What Is Life? -- Universal Constructors
The combination of self replication with the computational power of a Turing machine qualifies the organism as a Universal Constructor.
Unlike modern viruses, these viruses carried ribosomal-RNA and any other genes they needed. The Game Theory of Life proposes that these were the first living organisms.
Although not parasites, these hypothesized first life forms are much closer to viruses than to cellular life. Their replication is not a coordinated process like fission.
Can we predict the course of evolution beyond this point? With their fecundity and high mutation rates, these viruses will rapidly evolve new synthesized molecules and species. Mutations occurring over time will explore the domain of genetic and synthesizable molecules. Enzymes and new metabolic pathways will evolve.
But life on Earth incorporated naturally occuring vacuoles somewhere
around this epoch. Although membranes are compatible with the
nucleotide-game so far, it is quite possible that
membranes change the game beyond
Copyright © 2005 Aubrey Jaffer
I am a guest and not a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
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|The Game Theory of Life|
|agj @ alum.mit.edu||Go Figure!|