Abstract: By his own standards Gregory Bateson was unsuccessful in his life-long quest to explain how the informational or living realm (creatura) could emerge out of the energetic or physical realm (pleroma). Drawing upon recent insights in self-organization theory, the authors suggest a missing link connecting the realms; a simple spontaneously arising, non-living, yet evolvable molecular system called an “autocell” consisting of the reciprocal linkage between an autocatalytic cycle and a self-assembling encapsulation process (modeled on viral encapsulation) where the molecular constituents for the capsule are products of the autocatalysis. Autocells are shown to have the rudiments of individuality, end-directedness, function, and valuation; thus bridging the critical initial gap between pleroma and creatura.

PDF: Bateson_MS3_BridgeToCreatura