Schrodinger, Erwin - What is Life - Atoms
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Erwin Schrodinger – What is Life?
A single group of atoms existing only in one copy produces orderly events, marvellously tuned in with each other and with the environment according to most subtle laws. I said, existing only in one copy, for after all we have the example of the egg and of the unicellular organism. In the following stages of a higher organism the copies are multiplied that is true. But to what extent? Something like 10 to the 14 in a grown mammal I understand. It needs no poetical imagination but only clear and sober scientific reflection to recognise that we are here obviously faced with events whose regular and lawful unfolding is guided by a mechanism entirely different from the ‘probability mechanism’ of physics. For it is simply a fact of observation that the guiding principle in every cell is embodied in a single atomic association existing only in one copy [or sometimes two] and a fact of observation that it results in producing events which are a paragon of orderliness.………………. We must be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing … or are we to term it a non physical, not to say super physical law?
To the unprejudiced mind, the principle producing ‘order from order’ appears to be much simpler, much more plausible [than order from disorder in creating life]