Making the soft sciences hard: the Newton model.
Making the soft sciences hard requires an understanding of (1) what these sciences are, (2) what makes them hard or soft and (3) how they got that way. Broadly, the hard sciences are concerned with physical entities while the soft sciences are concerned with living entities. The identification and measures of their subjects and the phenomena that influence these subjects typify the extant hard (natural) sciences, such as physics and chemistry. Inexact identification and measures of their subjects and the phenomena that influence these subjects typify the extant soft sciences, such as life and society. The ubiquitous phenomena of gravity and energy have been identified, described and measured in physics. In the soft sciences, the ubiquitous causes of living entities' behaviour have not been adequately identified, described and measured. Biologists have identified and described the existence of a ubiquitous phenomenon that causes the reproduction and metabolism phenomena that define life. However, objective measures of this ubiquitous phenomenon do not exist although it is not for lack of trying.
Scientists have been trying for over 250 years to develop a science of society based on measuring fundamental phenomena. These scientists were trying to use Newton's discovery of the nature and measurement of gravity as a model. In the introduction to a recent update of Newton's Principia, Westfall (1991) states, 'The principles of universal gravitation became a beacon to philosophers of the 18th century's age of enlightenment, and imitating its pattern, they attempted to erect a science of society that rested on similar general laws of nature'. Comte (1830-1842) identified three states in the development of a science of society: (1) theological, (2) metaphysical and (3) positive. The third state is the development of the natural sciences. The living systems and social sciences have passed through the first two states and are now in the third state.
The hypothesis of this paper is that the development of the extant natural sciences can be used as a methodology for the development of natural sciences for living systems and societies. The essence of Newton's method was to observe, identify and measure universal phenomena that could not be observed by existing methods. He observed gravity through the behaviours caused by this universal phenomenon. He identified the characteristics of the determinants of these behaviours and established functional relations between gravity and its determinants. He used measures of these determinants and functional relations to identify and measure gravity.
Similarly, the phenomena that cause life cannot be directly observed and measured. Life is observed by metabolism and reproduction behaviours that are caused by some universal phenomena that are not directly observable and measurable. Prior to the work of the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the early years of the 20th century, the theory current among biologists at the time was that life could only be explained by recourse to a 'vital principle' or God. Von Bertalanffy considered living things to be a part of the natural order, 'systems' like atoms and molecular and planetary systems (Miller and Miller, 1999). His work was instrumental in moving the science of living things to Comte's positive state. Discovery of DNA structure by Watson and Crick (1953) and deciphering of the genetic code by Nirenberg et al. (1961) resulted in the identification of genetic information as a fundamental phenomenon of life. Progress in biology in the middle and later parts of the 20th century resulted in a more precise definition of life. A current definition of life is 'complex physcio-chemical systems whose two main peculiarities are (1) storage and replication of molecular information in the form of nucleic acid, and (2) the presence of ... enzyme catalysis, without enzymes catalysis a system is inert, not alive ... Other familiar properties, such as nutrition, respiration, reproduction, excretion, irritability, locomotion, etc., are all dependent in some way upon their exhibiting the two abovementioned properties' (Thain and Hickman, 1996). Based on this definition of life, replication and catalysis are universal behaviours of life. These behaviours do not just exist; they are caused by some universal phenomenon. It is hypothesized that this phenomenon is information, which is defined as the phenomenon that causes the behaviours of living entities. The definition of life suggests that genetic information cause (initiates) reproduction behaviours, and biochemical information in the form of enzymes cause (initiates) metabolism behaviours. A hypothesis of this paper is that genetic and biochemical information causes the fundamental behaviours of life. These characteristics of information are similar to those of gravity. They are universal phenomena that cannot be directly observed and measured, they both cause behaviours, and they can be identified and measured through their functional relations with the behaviours they cause. Therefore the methods for identifying, describing and measuring gravity should apply to information.
