AEON Emergence of Life

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The game AEON Emergence of Life, developed by Bernhard Altaner (2021), and eight origin of life research colleagues, at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), is a competitive for 2 to 6 players (ages 10 and up), designed to test your skills to see if you can "originate life" in one of six environments, including Darwin's warm pond (1871), "hydrothermal vents", comets impacting earth, etc., a bunch of triangle-shaped "reaction titles", and yellow-colored "free energy" resource cubes! The player "born" closest to the "origin of life' gets to go first!

In games, AEON Emergence of Life (LH:9) refers to []


In 1990s, at NASA, the the government heavily-funding space exploration, the premise of trying to define "life" chemically and physically began to become a sort of "game" that scientists would play; the follow is one example:

“When, in 1998 to 2004, I was at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we would have endless discussions on the definition of life. What is life? The discussions were always hinged on the metaphysical and religiously-infused idea that there should be a ‘line’ [?] — things on one side of the line were alive and things on the other were not. The game was to "find that line". People argued and continue to argue about this endlessly. Should it ‘reproduce’, ‘reduce the entropy’ of its environment, ‘have DNA’, or what?”
Jonathan Dowling (2013), Schrodinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer (ref. #88, pgs. 429-30) [1]

In 2020, Bernhard Altaner, his friends, co-workers, and research colleagues, during the Covid virus stay-at-home phase, was playing board games, and inspired by the 2008 board game Pandemic[2], had the brainchild of making an "Origin of Life" board game.

In 2021, Altaner, together with origin of life researchers: Karl Wienand, Joanna Brau, Philippe Diederich, Juliette Langlais, Adriana Serrao, Christina Springsklee, Max Winkler, Sreekar Wunnava, and science illustrator: Priyanka Oberoi[3], at the "Emergence of Life" research group (CRC 235)[4], at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), made a print-and-play board game called AEON: Origins of Life.[5] The game is based on the principle of abiogenesis or "formation of life from lifeless matter".[6]

Crowd funding

On 9 Aug to 12 Sep 2021, Altaner, at, in cooperation with the German Museum, launched a crowdfunding campaign, aiming to raise: 3,000 € (2,500 USD), to make AEON into a boxset edition board game, available in English and German.[7] The following is the game synopsis:

“In AEON, you and your friends represent prebiotic environments where ‘life’ might have emerged. Together, you build a network of chemical reactions that transforms simple prebiotic reactants into complex molecules. Eventually, these molecules will allow you to establish the basic mechanisms of life which make the reactions more efficient. The first player to create all the requirements for the emergence of biological evolution wins the game.”
Bernhard Altaner (2021), “AEON overview”,, Aug

Note: the game is based on the hypothesis of "abiogenesis".

The AEON: Origin of Life board game banner, at Altaner's project, which shows the elements: oxygen O, nitrogen N, the word "emergence" (in respect to life), and Michelangelo’s 1512 sketch of the "finger of god", shown below the question: What is Life?, touching the finger of Adam.


The pre-order version of the complete boxed game (projected) includes the following:

  • 117 reaction tiles
  • 3 starting tiles
  • 1 drawstring bag
  • 40 energy cubes
  • 45 biomolecule cubes
  • 24 tracking cubes
  • 6 environment cards
  • Rule book (add)
  • Scientific background booklet (NASA definition of life, Miller-Urey experiment)[6]
  • 1 six-sided die (similar to that used in board game Pandemic[2])


The following are the six game options, aka "environments" for "where life started":

AEON (where life started).png

Namely, life can either have started, in this game, in: a warm pond by a volcano, carried to earth by a comet, arose from heated hydrothermal vents in the ocean, came frozen in ice, from hot springs, or from a green rust chimney. Here, of note, we seem to be popular missing clay substrate theory[8] environment, and possibly a few others?


A summary of how to play AEON Emergence of Life.

The first so-called "living thing", according to this game, based on the so-called "life criterion model", had to have three things: metabolism, RNA, and a membrane. RNA here is defined as a "self-replicating" thing and defined as the "core of life".[6] This is code for science fiction:

“No organism reproduces itself. The only thing that ever has had such a claim [of self-replication] made for it was the phoenix.”
Ross Ashby (1962), “The Self-Reproducing System”[9]

Once a player gets these three "life criterions", in one of the above six "environments", and gets enough "resources" and "free energy" fuel cubes, then a biomolecule forms, and a player wins the game!

