The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 185–193 | Cite as

A note on the nature and origin of life

  • N. Rashevsky


Some relational aspects of the property of self-reproduction of biological systems are studied. If in addition to the requirement of the property of self-reproduction we add also the requirement of adaptability of the organism to changing environment, this imposes certain conditions on the topology of the graphs which represent such systems. A further study of the relational properties of such systems seems to offer the possibility of deriving the principle of biological mapping from the requirement of self-reproduction and adaptability.

An examination of the problem of the original formation of such self-reproducing systems in connection with the established fact of impossibility of spontaneous generation leads to the conclusion that an organism must inhibit such processes which, in the absence of organisms, would lead to spontaneous generation.


Rosen Systemic Point Directed Cycle Oriented Graph Mathematical Biophysics 
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Copyright information

© University of Chicago 1959

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Rashevsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Committee on Mathematical BiologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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