nzymes, Atoms, Quarks
The claim has been made in biology that the enzyme-like behavior of the electromagnetic force forming morphes is unique to biology: i.e. the enzyme is another boundary-line between the physical and biological. The position taken within is that it should be considered that the strong force formed and maintains the morphe of atomic nuclei; the electromagnetic force builds and maintains the morphe atomic electron shell; and as builders of morphe, these two forces – one building the periodic table of quarks and the other building the periodic table of elements – behave as does the biological enzyme. More correctly, the biological enzyme behaves as do physical "enzymes."
The conclusion within is that enzyme-like behavior is not the sole domain of the biological; cannot, therefore, be a criterion distinguishing biological life from physical entities; and if anything is true, as a homologous relationship exists in form between biological and physical, it would appear that the physical evolved to the biological – in this instance. Finally, more accurately, there are not biological enzymes, per se, but an Enzyme pyramid with the strong nuclear force at its base first historically operative followed by the middle-tier electromagnetic force forming atomic morphe's and only lastly the enzyme-like nature of the electromagnetic force building biological morphe's.
The brain, eye, limb and each body part results from a trajectory: i.e. the assembly of the jigsaw puzzle of molecules built up from their respective jigsaw puzzle-like genes in the zygote where they make the "picture" of the future organism they will be. The trajectory is built on alternating layers of an enzyme's electromagnetic force and the proteins it assembles: electromagnetic force => protein => electromagnetic force => protein => electromagnetic force => protein, etc: pulled together like a zipper with the electromagnetic force track on one side, the protein track on the other, and the complete organism as the result.
However, this same phenomena is seen in the atom where atomic forces alternate proton => electron => proton => electron as the periodic table is built. And, the nucleons, i.e. protons and neutrons, have two building stages: first, when initially created, the strong force brought together the proper combination of three quarks within the ferocious explosion of the big bang to form a container, as it were, of individual protons that handily survived the most powerful and violent moment the universe has ever known. Secondly, protons and neutrons continually change into each other in the atomic nucleus: they did so in the first moments of the big bang when helium and lithium nuclei were formed and they are behaving so in our bodies this very moment. Something is maintaining biological and physical forms: maintaining the integrity of protons and neutrons, preventing them from falling into disorder. Is there a name for this phenomena?
Circe effect in proton and nucleosynthesis
In Greek mythology, Circe was an enchantress who detained Odysseus on her island and turned his men into swine. Enzymes, as they utilize the electromagnetic force, play a strategic role in the morphological process via the Circe effect. "The Circe effect refers to the utilization of strong attractive forces to lure a substrate into a site in which it undergoes an extraordinary transformation of form and structure."1 Jencks proposed this term to describe the phenomena of enzymes radically transforming the shape of proteins they anchor at sites as they "zipper-up" the body. And, there is something that "zipper's-up" the periodic table of quarks and elements.
Enzymes are considered to be a hallmark of life. However, let us consider the construction of the periodic table beginning with one proton. As the electromagnetic force grabs substrates, so to does it grabs one electron creating hydrogen. With the addition of a second proton the electromagnetic force takes a second electron creating helium. And so on. (This process is reversible.2 The loss of one proton from helium causes the simultaneous loss of an electron resulting in hydrogen.) This process is happening at this very moment in every star in the universe. Significance is manifest for it is the electromagnetic force creating the morphe of atoms made of shells filled with subatomic particles as the figure shows. The electromagnetic force acts with the Circe effect even in "substrate" atoms as it radically transforms the path and behavior of both the nucleons and electrons that this Circe effect captures.
Not only does the Circe effect in nucleosynthesis create atoms of increasing size, but, these atoms have characteristically unique morphes, bodies, forms. They also have a characteristic number of shells shared unvaryingly with elements of the same number of protons. In addition, electrons in each shell themselves have characteristic shapes and behaviors. Here, it is believed that what we see in the details of the morphological process of organisms is a difference of degree and not kind. If anything, organic morphological development is homologous with nucleosynthesis producing the periodic table. Max Born wrote an over-looked attempt to show the archetypical role of the physical:
Proximity [in the periodic table] reveals genetic relationships, just as when the relations of form between organisms were interpreted by Darwin as meaning succession in time, as evolution.4
However, it may be over-looked that the periodic table is not only a table of all elements, it is first and foremost a table showing the stage that a particular single atom has evolved to on its way to Lawrencium with 103 protons. It is like measuring the height that a particular child grew to on the wall. Atoms, in the above artist's rendering, grow like little cactus flowers. And isn't it true that atoms and their particles are colorful like flowers as atomic spectra show? But, back to the point.
Given one proton, its later form as Lawrencium can be predicted in any good elementary school science class as A begets B, B begets C, and C begets D. Hydrogen begets helium, helium begets lithium, lithium begets ... (eventually) Lawrencium (not a natural element). In ways we don't understand, the potential for Lawrencium is contained indisputably in the single proton – each a seed planted in stars (i.e. mostly hydrogen and helium) which can evolve to Lawrencium.
And while the electromagnetic force played an enzyme-like role in the morphological development of atoms, aren't we seeing in the electromagnetic "enzyme" only one dimension of a bigger principle? For there is also a periodic table of quarks where the strong force acts with the Circe effect and contorts quarks more than the electromagnetic force contorts subatomic particles or enzymes contort proteins as they are drawn to quark "substrate" sites.
Not only does the biological enzyme exist via the activity of the electromagnetic force, the electromagnetic force extends its behavior after having grown atoms and takes on the additional agenda of forming living creatures and then, in ions in the nervous system, assumes the role of enabling thought and communication. The electromagnetic force is involved in each orderly stage of cosmic evolution. Starting from the strong force an Enzyme pyramid would seem to exist in nature. Enzyme-like activity characterizes as well, and did so first, the physical dimension.