The small solid particles in the space between the stars provide the surfaces for the production of many simple and complex molecules. Processes involving the effects of ultraviolet irradiation of the thin (hundredth micron) mantles are shown to produce a wide range of molecules and ions also seen in comets. Some of the more complex ones inferred from laboratory experiments are expected to play an important role in the origin of life. An outline of the chemical evolution of interstellar dust as observed and as studied in the laboratory is presented. Observations of comets are shown to provide substantial evidence for their being fluffy aggregates of interstellar dust as it was in the protosolar nebula, i.e. the interstellar cloud which collapsed to form the solar system. The theory that comets may have brought the progenitors of life to the earth is summarized.