Friday, March 12, 2021

What is life?

You should watch the video What is Life with Paul Nurse ( ('What is Life?' is hereafter known as the question).  It is the perfect reductionist introduction to the question.  I propose a more holistic yet mathematical (scientific) viewpoint. 

As Nurse points out, the reductionist approach to the question relies on   QM to understand the minutiae of the chemistry and computation upon which life relies.  We now understand the hardware of life at the finest levels.  The reductionist analysis supplies the base on which we build an  enumerable model of life. 

We consider a discrete (enumerable) model whose elements (nodes) are the 4D subsets of spacetime, living volumes, that are life. The elements are organized into a dag whose directed edges reflect ancestry, containment and time. The dag induces a decomposition of 'spacetime contained in life'. This enumerable model has a natural physical representation in 4D space and a rich natural geometry; it suggests a myriad of new inquiries into the question:
  1. What properties characterize living volumes.
  2. How are living volumes embedded within non-living volumes.
Containment and inheritance induce a partial order and metric on these subsets. These metrics, of course, originate in spacetime itself, but as has been the case many times, alternative coordinate systems can offer new understandings.

Natural modes of this model could naturally be interpreted as emergent properties .