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Autocatalytic set

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The theory of the origin of life from an autocatalytic set of chemicals emerged from studies of complex systems. The theory predicts that life arose not from a molecule with any particular trait (such as self-replicating RNA), but from a collection of molecules, each of which was able to catalyze the creation of others within the set, such that as a whole, the set was able to catalyze its own replication.

Modern life has the traits of an autocatalytic set, since no particular molecule, nor any class of molecules, is able to replicate itself.

Contributors to this theory
Stuart Kauffman

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