Definition of Life
Life is a self-organizing and self-generating activity of open non-equilibrium systems determined by their internal semiotic structure
This definition is a modern translation of the Aristotelian definition: “Life is a body’s feeding, growth and decline reasoned in itself” (De Anima).
My vision of life in the Universe is based on the principles of the quantum measurement theory, which can be considered as a mirrored image of theoretical biology. Life by its existence (in self-reflecting loops) establishes basic physical parameters of the Universe. The philosophical background of this approach is in Greek philosophy (Parmenides, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle), in monadology of G.W. Leibniz and in the organism philosophy of A.N. Whitehead. It also accepts certain features from the Russian cosmism.
Basic principles of theoretical biology
The field of theoretical biology is a description of systems that possess their own embedded description (Igamberdiev 1999). Life always maintains and solves these paradoxes since living organisms possess their internal description inside them (Igamberdiev 1993, 1998). The structure of the Universe includes a self-reflective loop to be observable (i.e. existing). This may substantiate the structure of the Universe and the observed values of fundamental constants (the anthropic principle) (Igamberdiev 2001). These constants provide observability of the Universe and the possibility of free choice at higher levels of self-reference (Igamberdiev 2004).
The main problem of biology is explanation of actualization. Any actualization takes place from the potential field which is reduced. The potential field is a superposition of different opposite states existing potentially as referred to the same moment of time. The reduction is irreversible and leads to iterative recursive process (represented as a development and evolution of the system).
The smallest details of living systems are molecular devices that operate between the set of potential dimensions (microscale) and the actual three-dimensional space (macroscale). They realize non-demolition quantum measurements in which time appears as a mesoscale dimension separating contradictory statements in the course of actualization. These smaller devices form larger devices (macromolecular complexes), up to living body.
The quantum device possesses its own potential internal quantum state (IQS), which is maintained for prolonged time via error-correction being a reflection over this state. Decoherence-free IQS can exhibit itself by a creative generation of iteration limits in the real world. To avoid a collapse of the quantum information in the process of correcting errors, it is possible to make a partial measurement that extracts only the error-information and leaves the encoded state untouched.
In natural quantum computers, which are living systems, the error-correction is internal. It is a result of reflection, given as a sort of a subjective process allotting optimal limits of iteration. The IQS resembles the properties of a quasi-particle, which interacts with the surround, applying decoherence commands to it.
In this framework, enzymes are molecular automata of the extremal quantum computer, the set of which maintains stable highly ordered coherent state, and genome represents a concatenation of error-correcting codes into a single reflective set. Biological systems, being autopoietic in physical space, control quantum measurements in the physical universe. The biological evolution is really a functional evolution of measurement constraints in which limits of iteration are established, possessing criteria of perfection (e.g. the golden section) and having selective values.
Papers and chapters in monographs
Igamberdiev AU (2009) Fundamentals of natural computation in living systems. In: Computational Biology: New Research (Alona S. Russe, Ed.). Nova Publishers, New York.
Igamberdiev AU (2008) Objective patterns in the evolving network of non-equivalent observers. BioSystems 92 (2): 122-131
Igamberdiev AU (2007) Physical limits of computation and emergence of life. BioSystems 90 (2): 340-349
Igamberdiev AU (2005) The computation power of living systems is maintained by decoherence-free internal quantum states. In: Proceedings
of FIS2005, The Third Conference on the Foundations of
Igamberdiev AU (2004) Quantum computation, non-demolition measurements, and reflective control in living systems. BioSystems 77 (1-3): 47-56
Igamberdiev AU (2003) Living systems are dynamically stable by computing themselves at the quantum level. Entropy 5 (2): 76-87
Igamberdiev AU (2003) The mesoscale
level of self-maintained reflective systems – a dynamic link between micro and macroscales. In Micro – Meso –
Macro: Addressing Complex Systems Couplings (H Liljenström,
U Svedin, eds).
Chapter 5. World Scientific,
Igamberdiev AU (2002) Biological evolution – a semiotically constrained growth of complexity. Sign Systems Studies 30 (1): 271-282
Igamberdiev AU (2001) Semiokinesis – Semiotic autopoiesis of the Universe. Semiotica 135 (1-4): 1-23
Igamberdiev AU (1999) Semiosis and reflectivity in life and consciousness. Semiotica 123 (3-4): 231-246
Igamberdiev AU (1999) Foundations of metabolic organization: coherence as a basis of computational properties in metabolic networks. BioSystems 50 (1): 1-16
Igamberdiev AU (1998) Time, reflectivity and information processing in living systems: a sketch for the unified information paradigm in biology. BioSystems 46 (1-2): 95-101
Igamberdiev AU (1997) Information processing as an intrinsic property in living systems. Origin and dynamics of information. World Futures 50 (4): 571-582
Igamberdiev AU (1997) Information processing in biosystems: quantum mechanical bakground and relation to symmetry-breaking. Symmetry: Culture and Science 8 (2): 193-205
Igamberdiev AU (1996) Life as self-determination. In Defining Life: The Central Problem in Theoretical Biology (M Rizzotti, ed.). University Publishers, Padova, pp. 129-148
Igamberdiev AU (1995) Logic of Organization
of Living Systems (Monograph).
Igamberdiev AU (1994) The role of metabolic transformations in generation of biological order. Rivista di Biologia – Biology Forum 87 (1): 19-38
Igamberdiev AU (1993) Quantum mechanical properties of biosystems - a framework for complexity, structural stability, and transformations. BioSystems 31 (1): 65-73
Igamberdiev AU (1993) On logical analysis of development and time in biology. Izvestiya Rossiyskoi Akademii Nauk Seriya
Biologicheskaya [Proceedings of the
Igamberdiev A.U. (1992) Organization of biosystems: A Semiotic approach. In Biosemiotics. A Semiotic Web 1991 (=Approaches to Semiotics 106) (T Sebeok, J Umiker-Sebeok, eds.). Moyton de Gruyter, Berlin, pp. 125-144
Igamberdiev AU (1991) Stability and transformation of the biosystems - physical foundations and logical interpretation. Zhurnal Obshchei Biologii [Journal of General Biology] 52 (5): 673-690 [In Russian]
Igamberdiev AU (1991) Anthropic principle and the unity of the humanities and the natural sciences. Alma Mater 8: 57-68 [In Russian]
Igamberdiev A.U. (1987) The determinism principle and the problem of entity of a
biological object. In Determinism and
Modern Science (AS Kravets, ed.).
Igamberdiev AU (1986) Problems of description of epigenetic systems. Zhurnal Obshchei Biologii [Journal of General Biology] 47 (5): 592-600 [In Russian]
Igamberdiev AU (1985) Time in biological systems. Zhurnal Obshchei Biologii [Journal of General Biology] 46 (4): 471-482 [In Russian]