Sobre a origem química da cognição biológica: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

terça-feira, dezembro 27, 2022

On the Chemical Origin of Biological Cognition

by Robert Pascal 1 and Addy Pross 2,*

1 Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moléculaires (PIIM), Aix-Marseille Université—CNRS, 13013 Marseille, France

2 Department of Chemistry, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva 8410501, Israel *

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Life 2022, 12(12), 2016;

Received: 13 October 2022 / Revised: 21 November 2022 / Accepted: 1 December 2022 / Published: 3 December 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Origin and Early Evolution of Life: Prebiotic Chemistry Perspective)


One of life’s most striking characteristics is its mental dimension, one whose very existence within a material system has long been a deep scientific mystery. Given the current scientific view that life emerged from non-life, how was it possible for ‘dead’ matter to have taken on mental capabilities? In this Perspective we describe the existence of a recently discovered non-equilibrium state of matter, an energized dynamic kinetic state, and demonstrate how particular chemical systems once activated into that kinetic state could manifest rudimentary cognitive behavior. Thus, contrary to a common view that biology is not reducible to physics and chemistry, recent findings in both chemistry and biology suggest that life’s mental state is an outcome of its physical state, and therefore may be explicable in physical/chemical terms. Such understanding offers added insight into the physico-chemical process by which life was able to emerge from non-life and the perennial ‘what is life?’ question. Most remarkably, it appears that Darwin, through his deep understanding of the evolutionary process, already sensed the existence of a connection between life’s physical and mental states.

Keywords: origin of life; dynamic kinetic stability; thermodynamic stability; cognition; molecular replication; evolution; consciousness