Table of contents for Life's origin : the beginnings of biological evolution / edited by J. William Schopf.

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   Introduction: The What, When, and How of
   Life's Beginnings
      J. William Schopf

1. Historical Understanding of Life's Beginnings
     John Or6
     What Is Life?
     Beliefs and Hypotheses on the Origin of Life
     Chemical Evolution
     Personal Reminiscences
     Cosmological Evolution and the Origin of Life
     The Earth-Moon System
     Exploration of the Solar System
     Life beyond the Solar System

2. From Big Bang to Primordial Planet: Setting
   the Stage for the Origin of Life
     Alan W Schwartz and Sherwood Chang
     Origin of the Biogenic Elements
     Origin of the Solar System
     Further Reading

3. Formation of the Building Blocks of Life
     Stanley L. Miller and Antonio Lazcano
     The Heterotrophic Origin of Life
     Prebiotic Synthesis of Amino Acids
     Prebiotic Synthesis of Nucleic Acid Bases
     Prebiotic Synthesis of Sugars

      Hydrothermal Vents and the Origin of Life
      Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds and
      Prebiotic Evolution
      An Autotrophic Origin of Life?
      Have Too Many Cooks Spoiled the Soup?

4. From Building Blocks to the Polymers of Life
     James P. Ferris
     The Biopolymers in the First Life
     The RNA World: The Prebiotic Synthesis of RNA
     The Role of Polypeptides in the Origin of Life
     Further Reading

5. The Origin of Biological Information
     Leslie E. Orgel
     The RNA World
     What's Wrong with the Molecular Biologist's Dream?
     The Metabolist Argument
     Conclusion and Outlook

6. When Did Life Begin?
     J. William Schopf
     Evidence from Living Organisms
     Evidence from the Rock Record
     When Was Earth Ready for Life?
     The What and When of Life's Beginnings
     Further Reading