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The Gradual Emergence of Life? (Part 1)

SERIES: Graduated Emergence - A Myth
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This series addresses the usual assumption of a gradual Emergence of Life, wherein the trajectory of Change from a non-living world to that full of Life, is taken as a step-by-step process. The various necessary elements are seen as appearing one-at-a-time by chance, but for a vast period of time never actaully coalescing into a self-perpetuating Form, but only producing the various contributions without any synthesis. It seemed to be a story of many and various perpetual efforts, all of which failed to happen together, UNTIL fianlly the necessary conjuction actually appears (again by chance) and Life "clicks" into existance for the first time ever. The contributing elements of this process are of the sort demonstrated by Miller in his experiment with a mixture of primeaval gases in a cycle process, and the quite different revelations of Oparin with Sols & Gels. Such evidence seemed to confirm that many such happenings very similar to their experiements would have finally (and luckily) produced Life itself. Yet it is all a myth!
Such a trajectory is a plausible narrative based on common everyday assumptions of increasing complexity, blind chance and significant thresholds, after which everything is changed. But nowhere in such a scheme is there a true Emergence - a revolutionary cataclysm of Change in the midst of multiple factors wherein the old system is absolutely demolished and an entirely new regime arises out of the debris of that destruction. Could Life tip-toe into existence, or must it have been a major and transforming Event?

It has to be the latter, for a whole series of important reasons. First we have the evident phenomenon of self-maintenance, and also that of the prohibition of it ever happening twice. Why does Life persist, and why is its Emergence not happening all the time? Studies of Emergences in general (there are many if you look) shows that a new Level is produced, as the changes involved transform their own context. The producing environment is changed by its own products. Now this is very unusual and essential, for it is how an Emergence maintains itself.

Other banker assumptions in the Graduated Version of the Origin of Life, are the mathematical forms of Chance and Probability that are used. The latter is retrospectively formulated from situations where ALL the possibilities are already fully known and countable. Without this quantative probability is impossible. And thereafter using it as a cause(?) is total nonsense. It reduces siginificant Events, such as the Origin of Life to a mere product of REMIX. We merely have to wait for the crucial event to actaully occur (as it surely must) for the remarkable chance happening to transform everything. Behind these erroneous assuptions is, as usual, the methodolgy of Plurality and Reductionism, which also seem eminently plausible, but which are both disasterously flawed when looked at in the light of Reality itself. To develop a real and fruitful explanation of this, the most significant Event in the development of Reality, we must transform our bases of study and analysis. We must first embrace the actuality of Emergence and then commit to studying it. Whereas pluralistic methods deliver ONLY within-Level explanations, the hollisitc approach (which alone gives rise to an Emergence) attempts to deal with Level-change itself. The task was commenced in earnest by Hegel, and further developed by Karl Marx and his followers. But, there is indeed still much to be done. The actual transition between Levels - indeed, the actual CREATION of a new Level is nowhere near a comprehensive explanation. We have to go from precursor elements to actual cataclysmic transformation.

1. The normal Purposive Gradualism slant imposed on The Emergence of Life

2. Pre-emergence fragments seen as components in the transition itself: Oparin & Miller

3. The Co-ordinated summation version of Emergence

4. Emergence changes its OWN producing Context

5. Probability: the mathematical version of Chance: Chance in Reality is different!

6 . Reasons for these important errors: Plurality & Reductionism as usual!

7. Implications of the Old Methodology is the Idea of the Ultimate Theory of Everything

8. They don’t understand differences between “Dependence” & “Determination”

9 . Reality involves the creative generation of Levels: Emergence

10. New Methodology required for addressing Qualitative Change.

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