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Re: theos-l digest: October 26, 1999

Oct 27, 1999 06:38 AM
by JRC

> Nevertheless, using this post as an opportunity for a springboard, I still
> really would like to know the definition of the word "biopoiesis."  I just
> hate it when someone may know something I do not.

Kym ... "Biopoiesis" is the term used to describe the beginnings of life on
earth. (It is not evolution, which has to do with the processes by which
existing life develops towards higher scales of complexity and adaptability,
rather, it has to do with the initial process by which inorganic chemicals
achieve a state we'd define as organic - scientists in labs, for instance,
that mix the set of gases and minerals they believe were present on earth in
its first billion years, and then stimulate the mixture with electricity (to
mimic lightening) or bombard the mix with radiation (to mimic in a short
time what the sun might have done to the primordial soup over millennia) in
an effort to watch the process of life emerging from non-life ... are
attempting to reproduce "biopoiesis").

You probably won't find the word in a standard collegiate dictionary (though
you may find its root ... "poiesis"), but you might find it in a graduate
level biology textbook. -JRC

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