4 Jul 2015

The Vital Question

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 4 July 2015
Biochemist Nick Lane.

Biochemist Nick Lane. Photo: Wide-Eyed Entertainment Ltd

Have you ever wondered how life here on planet earth began?

Did multi-cellular organisms somehow emerge and evolve from the 'primordial soup'? Or were seeds from outer space, an asteroid or lightning strike, or the benign presence of some superior being involved in some way?

A biochemist at University College London, Nick Lane, ponders the mysteries of human evolution in his book The Vital Question  - Why is Life the Way it Is?

He's intrigued by how and why complex life only arose once in four billion years, and he argues that electrical energy could provide the key to finding an answer.