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sakellakis, m. (2013). Origin of life. PHILICA.COM Article number 369.

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Origin of life

minas sakellakisunconfirmed user (University of Patras)

Published in bio.philica.com

i am arguing that life is an open system that is getting energy from the sun.BUT i am also arguing that if you consider life as a WHOLE (without dividing it into species ,organisms, etc) ,you get a sum of just RANDOM chemical reactions.
The natural history of these reactions led to the forms we see today.Through our perspective, while we are studying this history, we see it as evolution. We see everywhere determinism, but its only because we are the results of all these.

Article body

When somebody is studying the phenomenon of
viruses ,he can see that when viruses are not coming in contact with a host
organism, they are a sum of chemical compounds that do not fulfill the
criteria to be considered alive.While on the other hand they start reacting with a
host, or in other words they start making chemical reactions with the compounds
of the host,they become alive.The same thing happens with prions ,which are
proteinaceous compounds that while they react with proteins of the host, they
become alive in a way…..Lets hypothesize that we make the hypothesis
that:No living organism is possible to remain unchanged structurally.Lets
hypothesize that this rule is principal in nature and nothing could go beyond it or prove
that it is untrue.In other words, if we let viruses dictate what is life and
what is not, what would the result be? What would that mean to the way that we see
the world? First of all lets make clear what we mean: An
organism that would remain unchanged structurally during a very small
period of time,would be considered as not living for that period. When we say
unchanged we mean of course that there are not taking place any chemical reactions
inside it.Maybe there is a single cell inside an organism that is unchanged,but
the rest of the cells are changing.In that 
case, we say  that this organism
has a dead cell,but the organism as a whole is alive.Maybe this cell would be
able to regain life if it reacts with the appropriate signals. But maybe not.

If we want to see the consequences of our
hypothesis in the nature we meet the question:what is the least that can be
considered as life?For example, a mitochondrion can be considered life according
to what we said, but a simple chemical molecule cannot,unless it reacts with
another molecule or substance.At the moment of the reaction these two
substances are the least that is considerd life.So, a simple chemical reaction, while happening ,is the simpliest
form of life, or else, the sparkle of life.This  means that the superior organisms as well asall  organisms are  summations of chemical reactions.

Another important consequence of the
hypothesis is this:Living creatures are the sum of their chemical reactions as we said.While
they are getting older,they are suffering a process that is called aging.They
are changing, especially structurally.Obviously they are getting
different.This means that the chemical reactions that are composing their body,are
different from that  before.If these chemical reactions were
remaining unchanged forever,then the body would be the same,and that means that the body
would stay forever young and forever alive.

Lets make an imaginary experiment:

Assume  a simple chemical reaction A+B->C+D.Lets
consider that C and D are gases and are expelled from the place of
the reaction.The quantities of A and B will get lesser and lesser because they are
becoming C and D,Or else they are suffering a chemical transformation.

Lets see now another chemical reaction:A+B->C+D->E+F .Lets consider that E and F are gasses.That
means that the quantities of A,B,C,D will be lowering unless we put in the mixture
exactly the quantities of A and B that are being transformed into C and D every
moment.So there is an exact amount, as well as exact rhythm of adding A
and B that would keep the reaction unchangeable.Lets consider now a very simple
organism that is composed from the reactions :A+B->C+D->E+F…………->Y+Z.Lets say that A and B
are food supplements and Y and Z are compounds expelled
from the organism.Of course the real organisms are much more complicated.If
that organism ate theoretically a certain amount of food in a certain way,
then the reactions of this organism would remained the same forever.[C,D,E,F……are
all compounds of the organism.].If we didn't give the exact food
,then the reactions would change ,dependently on the how far we are from that
ideal food .In the same manner we can say that all living organisms are a sum of
chemical reactions that start with digestion,and end up with the waste products
of metabolism.
As a result we can say that, in a theoretical
basis,if an organism ate exactly a certain amount,quality and quantity of foods
in a certain way,then it could prevent the changing of its reactions and as a
result it could prevent the aging process,expanding its lifespan.Of course this
is something very difficult to happen in real life because there are numerous things
that plays their role and of course things are not that simple. One important clue that suggests that what we
said is true, is the recent discovery that living organisms that follow a
calorie restricted diet,can expand their lifespan, in some cases as much as  60 per cent.This is not a proof that what we said is true,but it is positive for the
theory the fact that  that the changing
of caloric menu has as a result a change in lifespan.Perhaps a certain
diet causes an ever greater extension.It remains to be proved…(I think
this is an easy way also  to test
experimentally if living organisms are behaving like a sum of chemical
rections, or something else, for instance like self regulating objects.One can
also study the decaying pattern of living organisms when we are moving into
more and more hostile environments.In other words, what we assumed, is easily
testable and falsifiable.)