The natural sciences have evolved to high levels of maturity based on measures. Figure 1 shows the emergence of the extant natural (quantitative) sciences as a function of concrete and abstract measures. These measures are objective--they are directly observable or can be related to directly observable phenomena. Concrete measures are applicable to phenomena that are observable with our sensors. Length is readily observable with our eyes. Similarly, weight is observable with our mechanoreceptors, and we can directly observe time by the appearances of periodic events such as sunrise and sunset. Units of length, weight and time measures can be traced to antiquity (Chisholm, 2002). Abstract measures are applicable to phenomena observable by behaviours associated with these phenomena. Mechanical, heat and electrical energies are observed by the behaviours associated with these energies. Our understanding of energy phenomena is relatively new. For example, the concept of heat as a form of energy is based on the observations of Count Rumford (1798). Measurement requires the establishment of units with specific characteristics. Units are defined in terms of invariant phenomena. Measurement units are arbitrary--that is, they must be accepted by a consensus of the users of the units--and they have a count of one.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Figure 1 shows the units of measure for the ubiquitous phenomenon of energy as abstract measures because energy cannot be directly observed through our sensors. Energy does not occupy space and is weightless--it is an abstract concept. Energy is observed and measured by the work done in a behaviour. The mechanical energy unit of measure is based on the ubiquitous phenomenon of the mutual attraction of physical entities. There is a direct relation between mechanical energy ([e.sub.m]) (the amount of work to lift an entity), the entity's mass (m), acceleration due to gravity (g) and the distance (h) the entity is lifted above the earth. This functional relationship is
[e.sub.m] = f(m,g,h) (1)
This relationship is used to establish a unit of measure for mechanical energy. One erg (unit) of energy is used in the behaviour of lifting 1 g of mass through a distance of one centimetre. Using these units of measure, this relation (Equation (1)) is converted to the equation
[e.sub.m] = mgh (2)
This Equation can be used to measure the amount of work (energy used) to raise a specific mass through a specific distance.
Similarly, heat energy is observed through the behaviour (work done) in changing the temperature of a body. Heat energy changes the structure of physical entities and their temperatures. Change in temperature ([b.sub.t]) is a direct function of an entity's structure ([k.sub.h]) and to its heat energy input ([e.sub.h]). This functional relation is
[b.sub.t] = f([k.sub.h], [e.sub.h])(3)
A unit of heat energy is established by assigning units of measure to temperature and to an entity's capacity to direct energy ([k.sub.h]). The result is one unit of heat energy (a calorie) causes a gram of water (with a capacity to direct I calorie per degree) to increase by 1[degrees]C. The resulting equation is
[b.sub.t] = [k.sub.h][e.sub.h] (4)
This Equation can be used to compute the amount of heat needed to produce a given temperature elevation in any mass of water. Thus, to raise 5kg of water from 10 to 70[degrees]C requires 5 x 1000 x 60 = 300 000 cal.
Each substance has a particular capacity to direct thermal energy. A substance's capacity to direct energy is a fundamental characteristic of all substances and is a function of a substance's structure. For copper, only about 1/11 cal is needed to raise 1g through 1[degrees]C, while for platinum about 1/30 cal is sufficient. The thermal capacity of a substance is the number of calories needed to raise I g of the substance through 1[degrees]C.
Similarly, units of measure have been developed for the ubiquitous electrical phenomenon. The behaviour of electrical energy (work) is a direct function of electrical charge and electrical potential. One unit of electrical energy is based on the charge on the electron. The electron volt is the behaviour of moving one electron through an increase of a 1 V potential.
The methodology for developing measures of energy is used to develop measures for the fundamental phenomena of living entities.
A quote from Lord Kelvin (1891-1894) states the importance of measurement:
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science, whatever the matter may be.
BEHAVIOUR, STRUCTURE AND ENERGY PHENOMENA
The universal phenomenon of gravity was unknowable prior to Newton's work. The pre-Newton method of observing (and thereby knowing about) phenomena was through our five sensors. Newton developed a method for knowing about gravity by observing the behaviours associated with gravity and the relation between behaviour and its determinants. This method resulted in knowing about gravity and developing measurements for gravity.
Energy, like gravity, is a universal phenomenon that is not directly observable by our sensors. The Newton model of observing and measuring a phenomenon through behaviour is applicable to energy phenomena. Development of the energy measures described above was based on this model. It was hypothesized that the behaviours of both nonliving and living structures are a direct function of their capacity to direct (operate on) energy and to available energy and that their capacity to direct energy could be observed and measured by using Newton's model. This hypothesis was verified for minerals, plants and animals (Simms, 1971). The capacity-to-direct-energy concept was extended to society (Simms, 1983). Both a living entity's capacity to direct energy and the energy available to the entity are fundamental phenomena and can be measured using existing units of measure.
The phenomenon of information is not directly observable. It is weightless, does not occupy space, cannot be observed by any of our sensors and cannot be directly measured. Information, like gravity and energy, can be observed indirectly and characterized through behaviours. For example, a form of neural information can be observed through the muscle contractions the information causes. Similarly, biochemical information can be observed through the biochemical reactions the information causes, such as enzymatic activity in the ubiquitous glycolysis cycle after reaching activation energy thresholds. Finally, genetic information can be observed through the synthesis of protein that information causes. These simple information--behaviour relationships demonstrate the principle that information is observable through the behaviour it causes.
