The riddle of life

Man in practice learned the laws of nature. Developed the science that thronged the tale, replaced imaginary picture of the world a real understanding of it.
In this struggle the two worldviews one of the most difficult was the question about the essence of life, the interpretation of the amazing features of living beings in comparison with the bodies of inanimate nature.
In ancient times idealists argued that life appeared in the "spiritualization" of God certain inanimate bodies and that, therefore, attempts to understand its nature is meaningless. From the point of view of the materialists, life is a special form of existence and movement of matter and nothing supernatural in it. However, not being able to specifically explain the essence of life, materialists old days - before Marx and Engels - often denied qualitative differences between a living organism and complex machine, reducing the properties of the organism to the laws of physics and chemistry. Only F. Engels in the 70-ies of the last century has managed to give philosophically correct solution to the problem: it is impossible to put the question of "either - or", i.e. either life is a supernatural phenomenon, or it boils down to the physical and chemical laws. Life, having emerged from inanimate nature on the basis of the laws of physics and chemistry, and has its own, the higher laws that must not be denied, and explore.
The main of these laws is the ability of the protein is arranged in a special way the most complicated chemical compounds - for constant exchange of substances with the environment. "Life, " wrote Engels, is the mode of existence of protein bodies, the essential point is a constant exchange of substances with the external nature...". What is metabolism of protein? He is " constant self-renewal of the chemical components of such bodies." It is from this property proteins follow all features of life.
It should be emphasized that this Engels ' definition of life is no definition of philosophy and natural science. Link life with egg white and exchange their parts is concrete scientific definition, based on a brilliant generalization of data accumulated by the time science. New materials can change or even replace this definition, however, so far no such data.
Generalization Engels was the starting point for all subsequent development of advanced science. Metabolism of protein, the body has two sides.
On the one hand, is the actual metabolism, or plastic currency. It consists of two concurrently running processes: continuous protein degradation - degradation process and continuing his recovery, and sometimes the growth process of assimilation. Assimilation is due coming from the external environment of substances. Thus, a living protein changes all the time. Retaining a certain structure, he continuously exchanges its constituent parts. He is like a waterfall, jet which preserve some form, and can even be photographed, though constantly moving fast. However, the fundamental difference between a waterfall and a living protein is that the jets of the waterfall is a simple transfer of particles of water, chemical structure remains unchanged. Traffic here is mechanical. Meanwhile, in a molecule of a living protein is a constant "chemical movement; there is a lot of chemical reactions of creation and decay, which the protein is constantly samoupravlenia. Once these metabolic processes are terminated, protein, the body loses the life and properties, being very fragile, decomposes under the influence of various environmental influences. Of course, in the chemical movement, born of self-renewal of a protein involved and other substances, - ingredients of living matter.
To properly understand the nature of life, we must clearly understand that the processes of assimilation and degradation single and do not exist separately from each other. Their unity is clearly revealed not only in the process first hand metabolism of plastic.
On the other hand, in connection with the metabolism in the proper sense of the word is an exchange of energy, or the energy exchange. For assimilation process of creating the new complex substances required in addition to the "building material" and also energy. Even bread cannot bake without energy costs - in this case in the form of heat. This energy is given, first of all, running simultaneously with the assimilation processes of disintegration in which energy is released. Thus, assimilation and dissimilation completely inseparable and metabolism is profoundly dialectical process. The unity of opposites - assimilation and dissimilation and the struggle they are one of those contradictions, which spawned the diversity and all special features of the phenomenon called life.
I must say that a living organism energy is required not only for the edifying of the protein, but also for different kinds of activity: to work the muscles, glands, and nerve cells, etc. of the Higher animals is needed to maintain a constant body temperature. It means that the energy that is released when inhibition decay own proteins, the body is not enough. A number coming from the external environment of substances the body destroys by oxidation, i.e. compounds with oxygen (a process similar to burning, but going on in the body without fire)that provides additional energy. Not accidentally people heavy physical work or athletes at large training and competition loads need high-calorie diet. Prisoners in complex nutrients reserves of energy are transformed eventually into energy muscular work.
As we see, the metabolism of a living organism consists of two connected - exchange of plastic and energy. This unity of matter and energy is, as we know, the universal law. Since it is proved that in the body there is no addition of substances or increase energy expenditure is impossible without taking them from the outside, this is another illustration of the open M. Century Lomonosov law of conservation of matter and motion, or the universal law of conservation of matter.
We have already said that the idealists denied the unity of the nature of the living and inanimate. Engels said that life arose naturally from inanimate nature, has emerged as a new, higher stage in the eternal evolution of matter. In the future, followed by a number of important discoveries that illuminated the development of life on our planet. Open every link in the chain connecting living with the still, it was an important victory for advanced science. The links of these we will not discuss in chronological order to decrypt them, and during the review process of the emergence and complexity of nature.