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The Fractal SelfScience, Philosophy, and the Evolution of Human Cooperation$
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John L. Culliney and David Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866617

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866617.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Quickening of Chemistry

The Quickening of Chemistry

(p.47) 3 The Quickening of Chemistry
The Fractal Self

John L. Culliney

David Jones

University of Hawai'i Press

For billions of years, competition and cooperation (or attractive forces) oscillated in influence in the evolution of the universe. Consistently, the latter prevailed with a slight edge in that affinitive entities in the universe were free to associate, bond, assemble, facilitate, and cooperate, rise above the leveling action of competition, and generate emergence on progressively higher levels: chemical, biological, and social. This chapter returns to cooperation and examines its constructive power in what might be termed ascendant chemistry—the self-organization of molecules and catalysis that led through pathways of burgeoning complexity to the threshold of biology and the evolution of life on earth. Against the illogic of “creation science,” modern biochemical research illuminates how life arose as an assemblage of complex molecules with strong cooperative tendencies within and among themselves. Carbon’s capacity to build with itself and other elements tremendously variable molecular structures with interlocking functions—most notably of the four basic complex chemicals of life: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)—ultimately led to the evolution of living cells.

Keywords:   biochemical evolution, molecular self-organization, protein cooperativity, catalysis, nucleic acids, RNA world, creation science, cellular evolution

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