The Origin of Life Problem--A Brief Critique

  • John Keosian


The probability that organic compounds could have formed abiotically on the primitive Earth has been documented over the past two decades and needs no elaboration here (1). But historically there was a time when, from the middle of the.nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth centuries, it was stoutly proclaimed that organic compounds, especially proteins, could be synthesized only by living things, and consequently before there was life, there could be no organic compounds. Conversely, it was held that without organic compounds life could not originate. Eventually, the question of the origin of life was considered to be a metaphysical, not a scientific problem, one that was beyond human ken. So firmly and generally was this view held, that scientists of thatperiod did not care nor dare to discuss the problem seriously.


Presidential Address Life Problem Spontaneous Generation Microscopic Organism Polyamino Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Keosian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Physiology Rutgers UniversityThe State University of New JerseyUSA

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