Life emerged, I suggest, not simple, but complex and whole, and has remained complex and whole ever since - not because of a mysterious élan vital, but thanks to the simple, profound transformation of dead molecules into an organization by which each molecule's formation is catalyzed by some other molecule in the organization. The secret of life, the wellspring of reproduction, is not to be found in the beauty of Watson-Crick pairing, but in the achievement of collective catalytic closure. So, in another sense, life - complex, whole, emergent - is simple after all, a natural outgrowth of the world in which we live.
Source: Stuart Kauffman At Home in the Universe, Oxford University Press, 1995, pp 47-48.
Contributed by: Zaady