Jan 31, 2006

Self-other organization: why early life did not evolve through natural selection

Journal of Theoretical Biology
Liane Gabora

Abstract

The improbability of a spontaneously generated self-assembling molecule has suggested that life began with a set of simpler, collectively replicating elements, such as an enclosed autocatalytic set of polymers (or protocell). Since replication occurs without a self-assembly code, acquired characteristics are inherited. Moreover, there is no strict distinction between alive and dead; one can only infer that a protocell was alive if it replicates. These features of early life render natural selection inapplicable to the description of its change-of-state because they defy its underlying assumptions. Moreover, natural selection describes only randomly generated novelty; it cannot describe the emergence of form at the interface between organism and environment. Self-organization is also inadequate because it is restricted to interactions amongst parts; it too cannot account for context-driven change. A modified version of selection theory or self-organization would not work because the description of change-of-state through interaction with an incompletely specified context has a completely different mathematical structure, i.e. entails a non-Kolmogorovian probability model. It is proposed that the evolution of early life is approp...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Amino Acids, I.V. solution additive
Menopause
Biological Adaptation
Sexual Reproduction
Probability Theory
Theory of Evolution
Genetic Inheritance
Vesicle
Metabolic Pathway

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