The key topic of discussion were self-replicating machines that are built from a few "Lego blocks" that contain their own building instructions and are analogous to genes or proteins. Function and 3-D structure are the same. The building blocks themselves would be robot-like and would build more complex robots. One can say that this Lego set would self-assemble itself. Also the ability to disassemble would be important and make error correction possible. This brings in mind what happens in living systems.
There would be a whole hierarchy of these structures. The basic structures would be analogous to 20 amino acids. Biology of course suggests also the presence of DNA and cell nucleus could be seen as the basic lego block containing instructions and having the ability to replicate. The vision is that someday our technology could transform to artificial life.
Gersching criticized the complete separation of software and hardware (program tape and the reading head of the Turing machine) which he called Turing's error. Gersching also proposed that information should be the starting point concept of physics rather than geometry which leads to the recent physics based on partial differential equations.
In this article I will compare the vision of Gersching to TGD based vision of, not only life, but the entire Universe as a self-organizing entity.
- In the TGD framework, Lego Universe emerges naturally. 4-D general coordinate invariance implies holography: Legos are almost deterministic Bohr orbit-like 4-surfaces. Holography suggests a concrete identification of basic building bricks in terms of fundamental regions associated with hyperbolic 3-manifolds at 3-D mass shells defining the boundary data for number theoretical holography in M8. The strengthening of 3→ 4 holography to almost 2→ 4 holography reduces further the number of building bricks of space-time surfaces.
The analogy with genes and proteins as building bricks might be much more than analogy. The mass shell as hyperbolic 3-space allows an infinite number of tessellations and one of them is icosa tetrahedral tessellations in terms of which it seems to be possible to understand the genetic code. Genetic code in this sense might be present in all scales and be induced to 3-surfaces. The fermions associated with the "unit cells" of the icosahedral tessellation could realize genetic code.
The fusion of building blocks might reduce to the analog of crystal growth by fusing the fundamental regions of tessellations and also DNA replication, transcription, and translation could reduce to crystal growth.
- In TGD holography implies that at space-time level a given 3-D surface defining the data of holography has an almost unique "fate", goal one might say. Holography forces what I call zero energy ontology (ZEO). Quantum states are superpositions of 4-D space-time surfaces analogous to Bohr orbits and state function reductions (SFRs) take place between these superpositions. The basic paradox of quantum measurement theory disappears.
The sequence of "small" SFRs (SSFRs) defines "self" as the TGD counterpart for the Zeno effect. Each SSFR replaces this superposition with a new one and changes the state but in such a way that measured observables commute with those whose eigenstate the states associated with the passive boundary of causal diamond (CD) are.
"Big" SFRs (BSFRs) change the arrow of geometric time correlating with subjective time as a sequence of SSFRs and change the roles of the active and passive boundaries of CD. This means the "death" of self and its reincarnation with an opposite arrow of time. Pairs of BSFRs define temporary changes of the arrow of time and would make possible a trial-and error process so that the self-organizing system would be analogous to a self-assembling conscious machine able to also disassemble if necessary to reach the goal.
- In TGD there is no need to choose between information based physics and physics based on partial differential equations: these views would be complementary. TGD relies on two complementary visions. In number theoretic vision everything in discrete and algebraic equations characterize physical states. In the geometric vision structures are continuous and partial differential equations define the time evolution. These views are related by M8-H duality as a generalization of momentum-position duality forced by the replacement of point-like particles with 3-surfaces.
- Gersching does not seem to regard consciousness as a crucial element of biology. The TGD view is completely different and in TGD quantum measurement theory based on ZEO extends to a theory of consciousness.
- The notion of a magnetic body (MB) carrying dark matter as heff=nh0 phases of ordinary matter is essential. For the gravitational monopole flux tubes the value of heff=hgr would be enormous and imply quantum coherence in arbitrarily long scales. Gravitational MBs could control both living matter and computers.
- A criterion characterizing the critical clock frequency or its biological analog for the transformation of living system to a conscious and living system is deduced. This transition would mean that the statistical determinism fails due to the possibility of quantum coherence in time scales longer than the clock period.
- Also an attempt to identify various quantum gravitational Compton lengths Λgr and frequencies fgr with frequencies, which appear in the TGD inspired quantum biology, is made. Λgr and fgr appear also in the TGD inspired physical model of computers.
- The emerging view could be blamed for the return to astrology. Indeed, the gravitational flux tubes mediating the gravitational interactions between Sun and planets, between planets, between Earth and Moon, and even between the galactic blackhole and solar system could play a key role since the interactions are mediated along the flux tube network. However, the numerous strange numerical coincidences for quantum gravitational coherence scales and corresponding frequencies force us to take this view seriously.
For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.