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Origin of life as a chemical Eden?


Well, we can’t blame them for trying…

At Aeon:

Thinking of life in terms of energy challenges the very definition of life. ‘It’s not what life is,’ [Mike] Russell said. ‘It’s what life does.’ After all, you replace each atom in your body, on average, every few years. In that sense, life isn’t a thing so much as a manner of being, a restless fit of destruction and creation. If it can be defined at all, it is this: life is a self-sustaining, highly organised flux, a natural way that matter and energy express themselves under certain conditions.

Russell’s conception of our species, along with every other living thing, as mere energy patterns, ultimately born of rogue fluctuations in the Universe’s infancy, might make us feel a little less special. Then again, it might also make us feel a little less alone. We are descendants of an unbroken energetic lineage from the dawn of time. Darwin intuited this deep link between biology and physics, speculating that it is ‘probable that the principle of life will hereafter be shown to be part, or consequence, of some general law’. And, he might have added, there’s grandeur in this view of life, too. – Tim Requarth (January 11, 2016)

That was back in 2016. It was one of the more artistic origin of life theories. But they come and they go. Life goes on.


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