Sci 1 (3) (2020)

Don Dcruz
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
We address the need for a model by considering two competing theories regarding the origin of life: (i) the Metabolism First theory, and (ii) the RNA World theory. We discuss two interrelated points, namely: (i) Models are valuable tools for understanding both the processes and intricacies of origin-of-life issues, and (ii) Insights from models also help us to evaluate the core objection to origin-of-life theories, called “the inefficiency objection”, which is commonly raised by proponents of both the Metabolism First theory and the RNA World theory against each other. We use Simpson’s Paradox (SP) as a tool for challenging this objection. We will use models in various senses, ranging from taking them as representations of reality to treating them as theories/accounts that provide heuristics for probing reality. In this paper, we will frequently use models and theories interchangeably. Additionally, we investigate Conway’s Game of Life and contrast it with our SP-based approach to emergence-of-life issues. Finally, we discuss some of the consequences of our view. A scientific model is testable in three senses: (i) a logical sense, (ii) a nomological sense, and (iii) a current technological sense. The SP-based model is testable in the first two senses but it is not feasible to test it using current technology.
Keywords Simpson’s paradox  emergence of life  game of life  astrobiology
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.Pierre Conway (ed.) - 1962 - College of St. Mary of the Springs.

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