Origins of Life

by Freeman Dyson
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 110 pages.

In Origins of Life, the renowned theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, turns his attention to the origins of life, proposing (as the plural in the title suggests) a dual account: "life began twice, with two separate kinds of creatures, one kind capable of metabolism without exact replication and the other kind capable of replication without metabolism." The reviewer for Scientific American writes, "Dyson builds his argument with characteristic skill and clarity." Originally published in 1985, Origins of Life was extensively revised in light of subsequent scientific research for the 1999 edition.