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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Dec > Dec 13

'New Way to Look at Dawn of Life'

From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 08:09:38 -0000
Archived: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 07:22:10 -0500
Subject: 'New Way to Look at Dawn of Life'

Hello List,

Here's a new article on a difficult question - titled 'New Way to
Look at Dawn of Life'


[Quotation Begins]

We propose that the transition from non-life to life is unique
and definable," added Davies. "We suggest that life may be
characterized by its distinctive and active use of information,
thus providing a roadmap to identify rigorous criteria for the
emergence of life. This is in sharp contrast to a century of
thought in which the transition to life has been cast as a
problem of chemistry, with the goal of identifying a plausible
reaction pathway from chemical mixtures to a living entity."

Focusing on informational development helps move away from some
of the inherent disadvantages of trying to pin down the
beginnings of chemical life.

"Chemical based approaches", Walker said, "have stalled at a very
early stage of chemical complexity - very far from anything we
would consider 'alive'. More seriously they suffer from
conceptual shortcomings in that they fail to distinguish between
chemistry and biology."

[Quotation Ends]

Which reminded me of John Barrow's definitions of life:

"Typically, it is reduced to some bare essentials, like the
ability to process and store information (if you are a computer
scientist), the facility to evolve by natural selection (if you
are a biologist), or simply non-equilibrium energy flow (if you
are a chemist)." p. 277 of 'The Constants of Nature'
ISBN 0-224-06135-6


Ray D

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