I read this book about 11 years ago and my take-home message at the time was that living organisms consume negative entropy to stay alive.
After this read, I get a little more. Basically Schrodinger tries to answer three questions:
- What is the material basis of genes? Note that this book was published in 1944 and DNA structure was discovered in 1953.
- How does living organisms evade the decay to thermodynamic equilibrium?
- What is consciousness?
Interestingly, for the third question, Schrodinger takes the view that there is only one mind to reconcile the two paradoxes
- one world many minds
- one mind many cells (on an individual level)
(He seems to be familiar with Upanishad)