Sunday, 27 January 2019

Physick and Life?

I find it difficult to get excited about Paul Davies' 'Demon in the Machine' (this title seems a slight mutation of the traditional Ghost in the Machine idea) book attempt to apply the laws of Physics to an understanding of life (  His simple analogy of waving a 'life detector' over a variety of inanimate, animate, semi-animate and recently animate objects doesn't strike me as especially meaningful (even if a 'life detector' responding to a radiated aspect of life existed). Surely, a genetic code and the ability to propagate copies of that code must lie at the root of life? Remember that life can exist in forms where life per se is undetectable for extended periods as in the case of a bacterial endospore. So life is defined by what it might do rather than by what it is. Could the Davies thesis be yet another iteration of the intelligent design attack on NeoDarwinism?

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