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The Indeterminacy Bottleneck: Implications for Habitable Worlds

The Indeterminacy Bottleneck: Implications for Habitable Worlds It is often assumed that the transition between chemical evolution and biological evolution undergoes a smooth process; that once life has arisen, it will automatically ‘flood’ a solar system body. However, there is no a priori reason to assume that a link between them is a given. The fact that both chemical evolution and biological evolution meet in a single point can be critical. Thus, one may ask: can a world’s environment be favourable for chemical evolution but not for biological evolution, or vice versa? This is an important question worth exploration because certain worlds in the solar system in the past seemed to possess the possibility of chemical evolution, while several worlds in the present seem to exhibit such a possibility. Have such solar system bodies thus been, or are, ‘flooded’ by life? Did they possess the opportunity for biological evolution? The answer depends on the very nature of certain conditions under which evolution occurs, which may indicate that a link between chemical evolution and biological evolution is not automatically realised on a habitable solar system body. Thus, these conditions imply that in the emergence and distribution of cellular life, there exists an indeterminacy bottleneck at which chemical evolution and biological evolution meet through a single cell, whose descendants goes ‘information explosive’, ‘entropy implosive’ and ‘habitat expansive’, which determine whether life moves on to new environments. The consequence is that a world's environment can indeed be favourable for biological evolution, but not for chemical evolution. Thus, even if chemical evolution leads to the emergence of a microbial organism in a world, then it is not a given that such a first life form will be subjected to distribution to other environments; and not a given that its existence will continue in the environment it originated in. Thus, the bottleneck may be one of the decisive factors in the differences between habitable and inhabited worlds. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Acta Biotheoretica Springer Journals

The Indeterminacy Bottleneck: Implications for Habitable Worlds

Acta Biotheoretica , Volume 70 (1) – Mar 1, 2022

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Springer Nature B.V. 2021
ISSN
0001-5342
eISSN
1572-8358
DOI
10.1007/s10441-021-09432-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It is often assumed that the transition between chemical evolution and biological evolution undergoes a smooth process; that once life has arisen, it will automatically ‘flood’ a solar system body. However, there is no a priori reason to assume that a link between them is a given. The fact that both chemical evolution and biological evolution meet in a single point can be critical. Thus, one may ask: can a world’s environment be favourable for chemical evolution but not for biological evolution, or vice versa? This is an important question worth exploration because certain worlds in the solar system in the past seemed to possess the possibility of chemical evolution, while several worlds in the present seem to exhibit such a possibility. Have such solar system bodies thus been, or are, ‘flooded’ by life? Did they possess the opportunity for biological evolution? The answer depends on the very nature of certain conditions under which evolution occurs, which may indicate that a link between chemical evolution and biological evolution is not automatically realised on a habitable solar system body. Thus, these conditions imply that in the emergence and distribution of cellular life, there exists an indeterminacy bottleneck at which chemical evolution and biological evolution meet through a single cell, whose descendants goes ‘information explosive’, ‘entropy implosive’ and ‘habitat expansive’, which determine whether life moves on to new environments. The consequence is that a world's environment can indeed be favourable for biological evolution, but not for chemical evolution. Thus, even if chemical evolution leads to the emergence of a microbial organism in a world, then it is not a given that such a first life form will be subjected to distribution to other environments; and not a given that its existence will continue in the environment it originated in. Thus, the bottleneck may be one of the decisive factors in the differences between habitable and inhabited worlds.

Journal

Acta BiotheoreticaSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 1, 2022

Keywords: Astrobiology; Chemical evolution; Biological evolution; Biophysics

References