The Evolutionary Paradox and Biological Stability

  • Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


Not long ago evolution was shrouded in an unpenetrable mystery. We thought that more complex organic molecules could be built only by living systems. But the living system itself is built of such molecules, and how could a system build its own building stones? How can a hen lay the egg out of which it has to be hatched? This paradox is now partially understood. We know that Nature can build complex organic molecules without the intervention of life. Sidney Fox has pursued this building the farthest, approaching the cellular dimension (1).


Random Process Living System Maximum Stability Building Stone Cellular Dimension 
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  1. 1.
    Fox, S. W., McCauley, R. J., and Wood, A., Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 20, 773 (1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Hajdu, S., and Szent-Gyorgyi, A., Am. J. Physiol. 168, 159, and 171, (1952).Google Scholar
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    Hajdu, S., Am. J. Physiol. 174, 371 (1953).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lewis, G. N., and Randall, M., “Thermodynamics,” p. 19, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1923.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoryThe Institute for Muscle Research at the MarineWoods HoleUSA

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