chapter  5
36 Pages

◾ Prebiotic Synthesis of Biochemical Compounds: An Overview

ByHENDERSON JAMES (JIM) CLEAVES

Shortly a er the turn of the twentieth century, two European scientists, one in the United Kingdom and one in the Soviet Union, proposed that conditions no longer present on Earth, which allowed for the synthesis of organic compounds, might help explain the origin of life. John Burdon Sanderson Haldane and Alexander Ivanovich Oparin, in a pair of closely temporally published papers (Oparin 1924; Haldane 1929), suggested that the origin of life on Earth was the result of organic chemistry that occurred in a signi- cantly distinct ancient geochemical context. e crux of both of their arguments was that the origin of life depended on the supply of organic compounds from the environment undergoing chemical complexication that was analogous to biological natural selection.