Contrasting theories of life: Historical context, current theories. In search of an ideal theory

  title={Contrasting theories of life: Historical context, current theories. In search of an ideal theory},
  author={Athel Cornish-Bowden and Mar{\'i}a Luz C{\'a}rdenas},
  journal={Bio Systems},

The essence of life revisited: how theories can shed light on it

Calculated simulations indicate that there is a limit to how small a self-organizing system can be: much smaller than a bacterial cell, but around the size of a typical virus particle.

Molecules, Information and the Origin of Life: What Is Next?

This manuscript would like to reappraise many fundamental aspects of molecular and chemical biology and reading them through a new paradigm, which includes Prigogine’s dissipative structures and informational Dissipation (Shannon dissipation), to provide readers with insightful clues about how biology and chemistry may be thoroughly revised, referring to new models, such as informational dissipation.

“Minimal metabolism”: A key concept to investigate the origins and nature of biological systems

Rather than providing a complete or final characterization of metabolism, the aim is to encourage further investigations on it, particularly in the context of life's origin, for which some concrete methodological suggestions are provided.

The hierarchical organization of autocatalytic reaction networks and its relevance to the origin of life

It is shown that, depending on the topological relationship of SDASs in a chemical reaction network, a food-driven system can accrete complexity in a historically contingent manner, governed by rare seeding events, and sequential activation of trophically organizedSDASs by seed chemicals that are not much more complex than what already exist could be a mechanism of gradual complexification from relatively simple abiotic reactions to more complex life-like systems.

A novel theory of life and its implications on viruses and robots

A novel theory of life is proposed and its implications on the viruses and the future robots are discussed. The universal laws of physics are inferred phenomena that originate from the observed

Emergence and advancement of basic human capacities

The article discusses anthropogenesis and stepwise emergence and advancement of human language and thought in a series of internalizations of communicative contexts (frames, typical communicative settings, mementoes and typical remembrances, etc.) into codes of the first, second, and further orders.

The ‘Is’ and the ‘Ought’ of the Animal Organism: Hegel’s Account of Biological Normativity

  • L. Corti
  • Philosophy
    History and philosophy of the life sciences
  • 2022
This paper investigates Hegel’s account of the animal organism as it is presented in the Philosophy of Nature, with a special focus on its normative implications. I argue that the notion of



The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life

This book provides an informed analysis of the challenges of formulating a universal theory of life, and a novel strategy for searching for unfamiliar life in the absence of a definition or general theory.

An Aristotelian account of minimal chemical life.

This paper proposes that a significant part of the controversy over life can be attributed to use of a Cartesian approach to explaining life, which seeks necessary and sufficient conditions for being an individual living organism, out of the context of other organisms and the abiotic environment.

Autopoiesis: a review and a reappraisal

Why the theory of autopoiesis had a difficult time being accepted into the mainstream of life-science research is commented on and how cognition, so defined, permits us to build a bridge between biology and cognitive science is shown.

The Origin of Life

Scientists believe that on the face of the authors' planet, molecules capable of replication might have constituted the earliest lifeform, and this molecule may be considered as the simplest embodiment of life.

Simulating a Model of Metabolic Closure

Metabolism-replacement systems, or (M, R)-systems, constitute a theory of life developed by Robert Rosen, characterized in the statement that organisms are closed to efficient causation, which means that they must themselves produce all the catalysts they need.

Beyond reductionism: Metabolic circularity as a guiding vision for a real biology of systems

The definition of life has excited little interest among molecular biologists during the past half‐century, and future advances, for example, for creating artificial life or for taking biotechnology beyond the level of tinkering, will need more serious attention to the question of what makes a living organism living.

Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report

Some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research are described and a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins- of-life studies is provided to guide researchers and students from all fields.

Charles Darwin as a theoretical biologist in the mechanistic tradition

A wide range of statements from his autobiography and letters show that Darwin worked explicitly in the hypothetico-deductive model, and shows an excellent scientist working effectively on conceptual issues, whilst searching for mechanisms that could be studied in the present and that would have operated in the past.

Attempts to Define Life Do Not Help to Understand the Origin of Life

  • J. Szostak
  • Biology
    Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics
  • 2012
Attempts to define life are irrelevant to scientific efforts to understand the origin of life, because such a definition would not further the understanding of the transitions involved or the nature of the physical and chemical forces driving those transitions.