« Of all natural systems, living matter is the one which, in the face of great transformations, preserves inscribed in its organization the largest amount of its own past history. Using Hegel’s expression, we may say that there is no other system that is better aufgehoben (constantly abolished and simultaneously preserved). »
« One may classify molecules that occur in living matter into three categories, designated by new terms, according to the degree to which the specific information contained in an organism is reflected in them: (1) semantophoretic molecules or semantides — molecules that carry the information of the genes or a transcript thereof. The genes themselves are the primary semantides (linear “sense-carrying” units). Messenger -RNA molecules are secondary semantides. Polypeptides, at least most of them, are tertiary semantides. (2) Episemantic molecules — molecules that are synthesized under the control of tertiary semantides. All molecules built by enzymes in the absence of a template are in this class. They are called episemantic because, although they do not express extensively the information containe in the semantides, they are a product of this information. (3) Asemantic molecules — molecules that are not produced by the organism and therefore do not express, either directly or indirectly (except by their presence, to the extent that this presence reveals a specific mechanism of absorption), any of the information that this organism contains. »
~ “Molecules as documents of evolutionary history”. E. Zuckerkandl, L. Pauling. 1965.