New perspective on dawn of life: Attention shifting from hardware to software

New perspective on dawn of life: Attention shifting from hardware to software


The greatest mystery when it comes to life as we know it is with no doubt how it all began. Over many years, people have been asking themselves millions of questions in an attempt to explain it for example how and what physical process was involved in the change of chemicals into a very complex living cell? For over a hundred years, in an attempt to explain how life started, scientists have tried to retrace how life began but it wasn’t until recently that they  shifted their focus on how it all began.

For many years, scientists have been trying to study how the basic elements of life may have come from the earth or space but since this may have happened a million years ago, all the evidence needed to prove it have disappeared leaving a very big room for speculation and disagreements.  A novel new approach in an attempt to answer the questions regarding to life has been proposed by two scientists, Paul Davies and Sara Walker, from the Arizona State University. The theory they are proposing attempts to eliminate the problem faced with the previous perspective.

The two scientists’ theory, published in the interface of the Royal Society journal, shifts the attention from the hardware aspects that is the life’s chemical basis to software aspect or in other words the in information basis. Consider the computer, chemistry can explain very effectively about the materials from which the machine is made but that ends there and the computer cannot function nor can you understand how it does unless there is a program and the data. In the same way, Walker and Davies argues that the key to answering questions about life is by understanding how the living organism are able to manage the flow of information through their system as it is the only difference between life and non life.

In the theory Walker argues that when describing the biological process of life, informational terms are used. Understanding how information is processed and managed can thus be very helpful in understanding the origin of life and can open up more new grounds to base research on. Davies also argues that the non-life to life transition is unique and that life can be characterized by the active and distinct use of information which can thus provide a roadmap to the emergence of life.

When the focus is shifted from the chemical aspect to the informational aspect, the intrinsic disadvantages of trying to find the emergence of life. We cannot deny the  fact that chemical approaches have stalled at the very early stages and they also fail to distinguish very clearly the difference between biology and chemistry. It is therefore these two scientists’ beliefs that the information basis will explain living things biological Replicators differ from those of the non- living things. They also believe that the other major transition such as the single cell to the multicellular mystery can be explained.