Order without Design
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CitationKurakin, Alexei. 2010. Order without design. Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling 7:12.
AbstractExperimental reality in molecular and cell biology, as revealed by advanced research technologies and methods, is manifestly inconsistent with the design perspective on the cell, thus creating an apparent paradox: where do order and reproducibility in living systems come from if not from design? I suggest that the very idea of biological design (whether evolutionary or intelligent) is a misconception rooted in the time-honored and thus understandably precious error of interpreting living systems/organizations in terms of classical mechanics and equilibrium thermodynamics. This error, introduced by the founders and perpetuated due to institutionalization of science, is responsible for the majority of inconsistencies, contradictions, and absurdities plaguing modern sciences, including one of the most startling paradoxes - although almost everyone agrees that any living organization is an open nonequilibrium system of continuous energy/matter flow, almost everyone interprets and models living systems/organizations in terms of classical mechanics, equilibrium thermodynamics, and engineering, i.e., in terms and concepts that are fundamentally incompatible with the physics of life. The reinterpretation of biomolecules, cells, organisms, ecosystems, and societies in terms of open nonequilibrium organizations of energy/matter flow suggests that, in the domain of life, order and reproducibility do not come from design. Instead, they are natural and inevitable outcomes of self-organizing activities of evolutionary successful, and thus persistent, organizations co-evolving on multiple spatiotemporal scales as biomolecules, cells, organisms, ecosystems, and societies. The process of self-organization on all scales is driven by economic competition, obeys empirical laws of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and is facilitated and, thus, accelerated by memories of living experience persisting in the form of evolutionary successful living organizations and their constituents.
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