Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Buy one Get one Free\ Shop Now DOTD
Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Genesis:: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins

36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0309103107
ISBN-10: 030910310X
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This item is listed as acceptable and has probably been well used. It could have considerable writing or highlighting throughout but is still usable and has been priced accordingly. Please do not buy if you are expecting a perfect copy. It has a couple more reads left before its time to be recycled. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
22 Used from $3.21
More Buying Choices
7 New from $61.12 22 Used from $3.21 1 Collectible from $24.99
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What is the meaning of life? Hazen (co-author, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy) can't answer that, but he may be able to shed light on how life started. We're all familiar with the "primordial soup" theory: organic building blocks floating around in Earth's ocean four billion years ago combined to form the first primitive organisms. Hazen explains the many rival theories vying for public attention. The discovery of life near hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean have led some scientists to propose that life started there, while recent studies of microbes living in rock miles below Earth's surface point to even more radical genesis stories. The origin of life is a hotly contested scientific field, of which Hazen provides a balanced view, airing all the controversies, and only slightly favoring his own pet theory. He spends just as much time on the tools of the trade: the study of molecular fossils and even how we might search for life on other planets. His writing is clear and entertaining, giving a delightful look into his unpredictable experimental work without shying away from the complexity of the science. (Sept. 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...provides the best overview of the 'origin of life' field for the non-specialist reader that I have encountered. I think that even those who are familiar with most of its contents will enjoy the presentation." - Nature "For a better view of how science really works, turn to this wonderfully engaging account of modern research into the dawn of biology...The book climaxes with a stunningly clever new hypothesis of how the first RNA molecules could have arisen spontaneously. Fascinating, Captain." - The Guardian "This is the best origins-of-life account that I have seen, for both professionals and philosophers. Others who are interested but uninformed will find the story stretches their minds - and rewards the effort." - BBC Focus"

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Joseph Henry Press (September 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030910310X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0309103107
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on June 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hazen's book "Gen-e-sis" is much like Ward's new one, "Life as We do Not Know It," which I read at the same time. In fact, the two authors are so similar in their interests and goals I was surprised that neither mentioned the other by name. Hazen's style is more direct, while Ward's is a little more playful. While Ward's emphasis is definitely the search for extraterrestrial life and discusses planetary potentials, Hazen's has a greater focus on what it took to have developed it here in the first place and discusses the details of origin research.

"Gen-e-sis" is a good source for the who, what, when, where, why and how of origin science. It is an up to date compendium of what is known about modern microscopic life and the systems that it uses. More importantly for the student interested in the topic, he provides a very good description of the equipment, techniques, and personal characteristics of the researchers doing this type of work. The book would be a very good addition to a high school library, not only in its capacity as a reference on origin of life research, but for the information on the occupation of bioscience researcher.

The author approaches his topic by examining the issues of how life arose from non-life and which of several issues was solved first: cellular segregation of "outside" from "inside," metabolism, or replication. These points are not necessarily clear to most of us. We are ourselves and live with other organisms of great complexity, not only with respect to internal organization but with respect to inter-species organization in the natural ecology of our environment. In short life on the planet has become so elaborate that it almost seems impossible that it could ever have been simpler even at the level of single cells.

Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
103 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Carl Flygare on October 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Life on Earth appeared nearly 4 billion years ago, an emergent consequence of properties and processes enabled by chemistry and physics - bursting forth from air, water, rock and the thermodynamics of nonequilibrium systems. The origins of life pose a mystery as deep as any question facing contemporary science. Intrepid researchers are taking increasingly bold steps in an ultimate adventure to understand how prebiotic chemical systems self-organized and crossed the threshold separating life from non-life on our barren young planet. Abiogenesis, the scientific quest for life's origin, is profoundly moving and brilliantly presented in this superb book.

Author Robert Hazen exemplifies the intellect, insight, determination, and sense of adventure that scientists around the world utilize when seeking answers to life's most basic riddles. As a researcher in the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth History at George Mason University, Hazen has spent many years researching the fundamental mechanisms nature utilized to realize life's genesis. His impressive laboratory research has choreographed the spellbinding sequence of events that synthesized many of the essential carbon-based macromolecules that acted as the components and scaffolding from which life emerged.

By subjecting simple and abundant chemicals to the high temperatures and crushing pressures encountered near deep ocean vents, Hazen hypothesis that life may well have begun in such an environment - facilitated and nourished by a teeming mixture of catalytic minerals and organic compounds energized by abundant geotectonic forces.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Alnitak on November 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fine overview of the scientific “origins” puzzle. It is not a biology book, but a book about how biology might come to be. Hazen provides a theoretical framework and covers the emergence of organic molecules, biological polymers and replicating systems while telling the friendly, personal stories of his own research. Hazen does a good job of presenting the facts while making it clear that there is much that is speculative about the field. An excellent book for most of us who are not familiar with the science; well-referenced enough, including references to primary scientific journals, to provide a gateway for those who want to learn more. Not intended for those who know a lot about the issues already, and perhaps a little too chatty for my personal taste, but an easy and enjoyable read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN PLETKO on June 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover

This book, by scientist Dr. Robert Hazen, in a nutshell explores the concept of emergence and the origin of life in a way that has never before been attempted. (Emergence is the opposite of reductionism, the view that any system can be explained by understanding its parts.) Or to put the aim of this book in question format:

How did non-living chemicals become alive? What happened in 100 million years that led to the origin of life?

Hazen explains a major objective of his book:

"To describe our present imperfect state of understanding--and to offer a conceptually simple scenario [or theory] for life's chemical origins. This theory synthesizes two fundamental frontier efforts: the mind-expanding theoretical field of emergence and the astonishing experimental discoveries in prebiotic [that is, before life] chemistry [some made by Hazen himself]."

Thus the parts or sections that make up this well-written, easy-to-read, and somewhat personal book are presented in the following logical sequence:

(1) Emergence and the origin of life. (Answers, among other things, the question: "How does one begin to tackle the chemical complexity of life?")
(2) The emergence of biomolecules (such as amino acids, sugars, hydrocarbons, and nucleic acids).
(3) The emergence of macromolecules (such as carbohydrates, proteins, DNA, and RNA).
(4) The emergence of self-replicating systems. ("For origin-of-life researchers, creating a self-replicating molecular system in a test tube has become the experimental Holy Grail.")

Don't worry! The science presented in this book is presented well and Hazen explains any unfamiliar terms.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews