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Ursula Goodenough

I read the Nature Comm. paper and the U Colorado press release that you quote from, and it’s a cool study. 


You say that the study indicates there is a process of “spontaneous self-assembly” at work and this suggests that a “life-force” or “knowing capacity” is at work to enable this “spontaneous” process.


These guys aren’t getting DNA from scratch. They’re starting with DNA fragments that already have the spatial and thermodynamic constraints of DNA built into them, and under the conditions imposed, with lots of precursor nucleotides around, an autocatalytic cycle a la Prigogine/Stu Kauffman/Terry Deacon ensues. 


Why do you posit the need a “life-force” or “knowing capacity” to enable this process?