Christian de Duve

Singularities Landmarks on the Pathways of Life Publication date : May 25, 2005

What is the origin of life? Is it terrestrial or extraterrestrial? Is life on Earth of maritime or volcanic origin? What is the chain of chemical-biological events that result in life?
In this book, the author proposes a model of the origin of life and rigorously displays its chemical-biological rationality. He examines the hypothesis of multiple ancestries of life’s beginnings but does not exclude other models.
Christian de Duve describes the origin of life as a succession of necessary and chance events, or singularities, which he defines and categorises under various headings. He goes on to show that none of them are improbable.
This is an important scientific work on the classic question: Why are we here?

Christian de Duve, a biochemist, has taught at the University of Louvain and at Rockefeller University, New York. He is one of the founders of the Brussels-based International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology. In 1974, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his findings concerning the structural and functional organisation of cells. He is the author of A l’écoute du vivant, published by Editions Odile Jacob.