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The Origin and Nature of Life on Earth

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Uniting the conceptual foundations of the physical sciences and biology, this groundbreaking multidisciplinary book explores the origin of life as a planetary process. Combining geology, geochemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, evolution and statistical physics to create an inclusive picture of the living state, the authors develop the argument that the emergence of life ...more
Hardcover, 691 pages
Published March 31st 2016 by Cambridge University Press
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Charlene
There simply is no better discussion of First Life than any discussion given by Eric Smith, be it through his many academic papers, lectures, or this textbook. Smith is concernedwith understandinglife as a continuation of a process that emerged on Earth. Meaning, he is not merely looking for the first cell that could replicate, though he is looking into that, he is looking at the process by which the Earth itself provided the energy to make the materials of life. That process, and not merely the ...more
James Giammona
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this stunning, magisterial, and surprisingly wide-ranging book, Eric Smith and Harold Morowitz approach the origin of life from first principles and bring together knowledge from astrophysics, geochemistry, biochemistry, information theory and statistical mechanics to show how all the hints and constraints we know so far about life’s start and the universal patterns of life we’ve found compel us to adopt a new framework to understand life: life is a complex series of non-equilibrium phase ...more
John
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, I'm left with no other choice than to say I was amazed by "The Origin and Nature of Life on Earth: The Emergence of the Fourth Geosphere". There is no doubt that this book is great: grand yet humble, subtly nuanced yet clear, and deftly abstract yet utterly grounded in the facts. Despite this, I nearly found portions of it impenetrable. I'll admit I did only skim some of these more technical sections. I should also admit it I read it somewhat irregularly over the span of about a year.

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I am probably too dumb and life is too short--at least for now. Will come back to this maybe.
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Eric Smith was born the fifth of six children. He served a full-time English-speaking mission from 2000-2002 in what was then the Illinois Chicago North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He studied English and earth science education in Rexburg, Idaho, at BYU-Idaho, particularly enjoying and excelling in geology, editing, and English and early-American literature. He ...more