The Chemoton Theory

Chemoton theory is a uniquely comprehensive, exact and quantitative, pioneering and surprising scientific theory of the 20th century showing how chemical processes are or can be organized into dynamical systems, from simple reactions through fluid automata to living cells.
It is uniquely comprehensive, since starting out from the coupling of chemical processes, passing through reaction chains and reaction nets to chemical cycles and their coupling, passing step by step it arrives to the design and realization of fluid (chemical) machineries, and by coupling the operation of autocatalytic cycles, to the design of self-reproducing automata.   By building into these systems fluid information storage, it proves that the self-reproducing program-controlled fluid (chemical) automata, the chemotons, behave like living systems. Furthermore the theory proves that by considering their basic chemical operation, living systems are systems of chemoton organization, and thus by crossing over the borderline between chemistry and biology, it creates the minimum system of life definable also quantitatively by using cycle stoichiometry. By means of this, the process of the origin of life can be sketched step by step up to the appearance of information sequences, i.e. to the birth of enzymes and genes. Simultaneously, it provides a guideline to the synthesis of artificial living systems.
It is exact and quantitative, since a new field of arithmetics, the so-called cycle stoichiometry has been elaborated for use in chemoton theory, making the arithmetic characterization of fed-back networks (cyclic processes) possible. Thereby – in contrast to, for instance the similarly comprehensive evolution theory of Darwin in the nineteenth century – each step of chemoton theory can be characterized mathematically and calculated quantitatively. This makes the design of fluid (chemical) automata by engineering methods possible.
It is pioneering and surprising, since up to now nobody has studied consequently how is it possible to prepare step by step more and more complex machineries from chemical reactions, and it is surprising, since at a certain degree of complexity, these machineries cross the borderline between living and non-living. From then on, these constructions do not belong to the field of    chemistry any more, they belong to the field of biology.
Chemoton theory has been created by Tibor Gánti by half a century's research work, behind the iron curtain. Being totally isolated from the world politically, geographically and in his language, he has published by far the greater part only in Hungarian. However, these results became available for the international scientific world at the end of 2003, due to the following books published in English:

1./ The Principles of Life
With a commentary by James Griesemer and Eörs Szathmáry. Oxford University Press, 2003

2./ Chemoton Theory. Vol. 1.
Theoretical Foundations of fluid Machineries. Kluver Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003

3./ Chemoton Theory. Vol. 2.
Theory of Living Systems. Kluver Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003

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