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Origins Of Life: The G...
Robert M. Hazen
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Origins Of Life: The Great Courses In Science & Mathematics (Parts 1 & 2)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Training program includes 2 case boxes with complete course guidebooks and 12 30min audio cassettes. Presented by professor of Earth Science at George Mason Univ and research scientist at Carnegie Institute of Washington. Degrees from MIT and Hervard University. Received many awards for lectures, books and over 220 scholarly articles.
Published (first published 2005)
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Dave Gaston

As an audio edition from The Great Courses, I treated myself to what it might actually be like to sit-in on a full 2014 Earth Science course from the great Robert Hazen. Super Cool right! Its like slipping into a lecture hall seat at MIT (just to see if you could take it, ala Good Will Hunting) However, unlike Matt Damon, this lecture series was way... WAY over my head! Just when I was going to admit defeat and accept my C- lot in life, the last three chapters saved me. Hazen's legendary explana
Dec 11, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best Great Courses I've listened to. Most of the time a Great Course listens like it's a series of disjointed half hour lectures only loosely tied together with a common subject but without an overriding narrative. This lecture does not, it listens as if it's a well written book with a narrative tying. I never grow tired of listening to origin of life books, but they usually suffer by explaining too much of the detail and therefore end up losing me in the minutia of the arcane ...more
Sep 30, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: evolution
This course is an introduction to some of the theories on how life evolved and the research that is being done to further our knowledge of the origins of life. In the first part of the course, he explains some of the competing theories; for example, the idea that life actually began in the depths of the oceans. In the 1970's, a remarkable variety of life was discovered around hydro-thermal vents at the bottom of the sea. It has been postulated that the ocean was actually a more stable environmen ...more
Bruce Baugh
Sep 29, 2014 Bruce Baugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a series of 24 lectures, each half an hour or a bit longer, about the origins of life. Prof. Hazen is himself involved in research on the subject, and this is what makes the series really stand out. Some of the technicalities are a bit beyond me, since I would have trouble remembering whether carboxyl groups include hydroxyl groups or vice versa. But that doesn't matter much, since Hazen excels at establishing overall context even when details pass me by. Even more, his lectures shine wi ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Nilesh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prof Hazen is the foremost expert on this remarkable subject: what are we and how did we turn up? In all of his works, he tries to zero in on one critical stage of the story - "the second stage". As this reviewer sees it, the first stage was from the big bang to various minerals/materials that are a part of our planet. This is the domain of astronomy. This field's findings and progress are easily accessible to anyone interested. The third stage is the biological evolution from the most basic for ...more
Audio download (with a lot of online help).
Dr Hazen presents a very much scienced-based set of lectures dealing with the determination of first life on this (as well as other) planet. The lectures are part history and part methodology of the research efforts...and, since no clear-cut 'first life' has been proven, it is very much a work in progress. It is helpful, though not necessary, to have a background in both physical and organic chemistry to understand many of the points Hazen employs.
For t
Greg R
May 01, 2014 Greg R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this course on Audible.

I would rank this to be a 200, maybe 300 level undergrad university course. A course for introducing undergrads to a field of research. Dr. Hazen is a gifted presenter. He makes the daunting topic of the Origins of Life understandable and reveals that we still have much to learn. While this is an introductory course, you should have a basic understanding of the scientific method and some scientific knowledge under your belt or you may get confused and lose in
Kevin Bessey
May 27, 2015 Kevin Bessey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great lecture series on the origins of life. As the title indicates, this series sticks with molecular origins ONLY and does not really move beyond unicellular life (bottom up approach). Having a background in chemistry/biochem is certainly helpful, but overall I found this to be an interesting and relevant series on covering the many theories of life's origins.

Pros: Dr. Hazen covers many of the theories held by a variety of disciplines for life's origins in a neat, organized manner.
Eric Wurm
Oct 19, 2013 Eric Wurm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a course on modern theories of the origin of life. It is thorough, informative, and accessible to the layman science fan. It is also useful for those considering a career in science.

Some claim that scientists have no idea how life began and insist that it must be a miracle provided by a creator. This argument from ignorance couldn't be further from the truth. Scientists have many ideas how life could emerge from chemical processes. Life is, after all, nothing more than chemical processe
Nov 13, 2014 Cary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent course covering the various theories of the origins of life. The coverage is quite broad and I learned about theories I'd never heard of elsewhere. Hazen interjects biographical and autobiographical to round out the history and context of the material.

I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in science.
May 10, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: theists, creationists
Rather above my head for all the detail but even as a layman you can get the general idea. There are plenty of points to research further info if you wish too.. I’ll be looking for more from this guy.
Kyle Martin
Sep 21, 2015 Kyle Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Audiobook Review] It's obvious this guy is an expert in his field. My only quip is most Great Courses audiobooks are great without any supplement material, this one not so much. Sometimes you can hear him doing things, but not describing them as well as he could. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could.
Feb 07, 2011 Chip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Professor Hazen, but this was not one of his best series.
Sep 14, 2013 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent overview. Similar to the Astrobiology Primer:
Michael Brown
Sep 28, 2010 Michael Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredible journey into the past and present science of the origins of life. A bit heavy on the organic chemistry, but I don't see how it could have been an accurate investigation without it.
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Aug 09, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good treatment of possibilities and communities who investigate this subject for a non-expert.
Stephen Campbell
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Robert M. Hazen, Senior Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and the Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, received the B.S. and S.M. in geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1971), and the Ph.D. at Harvard University in earth science (1975). The Past President of the Mineralogical Society of Americ ...more
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