19 February 2012
Armen Mulkidjanian makes the case that life as we know it originated in freshwater thermal springs not unlike Darwin's warm little pond. Jack Szostack is sympathetic but Nick Lane continues to argue that deep sea vents are a more likely starting point. Martin Brasier, who discovered the oldest fossils so far -- 3.43 billion year old bacteria in Australian rocks -- holds fire. He says 'The rock record is the only safe witness we have.'
I tried to cover these issues in outline in the Xenophyophore and Yeti crab chapters my forthcoming book. It looks as if I didn't go too far wrong.