How did life first appear on Earth? What can the origin of life tell us about life’s meaning? In their new book “A Brief History of Creation”, journalist Bill Mesler and organic chemist H. James Cleaves II offer a thorough and compelling narrative of the history of man’s search for answers to questions as old as mankind itself.
The book begins with an interesting -- though perhaps overly detailed -- account of early religious and philosophical beliefs on life’s creation, and then proceeds to examine contemporary scientific theories on the origin of life, making a case for why the scientific method is the best approach to tackle this question. It ends with a discussion of how the quest to understand the origin of life portrays the nature of science itself, the character of a scientist, and the challenges major theories and discoveries face before they are adopted by the general public. The authors include an appendix with several protocols for spontaneous generation of life, and all CAMB students are encouraged to attempt to replicate these in their lab.
Researchers of all disciplines who are interested in the history of scientific discovery will enjoy the book’s analytical depth and the abundance of entertaining historical detail, such as the fact that Aristotle ran a zoo as part of his Lyceum, or that Stanley Miller was an informant to the CIA on origin-of-life discoveries in Moscow during the Cold War. At the same time, the lively writing style and the way in which the authors humanize the scientists involved will appeal to a general audience.
“A Brief History of Creation” is available in hardcover, electronic, and audiobook formats from all major online and local retailers. The book will be released in paperback format on December 6th, 2016.