26. Origin of Life on Earth
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       The Oparin-Haldane Theory of the Origin of Life

The first scientist after Pasteur to address himself seriously to questions about the origin of life was the Russian biologist A. I. Oparin.

He presented his ideas in a paper before the Botanical Society of Moscow in 1922. They were published two years later, not in a scientific journal, but as a monograph.

The paper sank into obscurity and had no effect on his contemporaries. It was not translated into English until 1967. Only when Oparin expanded this pioneering article into a full-length book in 1936, and this book was translated from the Russian, did his ideas begin to attract attention outside his homeland..


The English biologist J. B. S. Haldane began thinking independently along the same general lines, although he never read Oparin's writings.

In an eight-page article in the "Rationalist Annual" for 1929, Haldane published a complete synopsis of a theory of the origin of life

The ideas of these two men were simple, elegant, and almost identical.

  Page 10 of 36 Glossary