These considerations result in identification of the basic nature of information: (a) information is observable by the behaviour it causes, (b) information is a fundamental phenomenon of life and (c) the forms of the fundamental information phenomenon are genetic, biochemical and neural. Behaviour is further defined in terms of the energy used in a behaviour. For example, the behaviour of muscle contraction is the conversion of free energy to the mechanical energy associated with muscle contractions. Free energy is made available when a molecule of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) changes to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Although this energy is a fundamental phenomenon of life, it did not have a name. It is suggested that the unit of measure for this energy be called a lae, for 'life available energy'.
EARLY ATTEMPTS TO MEASURE INFORMATION
Shannon (1948) and Shannon and Weaver (1949) developed a theory of information that became known as Shannon's Classical Information Theory even though Shannon called it 'A Mathematical Theory of Communication'. This theory treats the processes of communication and the transmission of messages; specifically, it deals with the information content of messages and the probability of signal recognition in the presence of interference, noise and distortion. Shannon developed a mathematical expression for determining the information in a message, which has the same form as the statistical mechanics Equation that describes entropy (which is a measure of disorder in a system), but with a negative sign. Classical information has been called negative entropy or negentropy and represents a measure of order in a system. Lwoff (1965) presents compelling arguments that information theory cannot apply to life. Miller (1978) confirmed the fact that classical information theory does not adequately measure information as it applies to living systems. The major problems with the classical information theory are (a) the absence of objective measures of information equivalent to those of the natural sciences, and (b) the lack of application to biochemical, genetic and neural information. It is obvious and reassuring that the neural information that causes heartbeat and breathing is not based on statistical probability.
OBJECTIVE MEASURES OF NEURAL INFORMATION
Development of an objective measure for neural information is based on the methodology described above for developing measures of energy. A fundamental phenomenon of animals is their relatively rapid movements that are made possible by contractile tissue. These movement behaviours are readily observable and can be measured by the work done during a contractile tissue contraction. It has been understood since Galvani's frog leg experiments that muscle contractions are caused by electrical phenomena (Dibner, 2002). The fundamental behaving structure is a motor unit that has one motor neuron, its nerve terminals, and the muscle fibres innervated by them. The work done in a muscle contraction is related to the characteristics of the contractile tissue (Carlson et al., 1963; Carlson and Wilkie, 1974). These relations can be combined into a relational expression. Motion behaviour (b,) is a direct function of a motor unit's capacity to direct (convert) energy ([k.sub.n]), available energy ([e.sub.a]) and information ([i.sub.n]) where information is the electrical action potential that causes the behaviour. This functional relation can be stated as
[b.sub.n] = f([k.sub.n], [e.sub.a], [i.sub.n]) (5)
An exact interrelation between motion behaviour and its determinants requires units of measure for both behaviour and the determinants of behaviour. Motion behaviour can be measured (quantified) using mechanical energy units. Available energy can be measured in laes. Capacity to direct energy can be measured as a constant per unit of information, where the constant is directly related to a particular structure.
Following the model for developing energy units, a reference structure is selected for developing information units. A structure for neural information is a motor unit that has a capacity to direct the free energy from one molecule of ATP when it changes to ADP (one lae). The selected structure for developing a unit of measure for neural information is a motor unit that has a capacity to direct one lae of energy for each unit of neural information. The reference motor unit is the fundamental structure at the irreducible level and is equivalent to the reference structures used to establish the basic energy units of the extant natural sciences. The definition of a unit of neural information is one unit of neural information ([i.sub.n]) causes the reference motor unit, with a capacity to direct one lae per information input ([k.sub.n]), to convert one lae of available energy ([e.sub.a]), to mechanical energy (erg) used in contraction behaviour ([b.sub.n]). Using these units, the above functional relation becomes
[b.sub.n] = [k.sub.n][e.sub.a][i.sub.n] (6)
The suggested name for the unit of neural information is a neurin, a contraction of neuron and information.
The neural information unit has three specific characteristics: (a) it is an action potential in the form of an electrical pulse, (b) the action potential is of sufficient magnitude and width to cause a contraction of its associated contractile tissue and (c) it is ephemeral, that is, transient. Once a unit (quantum) of neural information causes a behaviour in the form of a muscle contraction, another quantum of information must be available for another contraction behaviour.
