Prefigured Ordering and Protoselection in the Origin of Life

  • Dean H. Kenyon


We are all indebted to Professor Oparin for reopening the origin of life problem in a scientific context (1,2). His writings were the original inspiration of what has become an impressive body of experimental research, especially in the last two decades. The immense value of Oparin’s general conceptions on biogenesis is that they provide the overall theoretical framework in which specific experiments are conducted and interpreted. In recent years the view that life is an inevitable outcome of the properties of matter and energy, a view long held by Professor Oparin, has gained increasing support. The alternative view that life was the result of a lucky random combination of chemical substances was popular when the experimental data on origins were still scanty. However, this erroneous view has persisted in uninformed discussion of the subject in many biology textbooks and in the recent criticism of the chemical theory of origins by the new creationists (3). The new data, taken in toto, indicate that the origin was in some sense, which must be carefully spelled out, foreordained from the beginning (4).


Chemical Evolution Ammonium Thiocyanate Cosmic Evolution Biology Textbook Polyphyletic Origin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean H. Kenyon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyCalifornia State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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