The question of the origin of life is a fundamental question in the fields of biology and chemistry that is of interest not only to scientists and philosophers. People have always asked where living systems, organisms, came from. If we ignore creationist concepts of the origin of living creatures or concepts of the eternity and invariability of life and the world itself, this question is narrowed down to the problem of emergence of life from nonliving matter. Protobiology is concerned with study of this subject; this is a discipline on the borderline between biology and chemistry. This chapter will be concerned only with those aspects of protobiology that a biologist can address without participation by a chemist. Here we will not discuss the extensive and extremely important subject of the formation of organic substances from inorganic substances; the reader must obtain information in this area from the appropriate textbooks of chemistry and biochemistry.






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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more
Draft translation from: Evoluční biologie, 2. vydání (Evolutionary biology, 2nd edition), J. Flegr, Academia Prague 2009. The translation was not done by biologist, therefore any suggestion concerning proper scientific terminology and language usage are highly welcomed. You can send your comments to flegratcesnet [dot] cz. Thank you.