Maverick journalist Susan Mazur, who is more willing than most reporters to ask hard questions, gave one of the most thorough views inside the minds of origin-of-life (hereafter OOL) researchers in her book The Origin of Life Circus: A How to Make Life Extravaganza. The book, organized around the metaphor of circus actors like ringmasters and lion tamers, includes lengthy statements from the leading lights of the field, drawn mostly from her own interviews with them. It's an enticing read, filled with delicious quotes for Darwin skeptics. Some researchers were extremely frank about the problems they were facing, both empirical and philosophical. A few were mostly bluffing with an overconfidence unjustified by the actual data. Darwin defenders like to point out that Darwin did not address the origin of life. He only speculated about it in a letter to his friend Joseph Hooker in 1871, envisioning a "warm little pond all sorts of ammonia & phosphoric salts, - light, heat,...
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