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Title: The key to defining life, death and the force driving evolution - organic chemistry-based-life versus artificial life - communication
Authors: De Loof, Arnold ×
Vanden Broeck, Jozef #
Issue Date: Jun-1995
Publisher: Societe royale zoologique de belgique
Series Title: Belgian journal of zoology vol:125 issue:1 pages:5-28
Abstract: Plausible definitions of ''life'' and ''death'' can be simply derived by combining the principles of compartmental organisation of the living state, with the principles of communication and those of Ilya Prigogine's ''dissipative systems''. Prokaryotes have only one compartmental level, but all other living systems have several, up to about fifteen in the tentative classification system we propose. From the principles of communication and information it can be understood why ''life'' is more than just part-and-parcel of chemistry and physics : information in itself has no units of force or energy. Since communication is the cornerstone of life, a living entity dies when it irreversibly looses its ability to communicate at its highest level of compartmental organization. It is not important that lower levels of compartmental organisation, if present, retain their ability to communicate. Since ''death'' is the irreversible end of ''life'', it follows that a compartment starts to live when it acquires the ability to communicate at its highest level of compartmentalisation. Therefore, a ''life activity'' (L) of compartment S at moment t is the total sum of all acts of communication (C) performed by this compartment (with its different levels of organization, from 1 to j) at moment t. This can be mathematically expressed as:
ISSN: 0777-6276
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Department of Biology - miscellaneous
Animal Physiology and Neurobiology Section - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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