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Origin of Life - Self-assembly, Self-organization, and Emergent Phenomena


Contents

Origin of Life
Self-assembly
Self-organization
Emergent Phenomena
A Living Example Close to the Origin of Life

Origin of Life

There is an extensive expose on the "Origin of Life" in another section of this website. In spite of all the circumstantial evidences, it is still unclear why the transition to life from non-life did not need a helping hand (a.k.a. God). The mystery could be dispelled by learning more
Origin of Life about the concepts of self-assembly, self-organization and the phenomena of emergence (from the prebiotic soup, Figure 01). The explanations are all based on the science of physics and chemistry although ultimately life could be better described at the level of biology. Thus, life is inevitable provided the condition is right. For example, the hydrogen bond so important for maintaining the

Figure 01 Origin of Life
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structure of life will be disrupted not too much above room temperature; and the structure becomes frozen if temperature is low enough for the van der Waals force to take over.

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Self-assembly

Self-assembly is the process in which a disordered system with many components turns into an orderly and stable structure (at equilibrium with minimum energy configuration) without external direction. The process has the following features :