Saturday, June 21, 2008

How Life Began (History Channel Special)

Ok, so I watched the History Channel Special How Life Began. I wasn't too impressed with it. If you have nothing to do, feel free to watch it as it is entertaining. But there isn't anything fundamentally new in the program, and it feels at times as though they move off-topic. Instead of spending two hours watching this television program, why not spend fifteen minutes reading this article about one of Stanley Miller's final-and perhaps most important- experiment. Or spend five minutes reading about the recent creation of self replicating protocells by Jack Szostak. The program does touch Szostak's work briefly, but I actually think the article is far more interesting and informative.

The program isn't horrible, but perhaps I stay so up to date with science and have read so much about the origin of life that it simply does not appeal to me. And by the way, I may as well introduce some good books about the subject for those who want to read further:

The Fifth Miracle by Paul Davies
- An excellent, excellent book. Very engaging, easy to understand, and at the same time marvelously educational. A must read.

Seven Clues to the Origin of Life - A very entertaining introduction to the clay theory of the origin of life. Though the theory is probably wrong, and of course some of the obstacles of the RNA World Theory have been overcome (see above article, nucleotides and other complex molecules are relatively easy to make), the logic used in trying to understand how the complexity of life arose is impeccable and will change the way you think.

Gen•e•sis - Have not read this one, but P.Z. Myers gave it a good review, so check it out.

That's all, folks!

No comments: