Foundations of Science

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 327–329

Explaining the Origin of Life is not Enough for a Definition of Life


DOI: 10.1007/s10699-010-9209-4

Cite this article as:
Jagers op Akkerhuis, G. Found Sci (2011) 16: 327. doi:10.1007/s10699-010-9209-4


The comments focus on a presumed circular reasoning in the operator hierarchy and the necessity of understanding life’s origin for defining life. Below it is shown that its layered structure prevents the operator hierarchy from circular definitions. It is argued that the origin of life is an insufficient basis for a definition of life that includes multicellular and neural network organisms.


Definition of lifeFirst cellOperator hierarchyArtificial lifeAstrobiology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alterra, Centre for Ecosystem Studies, Wageningen, URWageningenThe Netherlands