Causal Circularity in Biology

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Solving the problem of the origin of the first cell is not limited to assembling the necessary organic materials, nor even to restricting them only to those of the appropriate chirality. The problem goes much deeper than a parts list, because everything in the cell functions in relation to everything else. This is seen most clearly in the relationship between DNA, RNA, and protein. But it goes beyond this. Perhaps surprisingly to some, even if an entire genome, all proteins, lipids, sugars, ribosomes, and organelles were present in their proper places, the cell would be a dead husk without the necessary addition of a few compounds, which are themselves dependent on the presence of each other. This leads to a kind of causal knot, or circularity, that the sword of Darwin cannot cleave. We will discuss possible reasons for this and its implications.

Vortrag von Dr. Ann Gauger am 31. Mai 2019 in Waidhofen / Thaya anlässlich der Eröffnung des Zentrums für BioKomplexität & NaturTeleologie: