Versión en español  

The Cocktail of Life

A knowledgeable group of scientists, of whom Claus Emmeche, Alleta d'A. Gelin, and James Doyne Farmer stand out, have compiled a list of basic ingredients that must me omnipresent in any living being. These are the following:

1) Auto conservation

The main function of every living organism is making sure that it can continue it's existence.

2) Auto reproduction

Any living system can reproduce or proceeds from a reproduction.

3) Storage of information

Each organism contains genetic information. This appears stored in DNA, and is read and translated by proteins according to a universal genetic code, which is common to all creatures.

4) Breathing-fermentation

Every living being must have a metabolism that will transform energy and matter taken from the environment into energy and compounds that can be used by the different parts of the living organism.

5) Stability

Through the creation and control of it's own internal environment, all creatures remain stable in front of the perturbations of the external world.

6) Control

The distinct parts of an organism contribute to the survival of a group and, therefore, to the conservation of it's identity.

7) Evolution

The mutations in the hereditary material and natural selection permit the perfection, adaptation and complexity of living beings. For many, life is a mere product of evolution.

8) Death

It is determined by the genes and aggressions from the exterior, it marks the final phase of all living creature.

The list could be extended, but any other quality of life would be related with one of the previously mentioned.

To understand life, it is necessary to penetrate the heart of it and attempt to find out how life could of emerged on Earth more than 3.8 billion years ago, even though, like Blaise Cendrars says, "living is a magical action" and, as one, we might never be able to understand it.

Now, how did these different elements come together to originate life in our world? Let's try to find the answer trying to see what happened :

Once upon 3.8 billion years ago...

1997 Eduardo Diaz Diaz

Last updated: May 10th, 1997