Guyau

How Life? (How Value)

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A view of man . . . is not a primary; it rests on metaphysics and epistemology . . . . However, a philosophic view of man is not exhausted by metaphysics and epistemology, nor does it at every point follow deductively from them; fresh observations are required. . . . (Peikoff 1991, 188)

If a fundamental difference is one which has enormous, pervasive manifestations, then the most fundamental difference among entities we perceive is that between the animate and the inanimate. . . . Man is a certain kind of living organism. What is an organism? (189)

The fact of life—of conditional, goal-directed entities—has profound philosophical significance. It is a key to the nature of man and . . . a necessary and sufficient condition to the existence of values. (191)

The Origin of Life on the Earth

Leslie E. Orgel

Scientific American (Oct 1994)

Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of the RNA World

Leslie E. Orgel (2004)

Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 39(2):99–123.

A Simpler Origin for Life

Robert Shapiro

Scientific American (Jun 2007)

Synthesizing Life

Jack W. Szostak, David P. Bartel, and P. Luigi Luisi (2001)

Nature 409:387–390

Designing a New Molecule of Life

Peter E. Nielsen

Scientific American (Dec 2008)

What Is Life?

Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Ed Regis

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2008

Protocells: Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter

Edited by S. Rasmussen, M. A. Bedau, L. Chen, D. Deamer, D. C. Krakauer, N. H. Packard, and P. F. Stadler

MIT 2008

From the mineral periodotite, together with water, CO2, and geothermal heat, come organic compounds good for making life (without sunlight): the organic acids formate and acetate as well as gases such as methane. At Lost City Hydrothermal Fields, the proportion of carbon 13 to carbon 12 in the lipids of native microbes is not the proportion in carbon derived from CO2-producing organisms. Life on earth may have emerged in vent systems similar to Lost City.

Scientific American – December 2009 (pages 62–67)

Alexander S. Bradley (See also.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rand’s Concept of Biology

Part 1

Part 2

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A view of man . . . is not a primary; it rests on metaphysics and epistemology . . . . However, a philosophic view of man is not exhausted by metaphysics and epistemology, nor does it at every point follow deductively from them; fresh observations are required. . . . (Peikoff 1991, 188)

If a fundamental difference is one which has enormous, pervasive manifestations, then the most fundamental difference among entities we perceive is that between the animate and the inanimate. . . . Man is a certain kind of living organism. What is an organism? (189)

The fact of life—of conditional, goal-directed entities—has profound philosophical significance. It is a key to the nature of man and . . . a necessary and sufficient condition to the existence of values. (191)

The Origin of Life on the Earth

Leslie E. Orgel

Scientific American (Oct 1994)

Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of the RNA World

Leslie E. Orgel (2004)

Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 39(2):99–123.

A Simpler Origin for Life

Robert Shapiro

Scientific American (Jun 2007)

Synthesizing Life

Jack W. Szostak, David P. Bartel, and P. Luigi Luisi (2001)

Nature 409:387–390

Designing a New Molecule of Life

Peter E. Nielsen

Scientific American (Dec 2008)

What Is Life?

Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Ed Regis

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2008

Protocells: Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter

Edited by S. Rasmussen, M. A. Bedau, L. Chen, D. Deamer, D. C. Krakauer, N. H. Packard, and P. F. Stadler

MIT 2008

From the mineral periodotite, together with water, CO2, and geothermal heat, come organic compounds good for making life (without sunlight): the organic acids formate and acetate as well as gases such as methane. At Lost City Hydrothermal Fields, the proportion of carbon 13 to carbon 12 in the lipids of native microbes is not the proportion in carbon derived from CO2-producing organisms. Life on earth may have emerged in vent systems similar to Lost City.

Scientific American – December 2009 (pages 62–67)

Alexander S. Bradley (See also.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rand’s Concept of Biology

Part 1

Part 2

Edited by Leonid

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Man is a certain kind of living organism. What is an organism?"

" A material system is an organism if, and only if, it is closed to efficient causation...We claim that everything else about organisms, everything studied in biology by biologists, and much else beside, arises from and devolves upon this property" (Life itself, by Rosen, Ch.10). Values exist only because man as any living organism can anticipate future goals and act upon them. These goals are the cause of his actions. "...the senses can only provide a subset of the needed information; the organism must correct the measured values and guess at the needed missing ones."..."Indeed, even the best guesses can only be an approximation to reality - perception is a creative process." (Fischler and Firschein, 1987, 233). Or as Ayn Rand put it " to know how to want-isn't it life itself?" (We, The Living).

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Lab runs a natural selection taking single-cell organisms to multicellular cooperative clusters: Yeast

One step in pursuit of an entirely artificial living cell: Self-Assembling Cell Membrane

Those stories and other like them are available from Greg, who is maintaining a growing collection of them.

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.

A chromosome of yeast has now been made by man.

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A chromosome of yeast has now been made by man.

That raises my hopes as well as my bread.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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