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book cover for The Fifth Miracle




The Fifth Miracle:

The search for the origin of life

Published Mar 1999

How, when and where did life begin? Life's origin remains one of the greatest scientific mysteries. Recent discoveries in astrobiology suggest that life might have started on Mars and come to Earth in rocks blasted off the Red Planet by comet impacts. The discovery of microbes living deep underground or round scalding volcanic vents on the sea bed supports the idea that life began in an exotic locale. But how exactly did it start? And what is life anyway? On the answers to these questions hinges the greatest poser of all: Are we alone in the universe?