QUOTE 49 from:
Lucas, C. (2000a) Autopoiesis and Coevolution.[online]. Available from:http://www.calresco.org/lucas/auto.htm; accessed on 5/03/05.
The components of the organism are regarded as a form of autocatalytic set. In other words the components take in food (lower level components) from the environment and by a dissipative process (using energy) act on each other in such a way as to recreate themselves dynamically (unlike machines with fixed parts). This closure of the system allows it be bounded, to isolate itself from the outside world and become a self-sustaining constant (homeostatic) system. This definition of life is far better that the systemic illogicality of defining it as the reproduction of a passive gene. A living system is a ongoing process that self-defines and self-maintains its form, reproduction is not a necessary function of this.