David Deamer has written another book, Assembling Life,
on the origin of life. It is unapologetically polemic, presenting Deamer’s view that life originated in fresh water hydrothermal fields on volcanic islands on early Earth, arguing that this provided a unique environment not just for organic chemistry but for the self-assembling structure that drive that chemistry and form the basis of structure in life. It is worth reading, it is an advance in the field, but is it convincing? I argue that the Origin of Life field as a whole is unconvincing, generating results in Toy Domains that cannot be scaled to any real world scenario. I suggest that, by analogy with the history of artificial intelligence and solar astronomy, we need much more scale, and fundamentally new ideas, to take the field forward.
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