Motor units typically have many muscle fibres. There may be 200 or more muscle fibres in each vertebrate motor unit in large muscles of the leg or trunk. Still, one unit of neural information causes the contraction of these various motor units. This phenomenon is equivalent to heat energy where I cal of energy input causes temperature increases in substances that are a function of the structures of the substance. The concept of specific heat of substances is used to deal with the different heat capacities of structures. Specific heat or, more properly, thermal capacity of a substance is the ratio of its thermal capacity to that of water at 15[degrees]C. Similarly, the capacity to direct energy of various muscles can be measured by comparison to the reference structure for capacity to direct energy. Each neural structure has particular specific neural information, which is comparable to specific heat.
OBJECTIVE MEASURES OF BIOCHEMICAL INFORMATION
Similarly, an objective measure of biochemical information is based on the methodology used for developing measures of energy. Biochemical reaction behaviours occur in all living cells. A typical cell performs thousands of biochemical reactions each second. Biochemical reaction behaviours are a fundamental phenomenon of life. These behaviours include bringing biochemicals into the cell from its environment and transporting biochemicals to the structures that change biochemicals by breaking energy bonds and forming new energy bonds. Cells have structures (enzymes) that change configurations during biochemical reactions--energy is operated on and changed during each reaction. Enzymes are the primary structure for causing these reaction behaviours. Enzymes have structures that provide them with a capacity (ability) to direct energies ([k.sub.b]). They can remove chemical bonding energies, add bonding energies and use energy to change the shape of their structures. These phenomena are observed as behaviours ([b.sub.b]) of converting biochemicals to other biochemicals during a reaction. Biochemical behaviours ([b.sub.b]) are observed by differences in biochemical structure before and after these behaviours and by the work done (energy used) during these behaviours. Biochemical reaction behaviour occurs when there is available energy ([e.sub.a]). Enzymes exhibit a fundamental phenomenon--they use biochemical information ([i.sub.b]) that causes biochemical behaviours. Biochemical behaviours are a direct function of (a) an enzyme's capacity to direct energy, (b) available energy and (c) biochemical information. This functional relationship can be stated as
[b.sub.b] = f([k.sub.b], [e.sub.a], [i.sub.b]) (7)
This functional relationship can be converted to an Equation by using the processes for establishing units of measure for energy. The lae is the unit of measure for available energy. The behaviour is the energy used in the reaction. The reference structure has a capacity to direct one lae per unit of biochemical information, such as the first step in the glycolysis cycle that uses one lae to convert glucose to glucose 6-phosphate (G6P)--the enzyme hexokinase causes this reaction (Purves et al., 1992a). If one unit of biochemical information is defined as causing a reference structure with a capacity to direct one lae per unit of information, the relational Equation becomes
[b.sub.b] = [k.sub.b][e.sub.a][i.sub.b] (8)
The definition of a unit of biochemical information is one unit of biochemical information ([i.sub.b]) causes a reference structure ([k.sub.b]) (that has a capacity to direct one lae per unit of biochemical information) to convert one lae of available energy ([e.sub.a]) to the biochemical energy used in a biochemical behaviour ([b.sub.b]). The suggested name of the biochemical information unit is the biocin (a contraction of biochemical and information).
Animals with endocrine systems have structures that generate biochemical information ([i.sub.b]), such as hormones. A biochemical communication system that uses hormonal information is made up of at least two cells. One cell generates and transmits biochemical information and a second cell, with appropriate receptors, receives this information and causes an appropriate behaviour. Animals receive biochemical information about chemical stimuli through chemosensors that respond to specific molecules in the environment. Chemosensitivity is universal among animals and is used to communicate among the animals of a species (Purves et al., 1992b).
Enzymes and hormones typically have structures that are different from the reference structure, which results in different capacities to direct energy. Measurement of these capacities to direct energy can be made using the methods for heat energy and neural information that measure the capacity to direct energy of a particular structure compared to the reference system. Each enzyme and hormone has a specific capacity to direct energy.
