Publication 1204

Zeleny M. (1981) Autogenesis: On the self-organization of life. In: Zeleny M. (ed.) Autopoiesis: A theory of living organization. Elsevier North Holland, New York NY: 91–115. Fulltext at
An alternative view of the emergence of “living” systems and a special concept of “life” itself are advanced here. We assume that the first “living” things must have emerged from “non-living” ones. There is no escaping from this simple logic. The transformation from non-life to life must have been natural, long and evolutionary – certainly not sudden, like a bolt of lightning. The key is autopoiesis – the cyclical and unity-maintaining organization of even the simplest, inorganic components that may lead to the initial auto-organization of life, or autogenesis. Living organisms are complex composites of both organic and inorganic elements. Nature does not make such distinctions, only some men do. By means of absorption and adsorption of primordial monomers, under the favorable thermodynamic conditions of the vast tidal zones, the autopoietic biomatrix and its self-renewing structures were gradually transformed from predominantly inorganic-molecular to mostly organic-polymeric. Continually, they spilled out into the waters from myriads of sources, and started on their parallel, predifferentiated evolutionary paths. Relevance: This paper discusses the theory of autopoietic systems based on the work of Maturana, Varela and Uribe.


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