Social Scientist. v 5, no. 53 (Dec 1976) p. 3.

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Origin of Life on Earth


THE PROBLEM of the origin of life is now the subject of highly detailed and specialized predominantly experimental scientific investigation. It has been investigated by scientific workers from the fields of astronomy and cosmology; geology; chemistry and biochemistry;

biology and molecular biology; paleontology; and lately physics and quantum mechanics. It has become a field of specialization and an established branch of science focusing on the origin of the organic, or biological, form of motion of matter.

The recognition that the development of the first forms of life on earth was ^not a solitary ^happy event'...but an event whose repetition was an integral part of the general development of matter" * once dismissed by most natural scientists as a philosophical conclusion standing over and above natural scientific cognition, is now derived from the facts generated by rapidly advancing experimental science.

The impressively growing significance of this branch of science is reflected in the fact that a few thousand specialized publications have accumulated in the field; that three congresses on the origin of life have so far been convened;'2 and that there has been formed an International Association for the Study of the Origin of Life with A I Oparin as its president.

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