Publication 3050

Heschl A. (1990) L = C. A simple Equation with astonishing consequences. Journal of Theoretical Biology 185: 13–40. Fulltext at
At first sight, life and cognition only seem to deal with each other in an indirect way, the former as is perhaps necessary as a precondition for the mere possibility of the latter. However, looking at the question more closely and especially when we include the central problem of the emergence of life from inanimate pre-stages, we arrive at a reasonable conclusion of complete identity between life process and cognitive act: through the spontaneous formation of living systems, i.e. of exceptionally stable processual structures far from the thermodynamic equilibrium, external influence – which only now can be opposed to internal correlations – is transformed into an adaptive integration or, in cognitive terms, into a meaningful interpretation by a (within limited conditions of stability surviving) living system. Thereby the purely quantitative notion of “information” has to be subjected to a decisive relativization, since it is not before the system formation itself that it makes sense to speak of information. Far-reaching conceptual consequences follow from the possibility of conclusively demonstrating the fundamental equation of life and cognition.


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