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What is Life? by Roger Penrose, Erwin Schrodinger

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CHAPTER 2

The Hereditary Mechanism

Das Sein ist ewig; denn GesetzeBewahren die lebend’gen Schätze,Aus welchen sich das All geschmückt.1

GOETHE

THE CLASSICAL PHYSICIST’S EXPECTATION, FARFROM BEING TRIVIAL, IS WRONG

Thus we have come to the conclusion that an organism and all the biologically relevant processes that it experiences must have an extremely ‘many-atomic’ structure and must be safeguarded against haphazard, ‘single-atomic’ events attaining too great importance. That, the ‘naïve physicist’ tells us, is essential, so that the organism may, so to speak, have sufficiently accurate physical laws on which to draw for setting up its marvellously regular and well-ordered working. How do these conclusions, reached, biologically speaking, a priori ...

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