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Origins of Life | [The Great Courses]

Origins of Life

Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later-only 100 million to 200 million years-the planet was teeming with primitive organisms.What happened? Now you can find out-in a series of 24 vibrant lectures from a leader of the NASA-supported team studying the origins of life in the universe and also one of the nation's foremost science educators.
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Publisher's Summary

Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later - only 100 million to 200 million years - the planet was teeming with primitive organisms.

What happened? Now you can find out - in a series of 24 vibrant lectures from a leader of the NASA - supported team studying the origins of life in the universe and also one of the nation's foremost science educators. The lectures take you from path-breaking experiments in the 19th century that proved the molecules of life to be no different from other chemicals, to our increasingly sophisticated modern understanding of just how the chemistry of life works, to the near certainty that the 21st century will see spectacular and unpredictable developments in our understanding of how life began. For all its familiarity, life is an elusive concept that is hard to define, much less explain. These lectures show how scientists are systematically building a picture of the process by which those chemical reactions on the early Earth eventually led to the first appearance of the DNA-protein world that remains the fundamental basis of all life today. And you'll join them as they probe for evidence of life beyond our planet.

Crammed with fascinating experiments, surprising results, heated debates, blind alleys, and promising leads, the investigation of life's origins is a mystery story in the truest sense - one in which the clues are slowly adding up but the solution is not yet in hand.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses

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    nfaulk Galveston, TX USA 09-22-13
    nfaulk Galveston, TX USA 09-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Prof gives great overview"
    Would you listen to Origins of Life again? Why?

    The Professor giving this lecture is a very good public speaker. I like the way he makes science into a story. He makes the laboratory experiments come alive.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The lecture is interesting in that it sheds light on all the different theories of life's origins and really allows you to stand back from your human perspective paradigm and see that we were once and still are chemistry!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard S. Zipper Crofton, MD United States 06-17-14
    Richard S. Zipper Crofton, MD United States 06-17-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Well organized, clearly presented, comprehensive"

    I have an intense interest in the subject matter.
    This is the best book on the subject I have "read" so far.

    This is a comprehensive overview of the proposed theories in the search for the plausible scenarios for the origins of life. Dr. Hazen brings the subject to life (pun intended) by not only talking about the science, but also the personalities, the politics and the process of scientific exploration.

    This book is a worthwhile read for scientists,but is still very accessible to the lay person as well.

    Brilliant !




    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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