Who wrote this passage about sea water and cytoplasm
July 19, 2010 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find a (pre 2005) science book about the evolution of life. In one small section it covered the chemical composition of sea water and its similarity to the cytoplasm of mammalian cells.

I read the book in a Cell Biology course in 2004/2005, it was a paperback roughly the length of a novel, not a textbook. I bought a well used copy, so it was published before 2005 and I'm thinking mid to late 90s. The focus of the book was on the evolution of life, but I think there was a section or two about the creation of the Earth at the start of the book.

I have no clue as to the author, but I think the main title was one word; "Life", "Origins" etc. Not sure though.

In what I believe was just a short section the author covered the similarities between seawater and the cytoplasm in human cells. Of course there are a lot of differences, but what the author's point was that there are enough commonalities in the concentration of some salts, and maybe mentioned other chemicals, to see the course of evolution. I seem to remember final points that we are carrying the oceans with us wherever we go, and that by diving in the ocean we aren't entering a strange world but rather going to an ancient home which we can visit, but cannot stay.

I might've made those final points up, but I don't think so.
posted by Science! to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Genesis by Jan Sapp?
posted by iconomy at 3:08 PM on July 19, 2010

Could it have been Lives of a Cell? That's definitely the kind of stuff he goes into.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:02 PM on July 19, 2010

The similarity is mentioned in many undergrad texts e.g. it's in Biology (Campbell et. al.) IIRC - but could you be thinking of Life: An Unauthorised Biography by Richard Fortey?

I don't recall if he mentioned it specifically, but your recollection is certainly the kind of thing he'd say…
posted by Pinback at 9:42 PM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: Not Genesis, it wasn't a history of Biology, more of an overview of the evolution of life. I'll have to go to a library and check out Lives of a Cell and Life.
posted by Science! at 6:33 AM on July 20, 2010

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