Mayonnaise and the Origin of Life: Thoughts of Minds and Molecules

Harold J. Morowitz, Author Scribner Book Company $15.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-684-18444-9
This molecular physicist's (Yale) first book of science essays, The Wine of Life, won praise for its blend of learning and philosophic drollery. Familiarity may somewhat dim Morowitz's glitter in this new collection, but the joy is still present. Witness the title piece, in which Morowitz notes that the egg yolk in mayonnaise contains the amphiphilic chemistry that homogenizes oil and vinegar, and then ponders the ""salad days'' of our planet when, possibly, amphiphiles played a role in biogenesis. His wit consistently blends the kitchen-commonplace with sophisticated theory. Morowtiz is a sage-celebrant at heart, and we share his pleasure as he contemplates the beauties of biochemistry, mathematics, beetles, bacteria (do they think?) and, in an essay on Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man, questions the nature and origins of reflective thought. November2
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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