What is Life? (Chapter 7) - Schrodinger


Life cannot be reduced to ordinary laws of physics.  This is because the construction of living beings is different than anything we have tested in the physical laboratory. 

Life is controlled by well ordered groups of atoms. 

Small numbers of atoms behave unpredictably: a healthy sparrow will live with more certainty than a single radioactive atom.  

Life and genetics is beyond mere statistical physics and probability mechanisms.  

Life utilizes two systems: order from disorder, and order from order.

Genetics relies upon a solid “aperiodic structure” (later revealed to be DNA) which Schrodinger says is “the finest masterpiece ever achieved along the lines of the Lord’s quantum mechanics. 

Two Premises: body is a pure mechanism, the individual has free choice through consciousness.  Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular.  Consciousness finds itself constrained to the physical state and region of matter.  Each person has the impression they are the sum total of their experience and memory forming an “I” – The “I” being the ground stuff from which experience is collected.