On the principle of substance stability



The principle of substance stability for abiogenesis and origin of life can be understood from the view-point of thermodynamics of formation of crystal molecular structures and structures of liquid crystals.

The principle of substance stability was presented by the author in 1977 in the form of graphic dependence shown in Figure 1 [1]. However, the clear formulation of principle was introduced in 1996 [2].

The principle of substance stability – the feedback principle – is applicable to all biological systems. It boils down for different temporal hierarchies to the following: during the formation (self-assembly) of the most thermodynamically stable structures at the highest hierarchical level (j), e.g., the supramolecular level, in accordance with the second law, Nature spontaneously uses predominantly the (available for the given local part of the biological system) least thermodynamically stable structures belonging to a lower level, for example, the molecular level (j-1). The principle can be also applied to understructure hierarchical levels of any temporal hierarchy. It helps in understanding the causes of cancer formation and the origin of some other diseases.

In the case of formation of supramolecular structures we can give a short understandable formulation.

During the formation of the most thermodynamically stable supramolecular structures in evolution, in accordance with the second law, Nature spontaneously uses predominantly the least thermodynamically stable molecules. In the future, the author showed that the principle is consistent with many well-known facts [3-4].

In this short note the author is presenting the possible justification of the principle of substance stability from the standpoint of thermodynamics and the principles of the formation of molecular crystals and liquid crystal structures.

We can assume that supramolecular thermodynamics looks for (seeks) relatively least stable molecules in abiogenesis, evolution and ontogeny for the following reasons. Relatively least stable molecules have chemical bonds with relatively low strength. It is the reason that the conformations of these molecules are relatively mobile or labile. This fact shows that least stable molecules are relatively easy to adapt to supramolecular environment. In this case, a maximal density of a molecular packing (per unit volume) is reached and the average stability of supramolecular structures is increased.

Thus, all known principles of formation of crystal molecular structures and structures of liquid crystals are carried out [5].


1. Gladyshev G.P. On the Thermodynamics of Biological Evolution // Journal of Theoretical Biology.-1978.- Vol. 75.- Issue 4.- Dec 21.-P. 425-441. Preprint, May, 1977.“On the thermodynamics of biological evolution.”

2. Gladyshev Georgi P. Thermodynamics Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings.- Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.- 1997.- 142 P.

3. Gladyshev G.P. Supramolecular thermodynamics is a key to understanding phenomenon of life. What is Life from a Physical Chemist’s Viewpoint – Second Ed., Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, Moscow – Izhevsk, – 2003, 144 P. (In Russian).

4. Georgi P. Gladyshev. The Principle of Substance Stability Is Applicable to All Levels of Organization of Living Matter. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2006, 7, 98-110. http://www.mdpi.org/ijms/papers/i7030098.pdf

5. Crystal chemistry and X-ray analysis. Lecture 5. Mentors: Dr. S. V. Shishkina,

R.I.Zubatyuk,I.Omelchenko,V.Dyakonenko,V.V.Medviediev. Department of X-ray Diffraction and Quantum Chemistry at SSI “Institute for Single Crystal” of NASU. Date: September – December, 2013

http://xlab.org.ua/education/xrd_course/ http://xlab.org.ua/

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