Acquired The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life by Paul Davies

Acquired The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life by Paul Davies

Ordered from Amazon on February 4th and had it shipped from the UK because I wasn’t sure when the book was going to finally be released in the US.

Acquired The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life by Paul Davies was originally published on Chris Aldrich

🔖 Theory Of Self Reproducing Automata by John Von Neumann, Arthur W. Burks (Editor) | 9780252727337

Waiting for the price of some of these to drop.

Digital copy available on Archive.org.

🔖 Theory Of Self Reproducing Automata by John Von Neumann, Arthur W. Burks (Editor) | 9780252727337 was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Energy and Matter at the Origins of Life by Nick Lane | Santa Fe Institute

Energy and Matter at the Origins of Life by Nick Lane | Santa Fe Institute
Energy and Matter at the Origin of Life by Nick Lane (Santa Fe Institute Community Event (YouTube))

All living things are made of cells, and all cells are powered by electrochemical charges across thin lipid membranes — the ‘proton motive force.’ We know how these electrical charges are generated by protein machines at virtually atomic resolution, but we know very little about how membrane bioenergetics first arose. By tracking back cellular evolution to the last universal common ancestor and beyond, scientist Nick Lane argues that geologically sustained electrochemical charges across semiconducting barriers were central to both energy flow and the formation of new organic matter — growth — at the very origin of life.

Dr. Lane is a professor of evolutionary biochemistry in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. His research focuses on how energy flow constrains evolution from the origin of life to the traits of complex multicellular organisms. He is a co-director of the new Centre for Life’s Origins and Evolution (CLOE) at UCL, and author of four celebrated books on life’s origins and evolution. His work has been recognized by the Biochemical Society Award in 2015 and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize in 2016.

h/t Santa Fe Institute

Energy and Matter at the Origins of Life by Nick Lane | Santa Fe Institute was originally published on Chris Aldrich

👓 First Support for a Physics Theory of Life | Quanta Magazine

First Support for a Physics Theory of Life by Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine)

Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.

Interesting article with some great references I’ll need to delve into and read.


The situation changed in the late 1990s, when the physicists Gavin Crooks and Chris Jarzynski derived “fluctuation theorems” that can be used to quantify how much more often certain physical processes happen than reverse processes. These theorems allow researchers to study how systems evolve — even far from equilibrium.

I want to take a look at these papers as well as several about which the article is directly about.


Any claims that it has to do with biology or the origins of life, he added, are “pure and shameless speculations.”

Some truly harsh words from his former supervisor? Wow!


maybe there’s more that you can get for free

Most of what’s here in this article (and likely in the underlying papers) sounds to me to have been heavily influenced by the writings of W. Loewenstein and S. Kauffman. They’ve laid out some models/ideas that need more rigorous testing and work, and this seems like a reasonable start to the process. The “get for free” phrase itself is very S. Kauffman in my mind. I’m curious how many times it appears in his work?

👓 First Support for a Physics Theory of Life | Quanta Magazine was originally published on Chris Aldrich