Origins of Biomolecules
This lecture will explore the physical and chemical origins of biomolecules prior to the origin of life. We will focus first on the "Bio" (the likely nature of the first living thing); second, on the "Molecules" (the organic compounds of which that first living thing was composed), and third, on the "Origins" of those molecules (how were they synthesized abiotically, in the absence of pre-existing life). The latter will form the central focus of the presentation, and will consider the location, energy sources, and mechanisms by which the molecular precursors of life were fashioned. All of this happened a very long time ago, and none of it is easy, but an effort will be made to trace the various means by which an answer to the above questions may be sought as well as to illuminate the logic and beauty of molecular structure and behavior.