Impacts and the origin of life.

James Kasting

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As living creatures, all of us have some interest in the question of how life originated. To some, the question is more religious than scientific; nonetheless, a small but dedicated group of scientists spend their careers trying to answer it from a rational standpoint. Logically, the question can be broken down into the three standard divisions of any mystery: When did life originate? Where did it originate? And how did it originate? Of these three sub-questions the last is by far the most difficult and I will make no attempt to address it here. I will however take a personal look at the two easier parts of the problem. In particular, I will outline my current view of the physical environment of the early Earth, and I will try to show how observations of other solar system bodies, especially our own Moon, provide clues as to when and where life could have originated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalEarth and mineral sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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