Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Non-Life


Non-music, non-philosophy, and of course, non-life. In The Ecological Thought I talk about the strange entities that exist at the macromolecular level: insertions, virions, viroids, plasmids, and on and on. There are whole realms of them. For instance consider RNA world, a realm of “pre-living life” that had to exist before DNA proper, since DNA requires ribosomes and ribosomes requires DNA.

DNA type self-replicating molecules are “life“ forms, or perhaps it's better to say non-life, since there are many kinds of macromolecule such as viruses that aren't “alive” in the metaphysical, onto-theological sense.

I was reminded of this today by an essay on how bacteria are becoming resistant to a wide range of antibiotics. This is because of the presence of plasmids inside bacteria. Plasmids are a kind of non-life in the sense I'm using here.

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