blue plume.jpg


The mother of all affordances, as it were, is the place where physics becomes chemistry becomes biology and life, and it looks like this - the geothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean.
see here for more detail ...
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1622/20120253.abstract.html?etoc
Some extracts from the papers ...
"Life is the use of chemical energy in such a way that the energy-harnessing device makes a copy of itself. No energy, no evolution. The ‘modern synthesis’ of the past century explained evolution in terms of genes, but this is only part of the story. While the mechanisms of natural selection are correct, and increasingly well understood, they do little to explain the actual trajectories taken by life on Earth. From a cosmic perspective—what is the probability of life elsewhere in the Universe, and what are its probable traits?—a gene-based view of evolution says almost nothing".
Or in more technical language ...
"Life is evolutionarily the most complex of the emergent symmetry-breaking, macroscopically organized dynamic structures in the Universe. Members of this cascading series of disequilibria-converting systems, or engines in Cottrell's terminology, become ever more complicated—more chemical and less physical—as each engine extracts, exploits and generates ever lower grades of energy and resources in the service of entropy generation. Each one of these engines emerges spontaneously from order created by a particular mother engine or engines, as the disequilibrated potential daughter is driven beyond a critical point"