Historical Development of the Distinction between Bio- and Abiogenesis.
Robert B. Sheldon
NASA/MSFC/NSSTC, 320 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL, USA
Early greek philosophers laid the philosophical foundations of the distinction between bio and abiogenesis, when they debated organic and non-organic explanations for natural phenomena. Plato and Aristotle gave organic, or purpose-driven explanations for physical phenomena, whereas the materialist school of Democritus and Epicurus gave non-organic, or materialist explanations. These competing schools have alternated in popularity through history, with the present era dominated by epicurean schools of thought. Present controversies concerning evidence for exobiology and biogenesis have many aspects which reÃ‚Â°ect this millennial debate. Therefore this paper traces a selected history of this debate with some modern, 20th century developments due to quantum mechanics. It finishes with an application of quantum information theory to several exobiology debates.
Keywords: Biogenesis, Abiogenesis, Aristotle, Epicurus, Materialism, Information Theory
For paper, go here: http://bex.nsstc.uah.edu/RbS/PDF/spie05b.pdf.