“Aeon is a competitive game for 2 to 6 players ages 10 and up. You control an environment on early earth where life could have emerged. Your goal is to be the first to establish a ‘primitive life’ form with the three basic mechanisms of life: membrane, metabolism, and replication, and give it the resources to survive. As soon as a player has established all three mechanisms of life and has three resource cubes of each color, the game ends immediately. That player wins.”
— Bernard Altaner (2021), AEON: Rules (pg. 1)[6]

The so-called biomolecules in the game are: fatty acids, amino acids, nucleotides, and phospholipids.

Play | Scenario

The following shows a diagram for a game play scenario for a player who tries to "start life" near a hydrothermal vent, a model conceptualized on the "hydrothermal vent model"[10] for the origin of life:

Hydrothermal vent (game play).png

A player has to roll yellow dice to get "free energy", wherein you have to "roll some number or higher", to establish a process, or something along these lines?



The background poster for the AEON game, below right, shows the finger of god, with the question "What is Life?" written above it, touching game "reaction triangle" pieces, which touch the finger of Adam, or supposedly a human evolving out of Darwin's warm pond:

God, Adam, and chemistry.png

This is compared to the finger of god touching a protein molecule, which touched the finger of Adam, from the 2013 Triple≡Bond Chemistry article "Chemical Formula of a Human", shown above middle, which discusses the human molecular formulas of Sterner and Elser (2000) and Thims (2002).[11] Both of these can be compared to Akhenaten's 1330 so-called Aten model of sun god, conceptualized as solar disc, whose rays of light are anthropomorphized as long outstretched arms with powerful sun ray tipped "finger".

Each of these reaction steps is governed by one rule, namely:

A salient conflict of interest here, is that "life", by definition, is a property given to humans by god. The "theory of life" does not come from any scientist or experiment. It comes from first chapter of Genesis, for the predominate portion of the western world. Subsequently, the scientist who attempts to find the "origin of life" is attempting to support or prove a "god theory".

Only a few handful of people, throughout history, have been aware of this inherent problem. These so-called "abioist scientists", instead of wasting their time looking for some "magic" lightening bolt spot in the mechanism of form change, hydrogen to humans, are able to free up their mental energy to focus on larger problems.[12]

Energy problem

To win AEON, a player has to get three "biomolecules" color cubes (three of each color), namely: nucleotides, fatty acids and amino acids, in their "environment" circle, with three yellow energy cubes. Then life starts, and you win!

In respect to how these "reaction networks", mechanisms, and actuate, products going to reactants, in respect to the "life start point", as per real chemical thermodynamics defines things, the rules of the game, in respect to explanation of "energy" involved are wanting? While they mention "exothermic" and how rolling a high number on the yellow die, gets you "free energy", the rest of the details as to how life starts, thermodynamically speaking, seems to be left out, other than by "throwing yellow energy cubes in the reaction pot", or something along these lines?


The following are quotes:

“Mules are clearly alive!”
— Bernard Altaner (2021), “AEON Science booklet” (pg. 1)[6]; compare: abioism
Prebiotic reaction networks can form complex biomolecules.”
— Bernard Altaner (2021), “AEON Science booklet” (pg. 2)

End matter

See also


  1. Dowling, Jonathan. (2013). Schrödinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer (ref. #88, pgs. 429-30; soul, pgs. 11, 398; god, 12+ pgs). CRC Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pandemic (board game) – Wikipedia.
  3. (a) Priyank Oberoi –
    (b) Priyanka Oberoi – Twitter.
  4. CRC 235 –
  5. Aeon Game –
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Altaner, Bernhard. (2021). AEON: Origin of Life Boardgame (rulebook; environments; science booklet; titles).
  7. (a) Aeon –
    (b) Bernard, Altaner. (2021). “AEON: the Emergence of Life” (YT), Bernhard IM Wunerland, Aug 7.
  8. Clay substrate theory – Hmolpedia 2020.
  9. Ashby, W. Ross. (1962). “The Self-Reproducing System”, in: Aspects of the Theory of Artificial Intelligence (editor: Charles Muses) (pgs. 9-18). Plenum Press; in: Mechanisms of Intelligence (pgs. 75-83). Eipiphiny Society.
  10. Hydrothermal vent model – Hmolpedia 2020.
  11. Vallejo, Jose. (2013). “Fórmula química del ser humano” (“Chemical Formula of a Human”) (SpanishEnglish), Triplenlace Quimica, i.e. Triple≡Bond Chemistry (, Sep 4.
  12. Thims, Libb. (66AE). Abioism: No Thing is Alive, On the Non-Existence of Life (pdf). Publisher.
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