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The Emergence of Life: Darwinian Evolution from the Inside Hardcover – April, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Fox, 30-year respected researcher in biochemistry, contends that thermal proteins formed into proteinoid microspheres are the organizational precursors of life. This firsthand account presents the reasoning leading to his hypothesis along with autobiographical anecdotes and laboratory results. Fox critically reviews alternate origin-of-life paradigms but pays little attention to criticisms of his construct. His work is the best available for the nonspecialist on this currently favored hypothesis of determined protein evolution. (Readers seeking a more extensive, evenhanded review on the evolution of protolife would be better served by Robert Shapiro's Origins , LJ 1/1/86.) Recommended. Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465019250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465019250
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,068,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Joseph B. Ennis on July 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Actually this book is a disappointment. The background is: some molecules that contain Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, sometimes Hydrogen and sometime Phosphorus are self assembling. For an example: an Amino Acid molecule will assemble itself if it has access to the elements it needs. A hint is to look at the Quantum Mechanic Wave Equations for these elements, the wave equations are a little weird and not like the wave equations for the elements that do not "self assemble". Especially Carbon and Nitrogen have an electro/magnetic force of attraction that will cause self assembly of larger and larger molecules. Fox and other researchers, that preceded Fox, had the opinion that they could grow amino acids from basic elements if they could simulate the conditions that existed when "life evolved" kind of a chemical evolution. Actually Hall in one experiment and Fox in another experiment did produce amino acid complexes starting with raw elements that had never been "alive". THAT IS THE BACKGROUND. I was hoping for more about how the experiment was set-up; what was done; the actual results and how long did the experiments take?
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Format: Hardcover
Sidney Walter Fox (1912-1998) was a Los Angeles-born biochemist responsible for unique discoveries in the autosynthesis of protocells.

He states in the Preface to this 1988 book, "(T)his book ... attempts to explain evolutionary theory to the uninitiated, and scientific methodology to those who will not become vocational scientists. It attempts to clarify the essential nature of the transition from the inanimate to the animate..."

He agrees that moving from "making a few amino acids" to the "secret of life" is "an unwarranted extrapolation.... If any one of these processes is the 'secret' of life, I would say it's the high degree of self-ordering of amino acids, and the resultant diversity of functions."

He states, "the DNA/RNA mechanism as we know it is extremely complex. That such a complex mechanism could have been present at the beginning of organic evolution is to even the most imaginative scientist essentially unfathomable or very improbable. The alternative is that the complex templating mechanism that uses nucleic acids was preceded by simpler mechanisms."

Interstingly, he observes about the two primary creationists, Henry Morris (The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications) and Duane Gish (Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics), "Morris and Gish do deserve attention in a scientific framework for their arguments that evolution based on a random contect is indefensible. This one criticism by them is sound, even though they wish to overcome it ... by invoking divine action.
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