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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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VII. Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens

B. A New Creation: An Evolution to Evolitionary Singular Event

Now for some good news. This multi-phase section was surveyed in the Genesis Future introduction and proceeds from physical matter and genomic curations onto personal welfare, protocell villages, an organic democracy and of critical import, a sustainable ecosphere to actually live on. The Evolution to Evolition phrase is meant to convey the imminent epochal change in the course of cosmic and biological development of chancy optimization from myriad precarious candidates to one of volitional, informed, self-selection of diversity and unity within an ordained familial genesis. We use this certain space to collect entries about life's open-ended creative potentials going forward.

Adams, Alyssa, et al. Physical Universality, State-Dependent Dynamical Laws and Open-Ended Novelty. Entropy. 19/9, 2017. Arizona State University theorists Adams, Angelica Berner, Paul Davies and Sara Walker continue their endeavor to identify vital propensities which ought to be there because we latecomers are here. With colleagues Chiara Marletto, David Deutsch, and others, the task is to discern a generative mathematics to which life’s procreative emergence can be traced to and explained by. The issue is not so much whether this innate source exists, but much about how can it be drawn out and synoptically perceived from technical abstractions to real understandings (cosmic elephant) of an animate evolutionary creativity going forward.

A major conceptual step forward in understanding the logical architecture of living systems was advanced by von Neumann with his universal constructor, a physical device capable of self-reproduction. A necessary condition for a universal constructor to exist is that the laws of physics permit physical universality, such that any transformation can be caused to occur. Current examples of physical universality rely on reversible dynamical laws, whereas it is well-known that living processes are dissipative. Here we show that physical universality and open-ended dynamics should both be possible in irreversible dynamical systems if one entertains the possibility of state-dependent laws. We discuss implications for physical universality, or an approximation to it, as a foundational framework for developing a physics for life. (Abstract)

We do not know whether a universal constructor is itself physically possible in our universe, or if such an entity is necessary for open-ended evolution in a dynamical system. One necessary condition for a universal constructor to be possible is physical universality, defined as the property that any possible physical transformation can be performed on a given system, provided sufficient resources are available to do so and subject to the requirement the transformation(s) do(es) not violate any laws of physics. The key distinction between physical universality and the related, more widely discussed concept of computational universality, is that for the former computation (more aptly construction) is performed directly on the physical system, such that transformations are on states rather than on emergent patterns. If physical universality can be cast as a principle of nature it could provide a promising candidate framework for arriving at the “other laws” Schrödinger hoped might one day be uncovered. (2)

Banzhaf, Wolfgang, et al. Defining and Simulating Open-Ended Novelty. Theory in Biosciences. Online May, 2016. An 11 person team including Susan Stepney, Rene Doursat and Lee Spector post a draft document for this novel endeavor whence life’s emergent evolution has been and can continue to be distinguished by an intrinsic creativity. In regard, it joins many aspects from definitions to complexity, algorithms, information, genetic programs, artificial chemistry, and so on, in need of some coalescence. It is also a working paper for the OEE2: Second Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution as a satellite to the ALIFE XV (Google for abstract book) conference in Cancun in July 2016. At this OEE2 site is the program from which presentations by Banzhaf, Tim Taylor, Nigel Goldenfeld and Lisa Soros, and others can be downloaded. A technical entry in support is Formal Definitions of Unbounded Evolution and Innovation Reveal Universal Mechanisms for Open-Ended Evolution in Dynamical Systems by Alyssa Adams, Hector Zenil, Paul Davies and Sara Walker at arXiv:1607.01750. But the project seems not to realize that novelty for its own sake without any phenomenal, self-existent reality, purpose and destiny remains a meaningless pursuit.

The open-endedness of a system is often defined as a continual production of novelty. Here we pin down this concept more fully by defining several types of novelty that a system may exhibit, classified as variation, innovation, and emergence. We then provide a meta-model for including levels of structure in a system’s model. From there, we define an architecture suitable for building simulations of open-ended novelty-generating systems and discuss how previously proposed systems fit into this framework. We discuss the design principles applicable to those systems and close with some challenges for the community. (Banzhaf Abstract)

One of the most remarkable features of the > 3.5 billion year history of life on Earth is the apparent trend of innovation and open-ended growth of complexity. Similar trends are apparent in artificial and technological systems. However, a general framework for understanding open-ended evolution as it might occur in biological or technological systems has not yet been achieved. Here, we cast the problem within the broader context of dynamical systems theory to uncover and characterize mechanisms for producing open-ended evolution (OEE).. Our results thereby suggest a new framework for unifying the mechanisms for generating OEE with features distinctive to life and its artifacts, with wide applicability to both biological and artificial systems. (Adams Abstract excerpt)

Corominas-Murtra, Bernat, et al. Zipf’s Law, Unbounded Complexity and Open-Ended Evolution. arXiv:1612.01605. Medical University of Vienna, MIT (Luis Seoane), and University of Pompeu Fabra, Spain (Ricard Sole) system thinkers continue their endeavors to view life’s quickening emergence as due to exemplary mathematical complexities. Here Combinatorics and Agorithmic Information Theory (Google each) are availed to discern a universal recurrence such that proteins and prose exhibit the same folds and narratives. These are luminous insights, not possible earlier, are now waiting to be found so to reveal in essence a natural genetic-like source.

