“The intellectual power, honesty, lucidity, courage, and disinterested love of the truth of the most gifted thinkers of the eighteenth century remain to this day without parallel. Their age is one of the best and most hopeful episodes in the life of mankind.” – Isaiah Berlin
There is a book titled ‘Consilience: the unity of knowledge‘ by E.O.Wilson. Buy it, and read it. It’s worth more than a hundred iPhones, unless the said iPhones have copies of the Consilience on it.
The book had such profound impact on me when I was growing up, I really think I should do a review/post on the book and some of its themes one of these days. It came out years ago yet the prescient insight of E.O. Wilson rings true to this very day in many fields of human endeavor. I had the chance to listen to his talk live in the closing event during the wonderful World Science Festival in NYC, and I should say he still seem to retain that certain edge even after all these years. I guess that’s what we Koreans call No-Ik-Jang for you. If only I wasn’t so shy to ask him for an autograph on my copy of the book. I feel like a kid who lost a winning lottery ticket.
Now that I think about it I should also do a post on the World Science Festival while the memory’s still fresh… So many things to write about, so little time to write them.
A quick note from a book before I fall asleep and forget about it…
Life Explained by Michel Morange (ISBN 978-0-300-13732-3)
1952: J.Perrett “Life is a potentially self-perpetuating open system of linked organic reactions, catalyzed stepwise and almost isothermally by complex and specific organic catalysts which are themselves produced by the system.”
-corresponds to 1/2 Joyce, representative of Autopoietic class models of self-organization.
Alvaro Moreno Bergareche, Julio Fernandez Ostoloza
1)life implies spatio-temporal structure
3)organisms store information that encodes a description of themselves
4)all organisms possess metabolism-set of chemical reactions-that convert matter and energy from the environment to a form that can be used by the organism
5)complex organisms functionally interact with the environment
6)all organisms exhibit interdependence among its components
7)all organisms attempt to stabilize themselves in the face of perturbations
(((autonomy+ability to process information)))
Above list is characteristic of computerized artificial life research mindset, modeling ‘higher’ complex organisms as a basic template for the characteristics of life.
Claude Bernard:characteristics at apex of evolution just as fundamental as universal base trait
Patrice David, Sarah Samandi
I. Identifying the properties that charcaterize life and determining which of them is essential
1)distinctive molecular constitution that differs from other physical objects
2)complex architecture maintained despite the constant transformations of the material substrate
3)capacity to reproduce, due to presence of information molecules
II. Decide which of the properties constitute a universal criterion for recognizing organisms in an environment different from that of the Earth