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The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited$
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Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015240

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015240.001.0001

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To Be or Not To Be: Where Is Self-Preservation in Evolutionary Theory?

To Be or Not To Be: Where Is Self-Preservation in Evolutionary Theory?

(p.105) 6 To Be or Not To Be: Where Is Self-Preservation in Evolutionary Theory?
The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited

Pamela Lyon

The MIT Press

This chapter highlights Carl Woese’s message about cellular complexity. It addresses the phenotypic distance between a putative, hypothetical ur-replicator or ur-chromosome and anything that can function as a cell that can effectively respond to its environment in ways that maintain its metabolic and physiological integrity. It describes what self-preserving and self-extending behavior in a chemical system minimally involves. This chapter shows that The Major Transitions in Evolution (MTE) assumes that the emergence of a replicating molecular complex coincides with the emergence of structures with self-preserving characteristics. It then speculates a reason why the “missing transition” has not been missed.

Keywords:   cellular complexity, self-preserving characteristics, self-extending behavior, chemical system, The Major Transitions in Evolution, missing transition, molecular complex

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