Relationship between Biological Information and the Origin of Life

  • Barry Commoner


The question of how life arose on the Earth and the earliest stage of its evolution has been of considerable, but largely theoretical, interest. Theoretical considerations initiated by Haldane (1938) and Oparin (1938) have argued persuasively that the appearance of organic compounds preceded the first living thing, thus establishing the environmental milieu in which the latter emerged. There remained, however, the basic question of what changes within this primitive “organic soup” could lead to a system that possessed the fundamental properties which distinguish living systems from nonliving ones: replication (with mutation at a low frequency), growth and metabolism.


Oxidative Metabolism Biological Information Polymer Synthesis Nucleic Acid Synthesis Free Nucleotide 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Commoner
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Biology of Natural SystemsQueens College, CUNYFlushingUSA

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