The Gene Emergence Project

Book Cover - the First Gene

The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control,
Paperback – November 2, 2011, by David L Abel (Author, Editor), Kirk K Durston (Contributor), David K.Y. Chiu (Contributor), Donald E Johnson (Contributor)

“The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control” is a peer-reviewed anthology of papers that focuses, for the first time, entirely on the following difficult scientific questions: *How did physics and chemistry write the first genetic instructions? *How could a prebiotic (pre-life, inanimate) environment consisting of nothing but chance and necessity have programmed logic gates, decision nodes, configurable-switch settings, and prescriptive information using a symbolic system of codons (three nucleotides per unit/block of code)? The codon table is formal, not physical. It has also been shown to be conceptually ideal. *How did primordial nature know how to write in redundancy codes that maximally protect information? *How did mere physics encode and decode linear digital instructions that are not determined by physical interactions? All known life is networked and cybernetic. “Cybernetics” is the study of various means of steering, organizing and controlling objects and events toward producing utility. The constraints of initial conditions and the physical laws themselves are blind and indifferent to functional success. Only controls, not constraints, steer events toward the goal of usefulness (e.g., becoming alive or staying alive). Life-origin science cannot advance until first answering these questions: *1-How does nonphysical programming arise out of physicality to then establish control over that physicality? *2-How did inanimate nature give rise to a formally-directed, linear, digital, symbol-based and cybernetic-rich life? *3-What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for turning physics and chemistry into formal controls, regulation, organization, engineering, and computational feats? “The First Gene” directly addresses these questions.

The book is available here on

Book Cover - Primordial Prescription

Primordial Prescription
Paperback – February 24, 2015, by David L. Abel (Author)

This is the second major work by this author (The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control) and it addresses the most fundamental questions remaining for life origin research: How did molecular evolution generate metabolic recipe and instructions using a representational symbol system? How did prebiotic nature set all of the many configurable switch-settings to integrate so many interdependent circuits? How did inanimate nature sequence nucleotides to spell instructions to the ribosomes on how to sequence amino acids into correctly folding protein molecular machines? How did nature then code these symbol-system instructions into Hamming block codes, to reduce noise pollution in the Shannon channel? What programmed the error-detection and error-correcting software that keeps life from quickly deteriorating into non-life from so many deleterious mutations? In short, which of the four known forces of physics organized and prescribed life into existence? Was it gravity? Was it the strong or weak nuclear force? Was it the electromagnetic force? How could any combination of these natural forces and force fields program decision nodes to prescribe future utility? Why and how would a prebiotic environment value, desire or seek to generate utility? Can chance and/or necessity (law) program or prescribe sophisticated biofunction? The most plaguing problem of life origin science remains: What programmed, in a prebiotic environment, the Primordial Prescription and Processing of such sophisticated, integrated biofunction? That is the subject of this book.

The book is available here on