The Origin and Evolution of Sidney Walter Fox, Experimentalist

  • Arthur Cherkin


My purpose in underscoring “experiment(s)” in the above quotations is to emphasize the theme of this chapter. Experiment is of course a sine qua non for most research aimed at answering questions in science. When the question is “How did life begin?”, however, the situation becomes quite different. Man has puzzled about this question for millenia and has sought answers through religion and philosophy, theory and speculation. Such roads of thought have led to much heat but little light. Witness, for example, the ongoing arguments over creationism (Numbers, 1982). The experimental road paved by Sidney Walter Fox during the past four decades has provided a far more intellectually satisfying solution of the puzzle of our primordial origins. The construction of that road has encountered many formidable thought obstacles, rooted in religious, philosophical and theoretical preconceptions. Fox has at times been disappointed but not discouraged by what amounted to anti-experimental opponents. For example, in a letter of 7 February 1965, he commented: “I don’t believe that they can indefinitely prefer undisciplined conjecture to vigorous experimentation bonded with careful interpretation, in this particular area.”


Pyroglutamic Acid Reactant Amino Acid Experimental Road Chlorinate Aliphatic Hydrocarbon Vigorous Experimentation 
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

  • Arthur Cherkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical CenterSepulvedaUSA

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