A major problem for evolutionary theory is understanding the so called open-ended nature of evolutionary change. Open-ended evolution (OEE) refers to the unbounded increase in complexity that seems to characterise evolution on multiple scales. This property seems to be a characteristic feature of biological and technological evolution and is strongly tied to the generative potential associated with combinatorics, which allows the system to grow and expand their available state spaces. Several theoretical and computational approaches have been developed to properly characterise OEE. Interestingly, many complex systems displaying OEE, from language to proteins, share a common statistical property: the presence of Zipf's law. Given and inventory of basic items required to build more complex structures Zipf's law tells us that most of these elements are rare whereas a few of them are extremely common. Using Algorithmic Information Theory, in this paper we provide a fundamental definition for open-endedness, which can be understood as postulates. (Abstract)

Gregerson, Carlos, et al. ALIFE XV: Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference 2016. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016. This 750 page compendium with an array of sections such as ALife and Society, Origins of Life and Protocells, Self-Organization, Genetics, Open-Ended Evolution, Morphology, Cooperation and Collective Behavior, Development, Learning and Memory, Language and Cultural Evolution, Computational Biology, and Artificial Chemistry can be downloaded in full from its MIT Press site. Within a penchant for algorithmic, emergent natural and synthetic creativity, subjects range from Protocells: What Have We Learned, A DNA Genome Replication System for an Artificial Cell, and Bio-Reflective Architectures for Evolutionary Innovation to Artificial Life and Society, Gilbert Simondon and the Enactive Conception of Life and Mind and Climate Change Governance, Cooperation and Self-Organization.

Packard, Norman, et al. Open-Ended Evolution and Open-Endedness. Artificial Life. 25/1, 2019. Veteran systems futurists NP, Mark Bedau, Alastair Channon, Takashi Ikegami, Steen Rasmussen, Kenneth Stanley, and Tim Taylor introduce a Current Research in Open-Ended Evolution special issue to scope out how this aware, intentional evolitionary co-creation can become a salutary, proactive, fruitful movement. By these lights and capabilities, it seems that phenomenal cosmic nature intends, and need us to proceed to carry forth. See, for example, Evolved Open-Endedness by Howard Pattee and Hiroki Sayama, Two Modes of Evolution: Optimization and Expansion by Steen Rasmussen and Paolo Sibani, and Open-Ended Technological Innovation by Mark Bedau, et al. Some issue entries, along with other papers such as Conditions for Major Transitions in Biological and Cultural Evolution by Peter Turney, are available in full on the website for the 2018 conference (Google) noted in the Abstract.

Nature's spectacular inventiveness, reflected in the enormous diversity of form and function displayed by the biosphere, is a feature of life that distinguishes living most strongly from nonliving. It is, therefore, not surprising that this aspect of life should become a central focus of artificial life. We have known since Darwin that the diversity is produced dynamically, through the process of evolution; this has led life's creative productivity to be called Open-Ended Evolution (OEE) in the field. This article introduces the first of two special issues on current research on OEE and on the more general concept of open-endedness. Most of the papers presented in these special issues are elaborations of work presented at the Third Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution, held in Tokyo as part of the 2018 Conference on Artificial Life. (Abstract)

Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, et al. A Universal Definition of Life: Autonomy and Open-Ended Evolution. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere. 34/3, 2004. The result quoted below, reached after reviewing many prior options, states that to fully understand living entities it is necessary to situate their self-organized, information-based, autopoietic wholeness in the evolving, complex ecosystems they reside in.

In conclusion, we can say that ‘life’ – in the broad sense of the term – is a complex collective network made out of self-reproducing autonomous agents whose basic organization is instructed by material records generated through the evolutionary-historical process of that collective network. (339)

Shah, Kushal. Open-Endedness in AI Systems, Cellular Evolution and Intellectual Discussions. arXiv:1812.10900. An Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, computer scientist proposes that we ought to avail nature’s own acumen which brought about our human presence for guidance going forward into innovative, beneficial, intelligent facilities.

One of the biggest challenges that artificial intelligence (AI) research is facing in recent times is to develop algorithms and systems that are not only good at performing a specific intelligent task but also at learning diverse skills somewhat like humans do. In other words, the goal is to be able to mimic biological evolution which has produced all the living species and which seems to have no end to its creativity. The process of intellectual discussions is similar to biological evolution in this regard. In this paper, we present an information theoretic analogy between the process of discussions and the molecular dynamics within a cell, showing that there is a common process of information exchange in effect. We also discuss the role of consciousness in this process and present a framework for the development of open-ended AI systems. (Abstract)