As we said, living organisms are  summations of chemical reactions.What happens now when they die? There is a disorder
in a system of reactions (for example brain necrosis, which means that in a
large number of neural cells there is a stop in the reactions happening there)
that leads in a chain reaction way to a disorder in other reactions and then in others
and so on.The final result is that there is a necrosis in the whole body, in a chain reaction way.

What is the difference between a man that is
alive and a man that is dead?In both cases the body is consisted from the same
elements and compounds.But in the first case these compounds are reacting
with each other and the structure of the body changes every moment.In the second
case the chemical reactions of the body are lead to an equillibrium and so the
composition of the body remains unchanged.The structure of a dead man cannot
change if there are no microorganisms in its environment.

The new hypothesis also assumes that life
existed before the first cell,in the form of chemical reactions. Scientists generally accepts that life was
originated from the first cell,which was the first cell on earth, and composed the first
thing that was a form of life. The evolution of this cell had as a result the
formation of life the way that we know and see today. A problem with this idea is
that, as we know, if we had just a single cell in earth right now, and out of it
there was nothing, then not only this would not lead to the formation of more
complicated forms of life,but this single cell soon would be dead.The new theory that we
introduced claims that it was not necessary to be a first single cell to start the evolutionary
process that would lead to life as we know it today, but assumes  that life preexisted , because even a single
chemical reaction is a form of life.The creation of the
first cell actually is the result of the existence of life.

Lets see now another problem: In the
beginning, life on earth was simplier than today. That means that there was a system(network)
of chemical reactions that gave its place to a more complicated one, and the
system was getting more and more complicated, with more reactions happening.This
sounds a bit strange because if a system of chemical reactions does not get energy from
outside, leads to an equilibrium state. If we accept that our new theory is
true,this  means that there had to be an external source of energy{probably the large
quantities of energy that comes everyday on earth from the light of the sun)
that lead not only to the survival of the first forms of life, but also in their

To make it clear, imagine that with the help
of a sourse of light we cultivate in a way,some chemical reactions in a small place.After a
period of time,they are getting more and more complicated.Lets hypothesize that
someday the whole system becomes extremely complicated.We get to a point where
we see nothing more but a mixture of colours and shapes.This is life.But human is a part of
this complicated system which means that he sees things in a mirror like
way,because he is in the system.So it is very difficult for him to see life in an objective
way, because he is running inside the whole system.It is all a matter of
perspective. It is clear from this point of view that
nature does not promote a certain form of life,but what we
see,is the result of the sum of the reactions that happened through history. The
complex organic compounds that are composing living creatures probably are the results of many years of reactions, or else they are the fingerprints
of the reactions from the beginning of all the reactions till today

The property of reproduction in living beings
that are chemical reactions seems to actually be a result of the energy that
forces the chemical reactions to continue happening.Life continues because chemical
reactions continue.We, as an internal part of this system, see this as regeneration
of the creatures, but its only because we are running inside the system.

But someone might ask: :How can random chemical ractions manage to replicate themselves?

But….. I
think its obvious that in a chaos of chemical reactions, only those with some
kind of repeatability and periodicity will not lead to a dead end and will be
able to continue In the long term.So, generally, these are the ones that
survived, and that's what through our perspective receive as reproduction.

What happens with the entropy of living
systems that are chemical reactions?The energy that comes externally on earth in the
form of light could explain the lowering of entropy.However ,if in the
beggining there where 2 or 3 reactions and after a while there were getting  more and more complicated, seems that the entropy of the whole living system on earth or
else nature, is raising.But remember that previously we said that human is
not a neutral observer of things, but he is changing together with the
system.This confuses him.What impact has that?It means that if human entropy is raising
slower than the whole living systems entropy ,he will think that his entropy is
lowering.Its something like relativity of motion.One exaple is this :Imagine a large
number of birds that are flying one next to other to the same direction.If we tell
them to fly one apart from the other,so the group will start separating, the entropy
of the system will start raising.Imagine also that there are three
birds that are very close to each other,somewhere in the group.If they separate
with less speed than the others and we consider these 3 birds as a system,the
systems entropy will actually lower relatively with the whole system of the birds.To conclude, human can only judge entropy only
in a relativistic manner, due to the subjectivity in which he is doomed!

