Life 2012, 2(4), 313-322; doi:10.3390/life2040313

The Chemical Origin of Behavior is Rooted in Abiogenesis

Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2012; in revised form: 29 September 2012 / Accepted: 2 November 2012 / Published: 7 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper)
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Abstract: We describe the initial realization of behavior in the biosphere, which we term behavioral chemistry. If molecules are complex enough to attain a stochastic element to their structural conformation in such as a way as to radically affect their function in a biological (evolvable) setting, then they have the capacity to behave. This circumstance is described here as behavioral chemistry, unique in its definition from the colloquial chemical behavior.  This transition between chemical behavior and behavioral chemistry need be explicit when discussing the root cause of behavior, which itself lies squarely at the origins of life and is the foundation of choice.  RNA polymers of sufficient length meet the criteria for behavioral chemistry and therefore are capable of making a choice.
Keywords: behavior; chemistry; free will; RNA; origins of life

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MDPI and ACS Style

Larson, B.C.; Jensen, R.P.; Lehman, N. The Chemical Origin of Behavior is Rooted in Abiogenesis. Life 2012, 2, 313-322.

AMA Style

Larson BC, Jensen RP, Lehman N. The Chemical Origin of Behavior is Rooted in Abiogenesis. Life. 2012; 2(4):313-322.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Larson, Brian C.; Jensen, R. P.; Lehman, Niles. 2012. "The Chemical Origin of Behavior is Rooted in Abiogenesis." Life 2, no. 4: 313-322.

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