E2_WhatIsLife(1).pptx - Hierarchy of Life Emergence •...

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Hierarchy of Life
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Emergence Complexity arising from simplicity Occurs when "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts. Understanding emergence in simple systems may provide clues to how lifeless molecules led to living cells Emergence Video
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Emergence Emergent phenomena seem to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that inevitably everything in the universe becomes less ordered. “In a system, a process can occur only if it increases the total entropy of the universe. Energy transformations involved in the processes (i.e. doing work) are never 100% efficient. Some energy is always lost as heat.” But, this law only applies to closed systems. Earth is not a closed system.
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Living Systems One of most important books in biology Laid foundations for molecular biology & understanding of DNA and the gene Life could be understood in terms of laws of physics & chemistry Pointed out life did not violate the 2 nd law of thermodynamics To maintain itself & escape the inevitable dissolution demanded by the 2 nd law, life constantly takes in energy from environment “Living matter evades decay to thermodynamic equilibrium by having a metabolism.”
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Life is an emergent property because a. life came into existence in a random process from the non-living some 3.8 billion years ago. b. vital or spiritual forces make living entities different from rocks, clouds, and other inanimate things. c. life’s fundamental capacities of metabolism and reproduction are possible because of the way component parts like molecules are arranged and interact.
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