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Self-Organizing Molecular Systems

  • Jerome J. Wolken

Abstract

Pasteur in 1860 showed by an ingenious set of experiments that life could only come from existing life. This dispelled for a time belief in the spontaneous generation of life, but, in 1878, Pasteur wrote: “I have been looking for it (spontaneous generation [author’s Italics]) for 20 years but I have not yet found it, although I do not think it is an impossibility.” In this same context, Charles Darwin, in a letter to Joseph Hooker in 1871 that is widely quoted wrote:

It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of living organisms are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and- oh, what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes,...

Darwin and Pasteur in their own ways dwelled on the possibility that life occurred as a spontaneous event when the physical and chemical conditions were right.

Keywords

Liquid Crystal Nematic Liquid Crystal Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Liquid Crystal Cell Liquid Crystal Molecule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome J. Wolken
    • 1
  1. 1.Mellon InstituteCarnegie-Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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