From Martha Henriques at BBC Earth:
Chemist Graham Cairns-Smith has spent his entire scientific career pushing a simple, radical idea: life did not begin with fiddly organic molecules like DNA, but with simple crystals
It is now 50 years since Cairns-Smith [1931–2016] first put forward his ideas about the origin of life. Some scientists have ridiculed them; others have, cautiously or wholeheartedly, embraced them. They have never become mainstream orthodoxy, but they have never quite gone away either. Was there any truth to Cairns-Smith’s daring proposal? Did life really come from crystals? More.
Life is information in motion. Looking for something uninformative that life “comes from” is a guarantee that we will still be in this rut in fifty years.
See also: Origin of life: Clay was the birthplace of life on Earth?
What we know and don’t know about the origin of life
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