translation

Authors and affiliations

  • Bernd-Olaf Küppers
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-15528-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-70544-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site