The origin of life and the evolution to humanity

 

 

The size of the basics of life

On the basis of the current scientific knowledge about the organization and functioning of living beings, the most striking aspect is the dimension – far beyond the reach of our senses – at which the fundamental processes, on which every form of life in this world develops, occur. It was only from the invention of the microscope in the seventeenth century that some smart and curious investigators began to understand the complexity of the mystery of life, up to that time inaccessible to the resources of the human intellect. Suffice it to say that an animal or plant cell, of the size of some microns (one micron is the thousandth part of one millimeter), is home to biochemical processes whose complexity and level of organization and information far exceed those of the most important man-made industrial plants. As will be better highlighted in the section dedicated to the psyche, the lack of adequate knowledge of the complexity of the phenomena on which organic life is based may have determined in the past (and still determines) a series of bizarre evaluations with respect to a reasonable, albeit incomplete, understanding of life within what we call Nature.

Nature and Psyche

The notions on the origin and evolution of life reported in these pages are certainly not exhaustive or thorough. Anyone interested in a more complete discussion can find, in specialized texts and on the web, a lot of information that integrates this synthetic picture. The interest of this research is mainly directed at the interaction between two extraordinary phenomena that involve, and so to speak contend, the human being: Nature and Psyche. The natural and biological aspect of life is at the basis of the constitution and functioning of our body, which supports both the neurovegetative system and the peripheral and central nervous system. The latter, through the brain, allows each of us to receive and process the signals from the outside world and from one's body, and at the same time it is the instrument by which all psychic functions manifest in this dimension. The establishment of the first culturally active human nuclei, which led to the emergence of the human being from the limits of animal life, must have required the active presence of certain psychic components and a certain level of evolution of consciousness. Consequently, those parts dealing with the socio-cultural development of human nuclei imply a process that seems to me not reducible to the sole natural biological component, although there are supporters of this reductionist thesis.

Time

In this short introduction I also want to point out the importance of the time factor. All the changes that have taken place from the beginning, in relation to the origin and evolution of life, indicate that in this world time is the dimension in which the transformation of a form of energy from a lower level of organization and information to a higher state occurs. This process, which should not be possible within a closed system (in which there is no exchange of energy with the outside) due to the law of increasing entropy, is made possible by a supply of external energy, which in the system is transformed into internal order. As will be seen, this increase of internal order, obtained through an energy supply, has its own specific structure that defines it and differentiates it from other possible states of order. In the sphere of our human intelligence, when we want to define a certain degree of organization and order to achieve an aim with the tools we have, we speak of the realization of a project. It may be interesting to understand if and how this concept could be extended to organic life as well. 

Italian Homepage


 

Origin of life
Evolution of life
Humanity
Societies & cultures
Complex societies