Graham Cairns-Smith, British scientist, Died at 75


Alexander Graham Cairns-Smith was born in 1931, and died in 2016.

He was an organic chemist and molecular biologist at the University of Glasgow.

Graham was most famous for his controversial 1985 book, Seven Clues to the Origin of Life.

His book popularized a hypothesis he began to develop in the mid-1960s—that self-replication of clay crystals in solution might provide a simple intermediate step between biologically inert matter and organic life.

Smith had inspired other ideas about chemical evolution, including the Miller–Urey experiment and the RNA World, all of which are hypotheses that have greatly helped in explaining the origin of life.

He has also published on the evolution of consciousness, in Evolving the Mind (1996), favoring a role for quantum mechanics in human thought.

Graham Cairns-Smith passed away at 75 years old.