OBJECTIVE MEASURES OF GENETIC INFORMATION
Similarly, measurement units and measurement of genetic information can be developed using the method for measuring other abstract phenomena such as gravity, energy, and neural and biochemical information. Understanding of genetic information phenomena is based on the discovery of the DNA molecule's structure by Watson and Crick (1953), and on deciphering the genetic code by Nirenberg et al. (1961). These were the chief discoveries that resulted in the central dogma of molecular biology, which is: DNA codes for RNA while RNA codes for protein. Development of an objective measure of genetic information is based on the fundamental phenomenon that living systems synthesize protein. This phenomenon is the essence of reproduction behaviour. It is caused by genetic information. The synthesis of protein is an observable phenomenon. Genetic information causes the synthesis of specific proteins. The final structure for synthesis of protein is the ribosome (Dibner, 2002). This structure has a capacity to direct the energy for synthesis. The behaviour of protein synthesis ([b.sub.g]) is a direct function of cellular structure ([k.sub.g]) that has a capacity to convert free energy to binding energies, available energy ([e.sub.a]) in the form of free energy and genetic information ([i.sub.g]). The absence of any of these three determinants precludes synthesis behaviours. This functional relationship is
[b.sub.g] = f([k.sub.g], [e.sub.a],[i.sub.g]) (9)
Using the model for establishing units of measure, this relation becomes
[b.sub.g] = [k.sub.g][e.sub.a][i.sub.g] (10)
The methodology for developing units of measure for neural and biochemical information is used to establish a unit of measure for genetic information. A reference structure ([k.sub.g]) is selected that has a capacity to direct one lae of energy per unit of genetic information ([i.sub.g]). The energy used in synthesis behaviour is [b.sub.g]. Following the naming process, the suggested name of the genetic information unit is the genin.
EMERGENCE OF THE LIFE AND SOCIETY SCIENCES
Emergence of the natural sciences shown in Figure 1 provides a model for the emergence of life and society sciences. The primary feature shown in Figure I is that the emergence of a new natural science is based on the measure of a fundamental phenomenon and the proceeding natural sciences. Emergence of geometry is based on the measure of length. The word geometry derives from earth measurements. Astronomy emerged from length and time measures and on geometry. Following the model shown in Figure 1, measurement of the ubiquitous information, capacity to direct energy and available energy phenomena plus the previous natural sciences will result in emergence of life and society sciences. The first principles of these sciences are:
(1) The behaviours of living things at all levels are observable and can be measured by the energy used in these behaviours.
(2) Living things are composed of structures that provide them with a capacity to direct energy.
(3) The primary source of the energy used in a living thing's behaviours is made available when a molecule of ATP is converted to ADP.
(4) Information is a ubiquitous phenomenon that causes living things' behaviours.
(5) There are three forms of information: genetic, biochemical and, in animals, neural.
(6) There is a relation between behaviour (b), capacity to direct energy (k), available energy ([e.sub.a]) and information (i).
(7) There are units of measure for behaviour, available energy, capacity to direct energy and information that change the above relations to formal equations.
The principles listed above have achieved a level of maturity appropriate for application to all levels of living systems. During development of these principles, they were applied to Miller's cell, organ and organism levels (Simms, 1999). Miller and Miller (1999) wrote:
In 1978 when the book Living Systems was published, it contained the prediction that the sciences that were concerned with the biological and social sciences would, in the future, be stated as rigorously as the 'hard sciences' that study such nonliving phenomena as temperature, distance, and the interaction of chemicals. Principles of Quantitative Living Systems Science, the first of a planned series of three books, begins an attempt to fulfill that prediction.
The Millers also wrote:
It is our opinion that this book represents an important step in the development of a quantitative living systems science. As Simms shows, the concepts of available energy and the capacity to direct energy, as well as the causative relationship between information and behavior, are useful in the analysis of behavior. The systems with which this first book of the series is concerned are mainly at the level of the cell and the animal organ and organism. They include such systems as neurons, motor units, the leg muscle of Rana pipiens, and the hearts, respiratory organs, and digestive tracts of various species. It will be interesting to see how the science is applied in later volumes to the more complex behavior of human beings, groups, and higher-level systems.
The objective measures of hard science phenomena provided the foundation of precise and invariant languages for these sciences. These languages provide the tools for presenting and testing hypotheses and for establishing the laws of the hard sciences. Similarly, the objective measures developed herein for the phenomena of life provide a basis for a precise and invariant language of a science of life.
