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What is the Terrestrial Origins Wiki?


The Terrestrial Origins Wiki is a research site and community supporting work on the Terrestrial Origins Hypothesis which proposes that life began on land in fluctuating fresh water environments such as hydrothermal fields.

"But if (and oh what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etcetera present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes [..] " ~Charles Darwin, in a letter to Joseph Hooker (1871)

Jul 2016: Slides presented at the Australasian Astrobiology meeting, Perth (in Slideshare): An Origin of Life in Salt Water or Fresh Water? Powerpoint version is downloadable here.

Participating Teams, Individuals and their Publication Lists

U.C. Santa Cruz, Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Santa Cruz, California USA: Dr. Bruce Damer and Prof. David Deamer Publist: Deamer-Damer
Origins Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia
Center for Chemical Evolution, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia USA
Cronin Lab, University of Glasgow, Scotland UK
University of Paris, Paris, France.
Lynn Rothschild Lab, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California USA

Other participating organizations:
Harry Lonsdale Research Award
DigitalSpace Research, Boulder Creek, California USA

Terrestrial Origins Models and Hypotheses

The Coupled Phases Model
Developed between 2010 and 2013, drafted for publication in 2014 and first published in March 2015.


May 2016: Find the essay A Field Trip to the Archaean in Search of Darwin’s Warm Little Pond in the journal Life.

Jan 2016: Find the the GRS conference poster here and the poster handout here


Mar 2015: Find the first publication Coupled Phases and Combinatorial Selection in Fluctuating Hydrothermal Pools: A Scenario to Guide Experimental Approaches to the Origin of Cellular Life in the journal Life and PDF version here.

Video and Audio


Jul 2015: A two part talk at the Strelley Pool stromatolite discovery outcrop by the Shaw River, Western Australia, Part 1: David Deamer's talk and Part 2: Bruce Damer's talk introduced by Malcolm Walter, UNSW and recorded and produced by Tara Djokic.

Apr 2015: Bruce Damer's TEDx talk: In the Beginning: The Origin & Purpose of Life

Jan 2015: Bruce Damer and David Deamer's SETI Institute presentation: A New Model for the Origin of Life

Aug 2015: Levity Zone podcast of Bruce Damer's TEDx talk and Astrobiology Science Conference talk, Chicago July 2015

A project of