Foundations of Science

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 327–329

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



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 life First cell Operator hierarchy Artificial life Astrobiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

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

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