Research Article

Prebiotic Geochemical Automata at the Intersection of Radiolytic Chemistry, Physical Complexity, and Systems Biology

Table 2

The proposed hierarchy of nested objects relevant to comprehensive consideration of prebiotic evolution experiments.


11ConsortiaGroups of cellsCellular ecology

10Cellular lifeIndividual cellsDarwinian evolution: vertical inheritance (reproduction), genetic and physiological variation, encapsulated autonomy

9Hereditary compartmentsGroups of polymersPersistent, tractable identities based on diffusion-governed interactive behaviors

8Polymer interaction networksPolymers and moleculesPolymer catalysis and molecule-specific network feedback

7Small polymersIndividual polymers (peptides, nucleotides, and phosphates)Condensation reactions, nonspecific molecule coordination

6Molecular thermodynamicsGroups of moleculesHeat capacity, diffusivity, convection, phase transitions

5Molecular interaction networksGroups of reactive moleculesMolecular interconversion, network feedback

4Molecular dynamicsIndividual moleculesInteratomic vibration and rotation, isomorphic states

3Intramolecular bondsAtoms and moleculesValence electron movement, sharing, and displacement

2AtomicIndividual atomsElectron orbital structures, X-ray, and Cerenkov excitation and emission

1SubatomicProtons, neutrons, electrons, and so forthNuclear stability, fission/fusion, atomic interconversion, gamma ray emission