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Algemeen

Meaning of life? First, what is life?

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What are the origins of life on Earth?  The study of the origin of life on Earth or, more specifically, how life on Earth began from inanimate matter, is technically known as abiogenesis (as opposed to biogenesis, which is the process of lifeforms producing other lifeforms, and as opposed to evolution, which is the study of how living things have changed over time since life first arose). The tension between Darwin’s ‘…some one primordial form into which life was first breathed’ and Pasteur’s ‘all life from life’ defines one of the least understood natural phenomena – the emergence of living states of matter. Scientists have probed it since the 1920s, when…

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Life …. just amazing. Another perspective …..

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Life is an astonishingly emergent property of matter, full-blown in its complexity today, some billions of years after it started out in presumably some very simple form. The fundamental question is whether life as we know it – it’s astonishing chemical complexity – is a very improbable occurrence or a nearly inevitable evolution of dynamic off-equilibrium chemical matter. A question of almost miracles or the inevitability of laws of physics and chemistry. In spite of recent rapid development of biology, chemistry, Earth science and astronomy, the origin of life (abiogenesis) is still a mystery. The sources of Earth’s evolving chemical…

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JUST ….

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The new paradigm of sciences,  including fields such as cosmology, quantum physics, quantum field theory, complexity sciences and complex adaptive systems research, reveals that the universe exists and evolves as a unified entity through implicate orders of reality that literally in-form the emergence and evolution of life. This is best understood through the holographic principle in physics, which suggests that the appearance of our physical universe as a three-dimensional space (with the flows of time as the fourth dimension), originates from a two-dimensional holographic surface or boundary that is mathematically encoded at the smallest level of physical reality. This mathematical…

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REALITY?

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Let us take inspiration from Quantum Physics rather than classical Newtonian science. Both Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (which introduced the concept of space-time and how it can be warped by gravity) and Quantum Physics revealed that while Newtonian science is useful for the development of practical technologies, it is not universally valid and cannot explain the underlying connected nature of reality on a cosmic or quantum level. Classical science tries to logically break down everything into building blocks in order to increase understanding. But Relativity and Quantum Physics show that to understand the nature of the physical universe, we have…

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Augmented humans

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Just as modern Homo sapiens distinguished themselves from their prehistoric ancestors through their expanded cognitive and physical abilities, humanity is in the process of taking another big leap forward in cognition and physiology. This leap, however, won’t be due to evolutionary biology but rather as a direct result of technological enhancement. This era of Homo Augmentus is not quite as distant as you think. By the time we reach the 6G era 10 years in the future, the level of hyperconnectivity we’re witnessing today will move beyond simply linking ‘things’ and extend directly to the human body and mind. These…

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Symbiosis, Living together

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THE ART OF LIVING TOGETHER Life on Earth is complex and interactive, with organisms forming populations, which in turn form communities, or ecosystems, both locally and globally. The ecology is defined by the interactions between species and their composition within that system that drives natural selection, evolution, and genetic composition. The fitness for survival of an organism in any ecosystem is not dependent solely upon the species but includes the interactions of other organisms with that species. Symbiosis, the nature of the interactions between different organisms living in close physical association, is omnipresent and played an essential role in the…

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The converging technology revolution is transformational

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The world now stands on the cusp of a technological revolution that may prove as transformative for economic growth and human potential as were electrification, mass production, and electronic telecommunications in their eras. Will these developments enable people to attain higher living standards, better working conditions, greater economic security, and improved health and longevity? The answers to these questions are not predetermined. They depend upon the institutions, investments, and policies that are deployed to harness the opportunities and confront the challenges posed by this new era. Innovation is being transformed by the penetration of converging technologies, in particular the reliance…

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THE EONS OF TIME, THE EVOLUTION OF EXISTENCE.

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With its unprecedented changes in the earth’s geo-and biosphere, the fundamental and irreversible human imprint and impact on natural systems and processes has turned humankind into a geological agent, which has led to term this epoch and state of affairs, the ‘Anthropocene’. Under the techno human condition, anthropogenic-induced environmental change and the domination of the Earth’s ecosystems have reached a global scope and a permanent geological time-scale. Humanity has become the most successful parasite of any invasive species, a hominiscence appropriating the entire planet—taking without giving and engaging in continual (terrorizingly) territorialization. Conceptual disconnection and practical alienation from materialities and…

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How special (or not) is biology?

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Over seventy years ago, Erwin Schrödinger in his famous book ‘What is Life?’, posed the following question: ‘How can the events that take place in space and time and within a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?’. A fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. The entire material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships, including the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. Evolution is no longer seen as a competitive struggle for existence, but rather as a cooperative dance in…

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A reminder to navigate toward a new order of complexity

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The broadest of perspectives can locate the shift underway on planet Earth as the most recent scene in a vast pageant of cosmic emergence. A cosmological panorama takes us beyond the ambit of daily life and beyond even the larger compass of human history, offering a vantage point for pondering the contemporary predicament. About 3.8 billion years ago, life appeared on Earth, opening a new chapter in the story of the universe. Biological evolution has been a wondrous adventure of tenacity and inventiveness through titanic episodes of extinction and proliferation. One uncommonly dexterous line—the primates—proved particularly consequential, giving rise to…

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