We would like to thank NASA for funding (grant NNX10AR15G to N.L.)
RNA -- Biology, Life -- Origin, RNA polymerases
We describe the initial realization of behavior in the biosphere, which we term behavioral chemistry. If molecules are complex enough to attain a stochastic element to their structural conformation in such as a way as to radically affect their function in a biological (evolvable) setting, then they have the capacity to behave. This circumstance is described here as behavioral chemistry, unique in its definition from the colloquial chemical behavior. This transition between chemical behavior and behavioral chemistry need be explicit when discussing the root cause of behavior, which itself lies squarely at the origins of life and is the foundation of choice. RNA polymers of sufficient length meet the criteria for behavioral chemistry and therefore are capable of making a choice.
Larson, Brian C., R. Paul Jensen, and Niles Lehman. "The Chemical Origin of Behavior is Rooted in Abiogenesis." Life 2, no. 4 (2012): 313-322.