Emergent bioism

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The model of emergent bioism holds that "life" emerged, at some point in time, from chemicals, water, heat, and or some other energy source, e.g. lightening, or hydrothermal vents, and some self-assembly, e.g. auto-catalytic closure (Kauffman, 1993).[1]

In terms, emergent bioism (LH:3), from emergence meaning "order arisen from parts, in a new age sense"[2] + bioism meaning "belief that certain things are alive", refers to the premise that that life emerged at one point in the evolution timeline from hydrogen to human (Thims, 2010).

Bioism is categorized, among the six main "life theory" alternatives, as follows:

  1. Creationism (god created life on day three)
  2. Bioism (certain things are alive; origin not discussed)
  3. Emergent bioism (life emerged at a certain point)
  4. Gradual bioism (life gradually emerged)
  5. Panbioism (all things are alive)
  6. Abioism (no things are alive)

A near synonym is "emergentism", although this tends to be used for all varieties of emergence, e.g. mind or consciousness.


Cover of Pier Luisi’s 2006 The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology, wherein he argues that life “emerged” from chemicals, via the stages: self-organization, emergence, self-replication, and autopoiesis, which of note are all violations of the principle of inertia, followed by synthetic compartments, and construction of cellular models.[3]

The general group of so-called emergent bioism models include: heat origin of life (Thales, 575BC), spark of life theory (Galvani, 1771), lightening origin theory (Shelley, 1818), abiogenesis (Huxley, 1870)[4], warm pond model (Darwin, 1871), clay substrate theory (Bernal, 1948)[5], hydrothermal vent theory (Wachtershauser, 1988), to name a few. All of these model, are based in the implicit assumption that a "point" or "life start point" exists, and can be defined and scientifically quantified precisely, i.e. life emerged or started at one single point in time.

In 1870, Thomas Huxley introduced the term “abiogenesis” defined, meaning that "bio" generated from non-bio, as the hypothetical point in time, in respect to "organic chemistry, molecular physics and physiology", which yield the "conditions under which matter assumes the properties called ‘vital’".[6] Huxley conjectured that this never occurred in the past; but left the matter open.

The emergent bioism model, in short, holds that "bio" arose or emerged from "non-bio" at either a specific point in time in the past or slowly via some conjectured graduated series of steps.

In this model, life emerged (Morowitz, 2002) when the “cellular life” arose when the right collection of chemicals were captured in a physical space, adsorbed on a surface, e.g. clay, or trapped in a porous structure, or captured in a colloidal vesicle, then mediated by invented terms such as: “autocatalysis”, “self-replication”, and finally energized by something such as a hydrothermal vent, lightning, electricity, to “emerge” on a life start point day or second, from non-life, non-living chemicals, or dead atoms (Tyndall, 1874).[7]

In 2015, Libb Thims, in the abioism article, in the section on alternatives, introduced the term "emergent bioism".[8]


The following are quotes:

“The premise of the Quincey's book, which he says are themed on the ideas of Pierre Teilhard, Henri Bergson, and Arthur Young, is that the ‘universe is not dead’, as the materialists would have it, but rather matter is alive (and the universe is alive), and has consciousness, on the model that the photon is the unit of being and becoming (Young's theory). The alternative to this "everything is alive theory", is the "emergence theory" (Gladyshev's view), that life emerged at one point in the evolution timeline from hydrogen to human. Both theories, however, become nonsensical when the one looks into the details of the argument. The only solution, which I have been employing in my writing in the last year, is to stop using the words "life", "living", and "alive", being that they have no scientific basis, and to instead begin using the terms "animated", "reactive", "moving", etc., in the place of the defunct terms.”
— Libb Thims (2010), “Discussion Thread” (post #27), Hmolpedia [9]

End matter

See also


  1. Auto-catalytic closure – Hmolpedia 2020.
  2. Emergence – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. Luisi, Pier. (2006). The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology. Oxford.
  4. Abiogenesis – Hmolpedia 2020.
  5. Clay substrate theory – Hmolpedia 2020.
  6. Abiogenesis – Hmolpedia 2020
  7. Morowitz, Harold. (2002). Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex (pg. 29). Oxford.
  8. Abioism – Hmolpedia 2020.
  9. Panbioism – Hmolpedia 2020.

External links

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