J. B. S. Haldane and the origin of life
In 1929 the British biologist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane published a hypothesis on the origin of life on earth, which was one of the most emblematic of the interwar period. It was a scenario describing the progressive evolution of matter on the primitive earth and the emergence of life. Firstly, this paper presents the main ideas put forward by Haldane in this famous text.The second part makes comparisons between Haldane and Alexander Ivanovitch Oparin’s ideas regarding the origins of life (1924). These two theories, apparently very similar, presented distinct conclusions. The third part focusses on Haldane’s reflections on the emergence of life during the 1950s and 1960s, and shows how they were linked to the recent developments of prebiotic chemistry and molecular biology.
Volume 99, 2020
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