2.b) Theories on the origin of life
The theories about the origin of life are not within the limits of knowledge but rather in the limits of philosophy. The meaning and definition of life is the most direct and challenging concept for a philosopher.
When we considered the explanation for the General Theory of the Conditional Evolution of Life, at first, we thought about not touching on philosophical topics because it was not the primary objective of the book. However, we have changed our mind because the global idea of this evolutionary theory could remain unclear. Besides, the philosophy of life and the theories on the origin of life are an exciting topic.
There are at least two possible complementary approaches: logic and metaphysics or mysticism.
Following the first approach, we can try to search for the origin or essence of life from its dictionary’s definition and its relationship with the human being and living beings.
From a scientific point of view, it is interesting to recall that the theories on the origin of life and the very definition of life have been changing with its development and, therefore, we should keep a certain distance from the specific scientific era to attain a concept more permanent in time.
The second one is a direct approach to the concept of life from within oneself, where words do not count, where thoughts are so fast that we perceive them only as feelings –those genuine feelings not needing logic because they are coherent in of themselves.
2.b.1. The logical approach and the broad concept of life
The General Dictionary of the Spanish Language provides us with numerous meanings for the word “life” in exact correspondence to its multiple uses. It would be excessive to comment on all of them, for which we shall stay with the most relevant:
- A fundamental internal force through which acts the being that possesses it
- The nature that distinguishes plants and animals from other beings and presents itself through metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptation to the environment
- The union of the soul and body
- The existence of the soul after death
Given that the word “being” appears in two of the definitions, we note two of its meanings:
Essence or nature
Entity (that exists)
The first definition of life, as the dictionary indicates, has a philosophical nature and it seems practically perfect. From this point of view, since we cannot know for sure which beings have that internal force and which ones do not, it is confined to point out "... the being that possesses it."
In the second, from the scientific viewpoint, the concept is restricted to plants and animals, which are the only beings that man is aware of possessing such force through his perception, both direct and with instruments. If science does not have proof, it restricts the concepts; on the contrary, philosophy needs proof to be able to limit them.
This second characterization displays the classic definition of life as "Nature that distinguishes the plants and animals... and adaptation to the environment”, where we find the influence of the theory of natural selection. In the end, if we have not done it yet, we will end up being super adapted!
The philosophy of adaptation "as scientific truth" of the evolution of life is indeed very convenient for the System; in short, what individuals have to do is to adapt themselves to it, because it does not make any sense trying to change it. Moreover, alternative theories on the origin of life and human evolution appear as hateful ideologies like racism or xenophobia. It is difficult to do it any better from an established system!
Perhaps it would be more appealing and correct to say, "The plants and animals develop and try to improve." In this evolution, the ideas of "according to the environment" and "to extend the independence from the restrictions of the environment" would be implicit.
If we thoroughly examine this point, at first glance, it seems that "evolution by adaptation to the environment" and "conditional evolution" –through the environment– are the same. However, the difference is significant. The first element stresses the adaptation for survival as the cause of evolution; on the contrary, the second one emphasizes on living and improvement to become independent and surpass the environmental restrictions. Furthermore, the second also refers to another kind of logical conditioning.
On the other hand, the concept of life could be more precise using an enumeration of necessary and sufficient conditions of life existence. These characteristics, according to all of the theories on the origin of life, should be present in the origin of life.
The third and fourth definitions have a religious nature and talk about the concepts related to life in this world –body, and soul– and life from beyond –the existence of the soul after death. Now then, life is evident in plants and animals, but we have not managed to locate it physically in them.
It would be much more admissible for life to have a nature similar to the force, the energy; and, as we know, energy is in different places other than plants and animals. Also, the destruction of the body does not mean the destruction of the energy that it contained!
This last approach to life as energy corresponds to the broad concept of life. As a result, it is a philosophical approach because it cannot provide evidence; to a certain extent, it shares the religious approach, but its underlying support is scientific because, from a strictly logical point of view, it seems to be more probable.
2.b.2. Metaphysical definition of life
The second approach to the concept of life and the theories on the origin of life comes from the philosophy and personal thoughts.
When we ask ourselves “what are we?” we realize that we do not have the appropriate words because of the words like “soul” or “spirit” have metaphysical and philosophical connotations. In fact, it would not be an essential question if others could respond to it. Then, little by little, one loses what he/she is thinking and writing until, finally, words appear naturally; words that are not just words but poetry meaning just what one feels at that moment!
Therefore, one begins to digress, to feel the proximity of those with whom one travels in space and time, and try to imagine a Life without those memories, and one realizes that it would not make any sense. A Life without intelligence proves that it would not make any sense. A Life without Love or hope of Love, then the feeling a lack of logic comes back.
All of them seem like internal conditions, necessary and sufficient for Life. Therefore, any theory on the origin of life should take into account that those elements or characteristics will exist since the beginning.
At the same time, the origin of all those characteristics is out the scientific scope, and they remind us of the existence of metaphysics and philosophy of love.
We have included memory because the memory without an internal system that recuperates information is not memory but an archive. We have included intelligence, because it is precisely the internal system, which operates, among others, with concepts stored away in the inner memory. Also, Love because…
...sufficient and necessary characteristics such as the existence of space, time... In any case, each one of them involves the others, but another always appears. We are referring to the internal freedom, to the Freedom.
Freedom is a frequent topic in metaphysics, but it does not mean that we cannot comment and get closer to the concepts. To be able to exercise Freedom it is necessary to have options, these options must be in the memory, and one should have a system of decision; eventually, to decide without Love...
Freedom and Love are at a superior poetic level than memory and intelligence; Love, being elemental, sounds too poetic for characterization of life. Therefore, we prefer to summarize the concept as "The essential nature of Life is Freedom."
Nonetheless, from metaphysics and philosophy of love, or even better, from a poetic characterization, one could say about the origin of life, "The first concept included in genetic information is Love."
Finally, why not? Creating little scientific poetry or pure metaphysics in saying, "We have been talking about the scientific existence of the Soul."