David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 55 (2) (2007)
This paper suggests that the energy flow on which all living structures depend only started up slowly, the low-energy, initial phase starting up a second, slightly more energetic phase, and so on. In this way, the build up of the energy flow follows a bootstrapping process similar to that found in the development of computers, the first generation making possible the calculations necessary for constructing the second one, etc. In the biogenetic upstart of an energy flow, non-metals in the lower periods of the Periodic Table of Elements would have constituted the most primitive systems, their operation being enhanced and later supplanted by elements in the higher periods that demand more energy. This bootstrapping process would put the development of the metabolisms based on the second period elements carbon, nitrogen and oxygen at the end of the evolutionary process rather than at, or even before, the biogenetic event.
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Citations of this work BETA
Gerard A. J. M. Jagers op Akkerhuis (2010). Towards a Hierarchical Definition of Life, the Organism, and Death. Foundations of Science 15 (3):245-262.
Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis (2011). Explaining the Origin of Life is Not Enough for a Definition of Life. Foundations of Science 16 (4):327-329.
Rob Hengeveld (2011). Definitions of Life Are Not Only Unnecessary, but They Can Do Harm to Understanding. Foundations of Science 16 (4):323-325.
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