Origins of Life : The Great Courses: Biology

  • by The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen
  • Narrated by Professor Robert M. Hazen
  • Series: The Great Courses: Biology
  • 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Four billion years ago, the infant Earth was a seething cauldron of erupting volcanoes, raining meteors, and hot noxious gases, totally devoid of life. But a relatively short time later - only 100 million to 200 million years - the planet was teeming with primitive organisms.
What happened? Now you can find out - in a series of 24 vibrant lectures from a leader of the NASA - supported team studying the origins of life in the universe and also one of the nation's foremost science educators. The lectures take you from path-breaking experiments in the 19th century that proved the molecules of life to be no different from other chemicals, to our increasingly sophisticated modern understanding of just how the chemistry of life works, to the near certainty that the 21st century will see spectacular and unpredictable developments in our understanding of how life began. For all its familiarity, life is an elusive concept that is hard to define, much less explain. These lectures show how scientists are systematically building a picture of the process by which those chemical reactions on the early Earth eventually led to the first appearance of the DNA-protein world that remains the fundamental basis of all life today. And you'll join them as they probe for evidence of life beyond our planet.
Crammed with fascinating experiments, surprising results, heated debates, blind alleys, and promising leads, the investigation of life's origins is a mystery story in the truest sense - one in which the clues are slowly adding up but the solution is not yet in hand.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

spell binding!

Would you consider the audio edition of Origins of Life to be better than the print version?

Yet another gem of a lecture course from Robert Hazen. A mind expanding tour de force.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Planet Earth!


Which scene did you most enjoy?

The Cambrian Explosion.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Earth Rocks!


Any additional comments?

First rate presentation of exciting material!

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- Michael McDaid

An excellent introduction to abiogenesis

I have a lay interest in abiogenesis and Robert Hazen has worked in this field for a long while and is a recognised expert in this field.

It is not overly challenging and skips along at a good pace.

It's a good place for anyone interested in the origins of life to start.
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- Robert Winston

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses