Autopoeisis is a theory of what life is, developed by the Chilean scientists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela in about 1973. The term literally means "self-creating." A living organism is understood as a circular, autocatalytic-like process which has its own survival as its main goal. The phenomenon of self-organization is sometimes seen as an autopoeitic phenomenon. This theory with its emphasis on the closure of the living organism has been an appropriate remedy for the overemphasis on openness in open systems theory.