December 13, 2005, 12:00 AM
Book Discussion: Singularities: Landmarks on the Pathways of Life
Dr. Christian de Duve
A vision and perspective on the successive constraining events that have determined the course of life's evolution on earth as well as the author's views on how life may have originated, de Duve surveys the entire history of life, including insights into the conditions that may have led to its emergence. He uses as landmarks, the many remarkable singularities along the way, such as the single ancestry of all living beings and the universal genetic code. The book offers a brief guided tour of biochemistry and phylogeny, from the basic molecular building blocks to the origin of humans. Each successive singularity is introduced in a sequence paralleling the hypothetical development of features and conditions on the primitive early, explaining how and why each transition to greater complexity occurred.
Dr. Christian de Duve is the 1974 Nobel Prize winner in medicine. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus of The Rockefeller University and Founding Administrator of the Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology in Brussels.
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