1) Self-replication is (supposedly) the production by an element of another identical element.
2) Self-production is the cycle of reproduction of an organized system by itself.
Fenton ROBB states: "Self-replication" should not be mistaken for "self-production". The products of self-production of an autopoietic process may be quite different from these already comprising the system, if that is what is required to maintain its unity. A self-producing system may thus maintain its process by producing different structures with different behaviors. It may, in trying to maintain itself, produce novel processes and products, either with the present structures and behaviors or with new ones. For these reasons we shall not be able to distinguish simply by looking at their structure, or their behavior, autopoietic systems from those without that property. Size, complexity and connectivity may indeed be significant but do not of themselves provide us with diagnostic tools for the detection of autopoiesis" (1989, p.63).
Indeed, effective elementary self-replication seems to be a practical impossibility. The element would need a template within itself to make a copy of itself, and would thus be a complex system. Moreover, as the template must necessarily pre-exist, it must have been created somehow. Thus we are down back to the previous need:
- either of some kind of meta-level recursivity, as for example in biological systems, in which the genetic code seems to act as a template, but is provided by an hereditary mechanism, recursive at the species level
- or by evolutive order from noise.
The case of crystal growth within a saturated solution opens perhaps an interesting insight. Here, the template depends on the lower level organization of complexity, i.e., the connection mode of atomic electron shells within the molecule.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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