Physical Organic Chemistry and the Origin of Life Problem: A Personal Perspective

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Abstract

The origin of life (OOL) question might be considered physical organic chemistry's ultimate challenge, yet despite continuing efforts over close to a century, the problem remains unresolved. In this personal perspective, I discuss some aspects of that challenge, and argue that notwithstanding the general perception that physical organic chemistry is a research area in decline, the discipline was, and continues to be, the most relevant one for tackling the OOL problem. Systems chemistry, a newly emergent branch of physical organic chemistry, which, inter alia, deals with replicating chemical systems and the networks they establish, reveals that physical organic chemistry, though in different guise, is alive and kicking. The broad direction ahead seems illuminated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Darwinism
  • history of science
  • origin of life
  • thermodynamics

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