I suspect many of us would like to know what science has to say these days about the origins and the nature of life. A few years ago, I embarked on an exploration of this topic using the power of the Internet. Perhaps not surprisingly, I discovered many scientific and scholarly books and articles that have been published on this subject. Two books that come to mind have very different titles but pursue a similar and fascinating theme – that we live in a self-organizing universe where, given suitable conditions, atoms tend to form molecules and molecules tend to self-organize into evermore complex, interactive structures that favor life. “The Way of the Cell” by Franklin Harold and, “At Home in the Universe” by Stuart Kauffman suggest different topics but both books explore the origins and characteristics of the amazing complexity and order that defines all living organisms. The books reveal a considerably greater understanding of life’s essential features than were articulated when I was formally educated (1960s). I encourage anyone curious about how and why life exists (a question that fascinates me more as I grow older) to starting reading about it.
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