Author: Chris Stassen Subject: FAQ: Abiogenesis Book Recommendations Updated: 02/27/92 Her

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======================================================================== Author: Chris Stassen Subject: FAQ: Abiogenesis Book Recommendations Updated: 02/27/92 ======================================================================== Here are references and short reviews of some interesting titles relevant to the origin of life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Cairns-Smith, A. G., _Seven Clues to the Origin of Life_; New York, Cambridge University Press, 1985; ISBN 0-521-39828-2 Cairns-Smith is the best-known proponent of the "clay life" hypothesis. This book describes what Cairns-Smith believes to be the main problems with "standard" abiogenesis scenarios, and an overview of his own. If you want a more technical book with lots of references, get his book, "Genetic Takeover" instead (sorry, I don't have reference information). ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Loomis, William F., _Four Billion Years: An Essay on the Evolution of Genes and Organisms_; Massachusetts, Sinauer Associates, 1988; ISBN 0-87893-476-6 (0-87893-475-8 hardback) Loomis gives a relatively detailed treatment of "standard" abiogenesis scenarios. I like this reference, because Loomis spends the most time on the hardest problems -- many other texts seem to gloss over the difficulties and get detailed only when it is "safe." ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fox, Ronald W., _Energy and the Evolution of Life_; New York, W. H. Freeman and Company, 1988; ISBN 0-7167-1870-7 (0-7167-1849-9 hardback). Fox explains abiogenesis, mainly from a perspective of flow of energy, thermodynamics, etc. The book is reasonably technical. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Shapiro, Robert, _Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to thhe Creation of Life on Earth_; New York, Bantam Books, 1986; ISBN 0-553-34355-6 Shapiro gives a skeptical overview of several different abiogenesis scenarios. Despite the creationist-sounding sub-title ("Creation of life"), Shapiro is no creationist. I have seen creationists recommend the book, however, because of Shapiro's high level of skepticism. I believe this work is slightly dated and some of Shapiro's criticisms are no longer as appropirate. Still, it is a good read. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hanawalt, Philip C., editor, _Molecules to Living Cells_; San Francisco, W.H. Freeman and Company, 1980; ISBN 0-7167-1209-1 This is a collection of reprints of _Scientific American_ articles relevant to the topic of the origin of life. It includes several interesting articles and many references to the technical literature. The only problem is that there is little to tie it together into a unified whole; it is a mish-mash of various authors' views. ========================================================================

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