Monday, February 23, 2009

Chaotic dynamics on a par with the genetic code, in evolutionary terms?

A claim is put forward in "Fractal Neurodynamics and Quantum Chaos: Resolving the Mind-Brain Paradox Through Novel Biophysics", in Chapter 6.2, Chaotic Excitability as a founding Eucaryote Characteristic,

"It is thus possible that chaotic excitation dates from as early a period as the genetic code itself and that the first eucaryote cells may have been excitable via direct electrochemical transfer from light energy, before enzyme-based metabolic pathways had developed."

Chaotic excitations preceding the evolution of enzyme-based metabolic pathways? Why not? Nowadays, sustaining complex life can not be imagined without the enzymes. Could life forms, before the advent of enzymes, have utilised the creative potential, inherent in chaotic dynamics?

It is mentioned further, that

"We have seen how chaotic excitation provides for exploration of phase space and sensitivity to internal and external fluctuations. "

Chaotic excitation provide the means to explore phase space. Phase space comprised by the vast range of existent states in the surrounding environment and chaotic excitation enabled early life forms to sense their surroundings, learn and adapt.

Chaotic processes created attractors, what materialised as stable physical structures. The features of life forms as they have developed by constant evolutionary transformations. Evolution processes materialised as permanent structures, the attractors, as the code written in genetic blueprints was instantiated?

Phase space comprised by the vast range of existing states, both in life forms and in the environment. Surrounding environment that a life form senses by electrochemical excitation. It is mentioned in the Electrochemistry Encyclopedia, that

"The conduction of electrochemical excitation must be regarded as one of the most universal properties of living organisms. It arose in connection with the need for the transmission of a signal about an external influence from one part of a biological system to another."

External influences as they are exerted by processes, constantly at play and simultaneously define the states that make up the chaotically explored phase space.

The surrounding environment, the atmospheric electrohemistry mentioned as:

"The existence of ions in the atmosphere is the fundamental reason for atmospheric electricity. The voltage between the earth's surface and the ionosphere is approximately 40 kV, which induces an electrical current of approximately 2000 A with a current density around 5 pA/m2 (1 picoampere = 10-12 ampere, one trillionth of an ampere per square metre)."

graphically describing

"The Earth is an "electrode" immersed in a weak gaseous "electrolyte," the naturally ionized atmosphere."

provide the context of the processes as well as the message carrier, electrical currents, which are detected, as

"The high sensitivity of the protoplasm and all cell organelles to any natural and chemical effect is the basis for excitability."

The high sensitivity, reminiscent of chaotic sensitivity as it responds to minimal changes with tantamount effects, triggers cell membranes, the boundaries of all life forms in all their evolutionary transformations, as a

"... change in trans membrane potential create a wave of depolarization, or action potential, that affects the adjoining, resting membrane."

Excitable membranes are ubiquitous in all evolved life forms, as it is further mentioned

"Nerve cells in animals and phloem cells in plants share one fundamental property: they possess excitable membranes through which electrical excitations, in the form of action potentials, can propagate. These propagating excitations are modeled theoretically as traveling wave solutions of certain parameter dependant nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations coupled with some nonlinear ordinary differential equations. These traveling wave solutions can be classified as single loop pulse, multiple loop pulses, fronts and backs, or periodic waves of different wave speed."

Chaotic dynamics created, brought life into existence and continue to guide life forms in their evolutionary journey.

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