Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 43, 2008

Philosophy of Natural Sciences

Walter Riofrio
Pages 185-191

Self-Organizing Dynamics of a Minimal Protocell
Implications for Evolutionary Theory

In this paper, we present an argument showing why the general properties of a self-organizing system (e.g. being far from equilibrium) may be too weak to characterize biological and proto-biological systems. The special character of biological systems, tell us that its distinctive capacities could have been developed in pre-biotic times. In other words, the basic properties of life would be better comprehended if we think that they were much more likely early in time. We developed a conceptual proposal on the origins of pre-biotic world, a kind of protocellular system which is made up of simple molecular compounds interconnecting three different types of processes. The interrelation of these processes characterizes the “Informational Dynamical System” (our conceptual protocell proposal) as an autonomous dynamical system that can maintain by itself in far from equilibrium state, as opposed to those that depend on external causes. Consequently it follows that, in the dawn of pre-biotic world, there was no DNA or RNA or proteins to begin with. As well, our proposal implies the separation of biological evolution from the kind of open-ended evolution that gave rise to first breed of animate matter.