From the Book - First edition.
1. By the action of your sun. Ancients ask where life comes from ; Anaximander explains the natural world ; Aristotle writes of "spontaneous generation"
2. Provando e riprovando. Francesco Redi and the scientific method ; Van Helmont's recipe for mice ; "All life comes from an egg"
3. The eye of a gnat. The Enlightenment transforms science ; Hooke pens Micrographia ; Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers the microscopic world
4. The laboratory of the atheists. Voltaire subscribes to intelligent design ; Atheists seize upon the origin of life ; Buffon observes "reproduction"
5. A vital force. Andrew Crosse's "extraordinary experiment" ; Vitalism and "imponderable fluids" ; Vestiges of the natural history of creation captivates Britain
6. Breathed by the creator into a few forms or one. The Beagle sets sail for the Galápagos ; The Origin of species wins converts ; Charles Darwin imagines a "warm little pond"
7. Pleasant, though they be deceitful dreams. Pasteur dispels the notion of a "useless God" ; Thomas Huxley grooms a new generation ; The germ theory of disease versus spontaneous generation
8. No vestige of a beginning. The earth grows ever older ; J.B.S. Haldane imagines a "half-living" thing ; Alexander Oparin reimagines an ancient planet
9. A laboratory earth. Stanley Miller creates the precursors for life ; Scientists flock to exobiology ; NASA enters the origin-of-life game
10. The nucleic acid monopoly. Apollo 11 looks for clues on the moon ; Sidney Fox and his proteinoid microspheres ; Crick and Watson discover "the secret of life"
11. Life everywhere. An enigmatic Martian rock ; Panspermia recisited ; Life in meteorites?
12. One primordial form. The last universal common ancestor ; The Woesian revolution ; Scientists look to undersea vents
13. A cell is born. The birth of the RNA world ; Genetic engineering opens doors ; A new gensis?
Appendix: Recipes for life.