Home » The Emergence of Biological Organization . By Henry Quastler. Yale University Press.

The Emergence of Biological Organization . By Henry Quastler. Yale University Press.

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The Emergence of Biological Organization

by Henry Quastler

New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1964

This penetrating essay develops a scientific theory of biological organization starting with the initial creative accident which marked the origin of life. It is the first step in a theory that the author had intended to extend to other levels of organization. Henry Quastler was a research biologist whose application of mathematical ideas to biology was among his greatest contributions, and it was in the course of this work that he became involved in relating the concepts of information theory to problems of cell structure and of the creation and transmission of information in living systems. Here he postulates the construction of an automaton which could produce something akin to the noblest act of human consciousness, the creation of new information.” He finds this eventuality not frightening but reassuring. “It establishes the possibility of the creation of new information… by an organism much simpler than man, even by a single cell, and even by a prebiological macromolecular system.”

At the time of his death in 1963, Mr. Quastler was on the research staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

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