I wonder if we might consider the self-propagation of life (and other, related, manifestations of complex systems) in purely logical terms, if in potentially unorthodox ways. Any analysis along these lines will necessarily find itself in search of axioms upon which to build. My own interest in the construction of frameworks of analysis aligning to global or holistic systems-theoretic conceptualisations leads me to seek globally-evident properties of systems with which to work and from which to cultivate and generate explanatory systems. A question arises in regards to the sensible attribution in this context of axiomatic status to a principle of recursive self-replication itself: the one universal or global feature of successfully self-replicating systems being this ubiquitous strange loop of recursive self-propagation.
Is self-replication a theorem or an axiom of holistic systems analysis ? Is it an emergent property of underlying material and dynamical biases, and for this – notionally, a theorem ? Or is self-replication itself under some analyses a logically irreducible systems-primitive and underlying fact upon which other relationships, entities and interdependent self-propagating referential and informational matrices may be constructed – essentially, an axiom ? Might it be that when a global or holistic systems-theoretical analysis is undertaken, as essentially constituting a system of inevitably pure introspection and unbounded internal extensivity, that an axiom might also in this way become a theorem within the system it itself allows for the construction of ? The one irreducible entity I have been able to determine as underlying the self-propagating process of recursive system self-reference and self-replication is the self-propagating process of recursive system self-reference and self-replication itself. It seems that there is an underlying temporal key to this particular melody and speculative framework.
This is all the short-form and compressed version of this idea. It is impossible to tie off all loose referential threads, both in regards to communicative brevity and the constitutively unbounded nature of such analyses. Explanation from within the notional bounds of any holistic systems theory at some level of abstraction always must form an iterative sub-component and subject of its own process of introspective and explanatory or conceptual self-inspection. There may always be a sense in which this represents the functional rotation of one mirror to face another – resulting in endless extensibility.
I am floating imaginary balloons in an abstract and complex problem and possibility space. It is difficult to know which ones will stay aloft or which ones, indeed, will prove to be entirely insubstantial. Time will tell…