Erwin Schrödinger - What is life? Publicado em 1944

terça-feira, outubro 28, 2014

WHAT IS LIFE? ERWIN SCHRODINGER - First published 1944 Pg. 28-29



"The orderliness encountered in the unfolding of life springs from a different source. It appears that there are two different 'mechanisms' by which orderly events can be produced: the 'statistical mechanism' which produces order from disorder and the new one, producing order from order. To the unprejudiced mind the second principle appears to be much simpler, much more plausible. No (a) doubt it is. That is why physicists were so proud to have fallen in with the other one, the 'order-from-disorder' principle, which is actually followed in Nature and which alone conveys an understand ing of the great line of natural events , in the first place of their irreversibility . But we cannot expect that the 'laws of physics' derived from it suffice straight away to explain the behaviour of living matter, whose most striking features are visibly based to a large extent on the 'order-from-order' principle. You would not expect two entirely different mechanisms to bring about the same type of law- you would not expect your latch-key, to open your neighbour's door as well. We must therefore not be discouraged by the difficulty of interpreting life by the ordinary laws of physics. For that is just what is to be expected from the knowledge we have gained of the structure of living matter. We must be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing in it. Or are we to term it a non-physical, not to say a super-physical, law?


No. I do not think that. For the new principle that is involved is a genuinely physical one: it is, in my opinion, nothing else than the principle of quantum theory over again..."

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