Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step on in the science from Wonders of Life; but very readable., 13 April 2013
This review is from: What is Life?: How chemistry becomes biology (Hardcover)
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The core theme of this book - how did life begin? At what point did chemical processes become biological ones- is also the core theme of programmes in Prof. Brian Cox's feted TV series 'Wonders of Life'.
Addy Proos takes the simplified science of Prof. Cox's mainstream programme significantly further, but still maintains readability. As a theoretical chemist, Proos' focus is on the chemical origins of life, hence the subtitle 'When Chemistry Becomes Biology'.

The chapter titles offer an excellent precis of the contents: 'Living Things are So Very Strange', a brief history of the topic covered in 'The Quest for A Theory of Life', 'Understanding 'Understanding' ', an introduction to the reductionist approach, 'Stability and Instability' explains why chemical reactions occur.
There is an initial examination of 'The Knotty Origin of Life Problem'. 'Biology's Crisis of Identity' examines just that, with the final two chapters moving on to the most recent developments in bio-chemistry, in 'Biology is Chemistry' and finally an examination of the key theme 'What is Life'?

Unlike Prof. Cox's books diagrams are fairly minimal - and whilst the test is scholarly, it would not be beyond a bright GCSE student with an interest in science. It isn't a fully mainstream book, but provides a useful summary of a rapidly developing branch of science.
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Location: Co Durham

Top Reviewer Ranking: 173