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