Next Article in Journal
Life Origination Hydrate Hypothesis (LOH-Hypothesis)
Previous Article in Journal
Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Life 2012, 2(1), 106-134; doi:10.3390/life2010106

Is Life Unique?

Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics, Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc., 113-120 Hedgewood Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
Received: 17 November 2011 / Revised: 16 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 30 December 2011
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [454 KB, uploaded 30 December 2011]   |  

Abstract

Is life physicochemically unique? No. Is life unique? Yes. Life manifests innumerable formalisms that cannot be generated or explained by physicodynamics alone. Life pursues thousands of biofunctional goals, not the least of which is staying alive. Neither physicodynamics, nor evolution, pursue goals. Life is largely directed by linear digital programming and by the Prescriptive Information (PI) instantiated particularly into physicodynamically indeterminate nucleotide sequencing. Epigenomic controls only compound the sophistication of these formalisms. Life employs representationalism through the use of symbol systems. Life manifests autonomy, homeostasis far from equilibrium in the harshest of environments, positive and negative feedback mechanisms, prevention and correction of its own errors, and organization of its components into Sustained Functional Systems (SFS). Chance and necessity—heat agitation and the cause-and-effect determinism of nature’s orderliness—cannot spawn formalisms such as mathematics, language, symbol systems, coding, decoding, logic, organization (not to be confused with mere self-ordering), integration of circuits, computational success, and the pursuit of functionality. All of these characteristics of life are formal, not physical. View Full-Text
Keywords: formalism; prescriptive information (PI); sustained functional systems (SFS); functional sequence complexity (FSC); the law of organizational and cybernetic decline (The OCD Law); the formalism > physicality (F > P) principle; choice-contingent causation and control (CCCC); the cybernetic cut; the configurable switch (CS) bridge; the organization (O) principle formalism; prescriptive information (PI); sustained functional systems (SFS); functional sequence complexity (FSC); the law of organizational and cybernetic decline (The OCD Law); the formalism > physicality (F > P) principle; choice-contingent causation and control (CCCC); the cybernetic cut; the configurable switch (CS) bridge; the organization (O) principle
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Abel, D.L. Is Life Unique? Life 2012, 2, 106-134.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Life EISSN 2075-1729 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top