Figure 2 depicts the emergence of life and social sciences as a function of information. Genetic and biochemical information are essential for all life and each of Miller's classification levels. In addition, neural information is essential for animal organisms. Genetic, biochemical and neural information phenomena are described above and units of measure developed. Figure 2 shows the relation between information and Miller's cell, organ and organism levels. Miller, the pre-eminent living systems scientist, reviewed the development of work leading to a living systems hard science at his cell, organ and organism levels, as described above, and stated that the work 'represents an important step in the development of a quantitative living systems science'.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Figure 2 also shows that group information is essential for group behaviour. The primary phenomenon that separates Miller's group level from his cell, organ and organism levels is sexual reproduction. The easily observable mating behaviours of dogs involves the release of biochemical information by a female that causes changes in the male, such as swelling of glands, and other behaviours typical of a male mating with a female in heat. As described above, chemosensitivity is universal among animals and is used to communicate among the animals of a species. This communication is the transmission of biochemical information. Other forms of group information are vision, sound and taste. Vision is the phenomenon where light energy interacts with a photosensitive structure that, in turn, generates neural information. Sound is the phenomenon where sound waves interact with audio sensitive structures that, in turn, generate neural information. Taste is the phenomenon where chemicals interact with taste structures that, in turn, generate neural information. The mating calls of animals are also examples of group information. Other group behaviours, such as threat warning, herding, protection and caring for offspring are accomplished through the various forms of group information.
In addition to the types of information described above, humans have invented unique forms of information that provide an ability to communicate over long periods of time, great distances and fast speeds. Historically, humans have been able to communicate the existence of animals and physical land features through pictures in caves that have been preserved over the ages. Humans have also invented various written languages that resulted in the communication of thoughts and concepts, such as religious writings, over centuries. Writings of this type have had significant impacts on human societies. More recently, humans have invented technologies that provide an ability to transmit written and picture information world wide almost instantaneously. These inventions impact human societies.
Development of a natural science of life requires a change from the current uncertainty-based information paradigm to an objective measurable information paradigm. The current paradigm includes Shannon's information theory described above, the uncertainty-based information concepts treated by Klir (1993), and the social entropy theory treated by Bailey (1994). These theories primarily treat neural information related to humans. The new paradigm treats the phenomena of life and objective certainty-based units of measure of information. Kuhn (1970) provides the criteria for a new paradigm:
Probably the single most prevalent claim advanced by proponents of a new paradigm is that they solve the problems that have led the old one to a crisis. When it can legitimately be made, this claim is often the most effective one possible. Claims of this sort are particularly likely to succeed if the new paradigm displays a quantitative precision strikingly better than its older competitor.
Objective measures of information satisfy Kuhn's criteria for the emergence of a science. The principles and measures presented in this paper are just the start of a natural science of life. Benjamin Franklin's comment comes to mind. While watching a new innovation he was asked, what good is it? Franklin answered with a question: 'What is the good of a new baby?' (Chapin, 1985).
This paper provides the foundation for a natural science of living systems and society equivalent to that of the extant natural (hard) sciences. It also shows that information is a measurable universal phenomenon that causes the behaviours of living systems.
The subjects of the extant natural sciences are well defined and their characteristics specified by objective measures. The ubiquitous phenomena, such as gravity and heat, that impact these subjects have been identified and can be measured. These ubiquitous phenomena apply to both nonliving and living entities. Living entities exhibit reproduction and metabolic ubiquitous phenomena that differentiate them from nonliving entities. Developing a natural living system science requires objective measures of these phenomena. These ubiquitous phenomena of life are (a) storage and replication of molecular information and (b) enzyme catalysis, which are genetic and biochemical information. Genetic information causes reproduction behaviours and biochemical information causes metabolic behaviours
The development of measurement units for genetic, biochemical and neural information provides the objective measures of the ubiquitous phenomena of life. They also provide the means for establishing formal Equations for the behaviours of living entities and the determinants of their behaviours. These measures and Equations provide the foundation for a natural science of life including a precise and invariant language of this science.
It took over two centuries since Newton's Principia to achieve the current state of maturity of the natural sciences. It is hoped that it will take much less time to achieve a comparable state of maturity of a natural life and society science. Development of the extant natural sciences should provide a roadmap.
This paper benefited from reviews of earlier drafts by E. Gillis, P. Johnson, S. Johnson, B. Kral, L. Tracy and S. Wakid. The author thanks C. Baird, B. Hilton, P. Johnson and R. Walljasper for their review and suggestions. The author also thanks the SRBS referee for his excellent suggestions.
Received 8 September 2009
Accepted 8 March 2010
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James R. Simms ([dagger])
Simms Industries Inc.
* Correspondence to: James R. Simms, 9405 Elizabeth Ct. Fulton, MD. 20759 USA.
([dagger]) Chair of the Living Systems Analysis Special Integration Group, the International Society for the Systems Sciences.
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|Title Annotation:||Research Paper|
|Author:||Simms, James R.|
|Publication:||Systems Research and Behavioral Science|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2011|
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