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Tom Holroyd tomh at BAMBI.CCS.FAU.EDU
Tue Jan 10 23:44:22 EST 1995

Well, so far the response has been that abiogenesis (spontaneous
generation) is OK as long as the form that appears is undifferentiated.
Maggots or even bacteria cannot spontaneously appear; they are too
complex.  So that leaves us with: what is undifferentiated life?  Is an
autocatalytic set sufficiently generalized and undifferentiated?  Is it
alive?	Or is some measure of compartmentalization required to define a
discrete entity?  That would probably constitute a differentiation, though.
Perhaps the entire primordial ocean (or maybe just the ocean bottom)
could be considered alive, with the entity's boundaries being supplied by
pre-existing structures.  No DNA, no RNA, no genetic material at all,
just a lot of metabolism in a big chemical reactor.  Is it alive?
Has abiogenesis occurred?

Tom Holroyd
Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences		   The basis of
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431 USA	   stability is
tomh at bambi.ccs.fau.edu					   instability.
The 9th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

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