Table of contents for The origins of life and the universe / Paul F. Lurquin.


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             Introduction i
             The Meaning of Science 2
             What Is Life? 6
             Some Origins Models Before Science 8
CHAPTER 1   Foundations of the Universe I3
            What Is in the Universe? I4
            Physics Holds One of the Clues to the Origins: Relativity I6
            The Next Clue: Quantum Physics 26
            Forces of Nature and Elementary Particles 37
            Conclusions 41
CHAPTER 2   Building a Universe 42
             Cosmology: The Big Bang Model 42
             The Genesis of Stars and Planets 51
             Conclusions 6o
CHAPTER 3   Life as It Is Today 62
             The Universal Blueprint 63
             Variations in the Blueprint 72
             Metabolism and Energy Transactions 78
             Life That Depends on Simple Molecules Only 85
             The Cell's Envelope and Its Skeleton 87
             Conclusions 89
CHAPTER 4   Prebiotic Earth: First Organic Compounds and First
               Informational Molecules 92
             Organic Compounds from Earth's Putative
               Primitive Atmosphere 94
             Space Chemistry and the Origins of Life 99
             Ocean Floor Chemistry Io2






             Proteins and Metabolism First: The Iron-Sulfur World 104
             Genetic Information First: The RNA World 112
             Conclusions In6
CHAPTER 5    Life on Its Way 117
             Lessons from Bacteriophages II8
             Quasispecies and Hypercycles 20
             Origin of the Genetic Code: From the RNA World
               to Proteins 125
             Protocells and the Emergence of the DNA World 131
             First DNA-Containing Cells and Their Evolution I34
             Paths of Fast Evolution I39
             First Eukaryotes 141
             Conclusions 152
CHAPTER 6    Has Life Originated Elsewhere and Will It End? 154
             Panspermia I55
             Life Elsewhere in the Solar System? I58
             Discontent with Origins Models 66
             The End of the Universe, the End of Life 170
             Conclusions 171
APPENDIX 1   A Graphic Representation of Special Relativity 175
APPENDIX 2   More on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle 177
APPENDIX 3   How Do We Know the Age of the Universe? I79
APPENDIX 4   Eric Chaisson's View of Cosmic Evolution 81
APPENDIX 5   Do the Universe and Life Have a Purpose
               and a Designer? 183





Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Life Origin, Cosmology