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In asexual reproduction, the simplest entity which is the cell divides at a point in its growth. The nucleus divides into two equal parts, and from a single entity, two result. But we cannot say that a first entity has given birth to a second. The two new entities are, to the same degree, the products of the first. The first has disappeared. Essentially, it is dead, since only the two entities it has produced survive. It does not decompose in the way sexed animals die, but it ceases to be. It ceases to be, in the sense that it is discontinuous. But, in a point of the reproduction, there was continuity. There exists a point where the primitive one becomes two. When there are two, there is again discontinuity in each of the entities. But the passage implies an instant of continuity between the two. The first dies, but in its death appears a fundamental instant of continuity.
Georges Bataille, L'Érotisme (from the introduction)

All genes of the same chromosome are not always pulled into the same daughter cell, and so are not always inherited together, though they do tend to be. For two homologous filaments, during their synapsis with one another, are apt to break, at identical points, and to become joined up again with their corresponding pieces interchanged, a process called crossing-over. Thus a given gene of paternal origin may in the mature germ cell find itself in the same chromosome with some other gene of maternal origin, instead of with its former associate gene.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Gene"

. . . in the midst of the Aeneases who carry their Anchiseses on their backs, I pass from one shore to another, alone, hating these invisible parents astride their sons for all their life. . . .
J.-P. Sartre, Les Mots

Suddenly I became aware that an adenine-thymine pair held together by two hydrogen bonds was identical in shape to a guanine-cytosine pair held together by at least two hydrogen bonds. All the hydrogen bonds seemed to form naturally; no fudging was required to make the two types of base pairs identical in shape. Quickly I called Jerry over to ask him whether this time he had any objection to my new base pairs. When he said no, my morale skyrocketed . . . this type of double helix suggested a replication scheme much more satisfactory . . . Given the base sequence of one chain, that of its partner was automatically determined. Conceptually, it was thus very easy to visualize how a single chain could be the template for the synthesis of a chain with the complementary sequence. Upon his arrival Francis did not get more than halfway through the door before I let loose that the answer to everything was in our hands . . .
James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, Chap. 26

Everything summons us to death; nature, as if envious of the good she has done us, announces to us often and reminds us that she cannot leave us for long that bit of matter she lends us, which must not remain in the same hands, and which must eternally be in circulation: she needs it for other forms, she asks it back for other works.
Bossuet, Sermon sur la mort

One need not worry about how a fixed automaton of this sort can produce others which are larger and more complex than itself. In this case the greater size and the higher complexity of the object to be constructed will be reflected in a presumably still greater size of the instructions I that have to be furnished. [. . .] In what follows, all automata for whose construction the facility A will be used are going to share with A this property. All of them will have a place for an instruction I, that is, a place where such an instruction can be inserted. . . . It is quite clear that the instruction I is roughly effecting the function of a gene. It is also clear that the copying mechanism B performs the fundamental act of reproduction, the duplication of the genetic material, which is clearly the fundamental operation in the multiplication of living cells.
John von Neumann, Theory of Automata (in Collected Works, Vol. 5)

As for those who so exalt incorruptibility, inalterability, I believe they are brought to say these things through their great desire to live a long time and through the terror they have of death. And not considering that, if men were immortal, these men would not have had an opportunity to come into the world. They would deserve to encounter a Medusa's head, which would transform them into statues of jasper or of diamond, to make them more perfect than they are. . . . And there is not the slightest doubt that the Earth is far more perfect, being, as it is, alterable, changeable, than if it were a mass of stone, even if it were a whole diamond, hard and impenetrable.
Galileo Galilei, Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi, giornata I