Living organisms normally are not dying
because the chemical reactions that are composing them are continuing happening.If we
analyze all these reactions we will have a very good view of  their homeostasis and the way they sustain themselves.As we said we are seeing the world
from the inside , or else in a mirror like direction, because we ourselves
are a part of things, so we appreciate things from its results.We think that homeostasis
and self-sustainability are  very magical and perfect mechanisms, because we are
the result of homeostasis, but the theory that we analyzed says that
homeostasis simply is the catalogue of the chemical reactions that are still happening,
and just because they keep happening, the organism is alive.In other
words, we find a purpose in every single reaction or procedure, but it's only
because of our perspective.

Lets come now to the position to answer if the
spores that some microorganisms form(e.g.
cryptobiosis,anhydrobiosis etc) are living forms.If their metabolism  exists but it cant be detected because it is
so weak, then they don't differ in anything from
the other organisms.If their metabolism is absolute zero, then the answer
gets more complicated.The fact is that it doesnt matter what it is, because the
question is useless.Life as we see it is simply the result of the chemical reactions
on earth.As we said ,we are part of the system and we dont realize it, but if we
were alien forms of life for example, and we were watching the earth from outer
space, then we would see only a very complicated network of reactions that are
becoming more and more complicated because of the energy of light.This system
would have different structural forms, colours, etc.So, what happens with the spores
is that because they face very unfriendly conditions ,the certain chemical
reactions stop happening or they are lowering their rate.According to our
definition, they are not life, but what is life?Life seems to be more an invention of
us,or else a term that we use to describe anything that looks like us
functionally.This is the reason why simple chemical reactions in the lab, or
even fire are not considered life ,even though they are chemical reactions
too.The are way too simple , and they don't resemble us enough functionally so
they can be perceived by us as alive. An organism is the reactions that we see, and
we think they are something amazing because we see them
separately from all the other reactions that are happening in the world.We judge them
from their result, which is that they become like us.We are a part of the
reactions that are happening as well, and while we see organisms that look like us,
we think they are independent creatures, but actually they cant be separated
from the whole soup of reactions.The spores are becoming as they were
before because their reactions start happening, and they start looking like
us.There is not such a thing as homeostasis actually.

Of course, when we are talking about chains of
chemical reactions, we do not mean it in the simplistic way, that they are
in a chain, and everything is happening in an order, where the formed
substance goes to the next position to react with the next substrate etc. Things in
nature are much more random, and it is difficult sometimes for us to detect which
is the next step.One of the major difficulties are some passive phenomena that
happen, such as plasma flow, passive diffusion through membranes because of
differences in concentration, or electrical gradients, excretion through ducts,
etc.The latter are phenomena that happen passively ,due to the laws of nature
and are not defining life, the way the chemical reactions do. To be more symbolical,
they play the role that scientists play in a chemical lab:they transfer the
substances from one tube to another, arrange the conditions, etc.But the chemical
reactions are the big difference.

In this point, someone would ask:Why are the forms of life the way they
are today?In other words, what gave them their shape, and their characteristics?How can
simple reactions lead to the complicated forms we see today?The answer is that the forms we
see today are the result of what had happened, so we(the results), see ourselves as the
most capable to survive, which is true, because thats what happened.One way or another,
the results(the final reactions) survived a procedure, and so, for their own eyes, they are
the most capable to survive.Even a  single
characteristic has its meaning.

Somebody might ask:ok the basic forms of life is
chemistry , but as we go higher , we find levels of organisation.
no!!there is no organization the way we mean it.functions
like killing, walking ,talking etc gives some reactions an advantage to survive
over others.But ,surviving is only important because of us.If you ask an
observer outside the system of life, he will not find any organization in these
functions, because their results mean nothing to them

Information about this Article
Peer-review ratings (from 1 review, where a score of 100 represents the ‘average’ level):
Originality = 25.00, importance = 25.00, overall quality = 25.00
This Article was published on 3rd March, 2013 at 23:51:20 and has been viewed 7021 times.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
The full citation for this Article is:
sakellakis, m. (2013). Origin of life. PHILICA.COM Article number 369.

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1 Peer review [reviewer #57950unconfirmed user] added 15th March, 2013 at 23:01:30

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There may be other sources copied and pasted. The user names are similar, so there may be the arguement that this is the same author as the posts I linked to above. However, that is self-plagiarism and those sources still need to be cited appropriately.

This is part of what I argued in June (2012, 2013).

June, F. 2013. An update on the rate of plagiarism occuring in Philica articles. PHILICA.COM Article Number 370.

June, F. 2012. Increase in the incidence of plagiarism in Philica articles. PHILICA.COM Article Number 330.

Originality: 1, Importance: 1, Overall quality: 1

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