Lecture: Comets and the Origin of Life

Daniel Zalec

Astronomer Carl Sagan addresses the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, delivering the inaugural James R. Thompson Lecture. Dr. Sagan discusses the importance of comets in the biological history of earth, from their delivery of organic molecules, to their paving of the way for mammalian evolution. He covers the primary areas of origin of life research, and explains the implications of discoveries to date.

Lecture date: October 2, 1991.
Further reading:
– Cometary Delivery of Organic Molecules to the Early Earth.
– Endogenous Production, Exogenous Delivery and Impact-Shock Synthesis of Organic Molecules: An Inventory for the Origins of Life.
The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (Ch. 5 – Origin of Life).
– Carbonaceous Meteorites Contain a Wide Range of Extraterrestrial Nucleobases.

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