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Pure and Applied Chemistry

The Scientific Journal of IUPAC

Ed. by Burrows, Hugh / Weir, Ron / Stohner, Jürgen

12 Issues per year


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Online
ISSN
1365-3075
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Volume 77, Issue 11 (Jan 2005)

Issues

Stability in chemistry and biology: Life as a kinetic state of matter

Addy Pross
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Chemistry, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, 84105, Israel
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2009-01-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200577111905

Despite the considerable advances in our understanding of biological processes, the physicochemical relationship between living and nonliving systems remains uncertain and a continuing source of controversy. In this review, we describe a kinetic model based on the concept of dynamic kinetic stability that attempts to incorporate living systems within a conventional physicochemical framework. Its essence: all replicating systems, both animate and inanimate, represent elements of a replicator space. However, in contrast to the world of nonreplicating systems (all inanimate), where selection is fundamentally thermodynamic, selection within replicator space is effectively kinetic. As a consequence, the nature of stability within the two spaces is of a distinctly different kind, which, in turn, leads to different physicochemical patterns of aggregation. Our kinetic approach suggests: (a) that all living systems may be thought of as manifesting a kinetic state of matter (as apposed to the traditional thermodynamic states associated with inanimate systems), and (b) that key Darwinian concepts, such as fitness and natural selection, are particular expressions of more fundamental physicochemical concepts, such as kinetic stability and kineticselection. The approach appears to provide an improved basis for understanding the physicochemical process of complexification by which life on earth emerged, as well as a means of relating life's defining characteristics - its extraordinary complexity, its far-from-equilibrium character, and its purposeful (teleonomic) nature - to the nature of that process of complexification.

Keywords: biological complexification; Emergence of life; kinetic stability; kinetic state of matter; natural selection; replicative chemistry; replicator space; teleonomic character

Conference

International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (ICPOC-17), International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry, ICPOC, Physical Organic Chemistry, 17th, Shanghai, China, 2004-08-15–2004-08-20

About the article

Published Online: 2009-01-01

Published in Print: 2005-01-01


Citation Information: Pure and Applied Chemistry, ISSN (Online) 1365-3075, ISSN (Print) 0033-4545, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200577111905.

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Citing Articles

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[1]
Liying Zhu
Nonlinear Dynamics, 2017, Volume 87, Number 2, Page 1217
[3]
Robert Pascal and Addy Pross
Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 2016, Volume 46, Number 4, Page 507
[4]
Nathaniel Wagner and Addy Pross
Entropy, 2011, Volume 13, Number 12, Page 518
[5]
Philippe Nghe, Wim Hordijk, Stuart A. Kauffman, Sara I. Walker, Francis J. Schmidt, Harry Kemble, Jessica A. M. Yeates, and Niles Lehman
Mol. BioSyst., 2015, Volume 11, Number 12, Page 3206
[6]
Addy Pross
Israel Journal of Chemistry, 2016, Volume 56, Number 1, Page 83
[7]
Robert Pascal and Addy Pross
Chem. Commun., 2015, Volume 51, Number 90, Page 16160
[8]
Robert Pascal
Israel Journal of Chemistry, 2015, Volume 55, Number 8, Page 865
[10]
R. Pascal, A. Pross, and J. D. Sutherland
Open Biology, 2013, Volume 3, Number 11, Page 130156
[11]
A. Pross and R. Pascal
Open Biology, 2013, Volume 3, Number 3, Page 120190
[12]
Addy Pross
Journal of Systems Chemistry, 2011, Volume 2, Number 1, Page 1
[13]
R. Hanel, M. Pochacker, and S. Thurner
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2010, Volume 368, Number 1933, Page 5583
[14]
Addy Pross
Chemistry - A European Journal, 2009, Volume 15, Number 34, Page 8374
[15]
Dejan Stokić, Rudolf Hanel, and Stefan Thurner
Physical Review E, 2008, Volume 77, Number 6
[16]
Addy Pross
Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry, 2008, Volume 21, Number 7-8, Page 724
[17]
R. Frederick Ludlow and Sijbren Otto
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008, Volume 37, Number 1, Page 101

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