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CHEMISTRY AND LIFE

Berrill, N.J. Life can be thought of as water kept at the right temperature in the right atmosphere in the right light for a long enough period of time.

Huxley, Thomas Looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which existing forms of life originated, would be using words in a wrong sense. But expectation is permissible where belief is not; and if it were given to me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the Earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not-living matter.