Science view of life is intelligent as it is
20 Dec 2001, in biologicalEvolution forum.
The recent reference here to "intelligent design" (ID) might have implied to some people some sort of a link, even if vague, with scientific reasoning/thinking. Since "scientific" implies ever-searching and ever-non-final, ID seems to me its antithesis. I therefore repeat again,even if ad nauseam, my "intelligent scientific" view of Life :
(1) Per Pasteur's "all life must come from previously existing life" probably some pre-membraned pre-celled peptides were a form of life. If we regard now as an "organism" a unit element of a continuous lineage with an individual evolutionary history this has applied also way back at the earlier evolutionary phase of present-day organisms. To the questions "how far back does this apply and when was the way-back pre-life time at which it began, and how did it begin" the answer is " this is still as unknown to humans as the origin and nature of what big-banged into our universe".
Now, mitochondria and chloroplast and nucleus and chromosomes, each constituting a continuous lineage, are not presently considered organisms because by themselves they presently have no possibility of survival, i.e. of independent replication. But once upon the time very likely each of them was "independent", before entering into endosymbiotic associations with a partner cell and thus eventually becoming a dependent member of a celled association. Similarly very likely early independent peptides, primordial genes, have entered into symbiotic associations in which eventually each of the ever increasing host of functions/tasks vital for the evolving associations ends up upon the member most efficient at it, leading to gene speciation and to gene specialization.
(2) The biological drive of all forms of life at all degrees of complexity is to neatly survive and proliferate. All individual and group behavioral aspects of each and all Earth's life forms, derive from their genome's biological drive to survive and proliferate and are shaped and directed by it or somehow serve it. The group/social behavioral aspects include all Human's civilizations and all their various forms of "culture" including arts, religions and all of science.
(3) Until Humans emerged evolutionary processes, prompted by the basic Life drive to survive, involved mostly trial-and-error physiological adaptations plus some cellular induced modifications of in-cell and/or of inter-cell environments. With Humans a novel evolution mechanism became feasible and proves more efficient than physiological adaptation to changing environments, namely Culture, that enables Human genome to survive not by adaptation but by resorting to control of their environment. This is in effect similar to the way-back Celling event when genes associations celled themselves for controlling their environment.
(4) Life is a fractal phenomenon because all its historical/chronological layers regardless of complexity are re-elaboration/re-expansion of its base elements. The base elements that are exposed to our view NOW are in cells. It is obvious that the composition of a cell is a demonstration that LIFE IS INHERENTLY A COOPERATIVE SYSTEM and it is therefore obvious that every living system regardless of complexity is a cooperative system.
(5) Finally, death of any organism is simply a cessation of the processes that rendered the organism alive. Plain and simple. Most of the materials of the deceased organism (except some of the microorganisms that co-lived in it) undergo recycling via various routes, and the only other thing that is freed with the death of the organism is energy, the energy invested in building up the physical components and totality of the organism and the energy stored in several types of molecules for fueling the various life processes. Nothing else is freed. All other things related to life and death exist only in the minds and memories of other live organisms, only as long as they live.