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' www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205918.htm [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 Cheers Ray D Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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