Jolanta KoszteynCorresponding author

Biomolecular perfection and the „common descent"

10 - 2005, pages 89-112
Date of online publication: 03 August 2016
Date of publication: 30 November 2005


The concept of „fundamental unity of life" belongs to the descriptive element of biology. It contrasts with the equally empirical concept of multiplicity and diversity of living forms. „Fundamental unity of life" means that however peculiar a biological form might be, some of its essential mechanisms are exactly the same as in the rest of the biological world. It is astonishing to realize that so different beings as bacteria, plants and men manifest several evidently non fortuitous identities. For thousands of years man has been aware, that many behavioral traits are common to all living beings. Every living being processes matter, multiplies, regenerates, adapts to its surroundings'. During the last century a new, impressive confirmation and amplification of these resemblances was found on the molecular and subcellular level. One may say that the previous, rather raw concepts of nutrition, reproduction, adaptation and regeneration have been replaced by the more or less direct evidence, observable within the single living cells. So the idea of „fundamental unity of life" underwent a legitimate „reduction" to the level of biochemistry.


Cite this article

Koszteyn, Jolanta. “Biomolecular Perfection and the ‘Common Descent’.” Forum Philosophicum 10 (2005): 89–112. doi:10.35765/forphil.2005.1001.7.