I. Our EarthVerse Edition: A 21st Century, Scientific, PhiloSophia, eLibrary of eCosmos Resource
C. An Earthumanity Era: A 2020s Cognitive Planetary Faculty Begins to Discover
Azarian, Bobby. The Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness and Cosmic Complexity. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, 2022. The author is a science journalist with a neuroscience PhD from George Mason University, where he was a member of Harold Morowitz’s discussion group. His acknowledgements close with a quote (see below) from Harold’s The Emergence of Everything (2002) as an early glimpse of an epic 21st century revolution. In this prescient edition, Dr. Azarian provides a rare, insightful, wide-ranging survey to date. Three main sections, Origins, Evolution, and Transcendence, have chapters such as Our Cohesive Cosmic Story, Poetic Meta-Naturalism, the Biosphere is an Autocatalytic Set, Evolution is a Knowledge Creation Process, An Evolutionary Synthesis, A Unifying Theory of Reality and We are a Way for the Cosmos to Know Itself. A central theme is an animate presence of a universal self-organization which proceeds engender fractal-like scales of an emergent intricacy, organic beingness, and cognitive awareness. Here is a good glimpse so far which we seek to report and document. But a work remains to get on with it in this decade.
According to the prevailing scientific paradigm, the universe tends toward randomness; it functions according to laws without purpose, and the emergence of life is an accident devoid of meaning. But this bleak interpretation of nature is currently being challenged by novel findings at the intersection of physics, biology, neuroscience, and information theory. Generally known as “complexity science, it has led to new understandings of an oriented, emergent evolution. A revolutionary cosmic narrative is taking shape whereby simplest “parts” come together to form ever-greater “wholes” in a process that has no end in sight. (Publisher)
Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law that Leads to Disorder.
In this significant article, the British polyscholar science writer surveys a rush of current advances which altogether well imply an historic revision of 19th century thermodynamic theories By a novel inclusion of quantum information qualities, the entropic demise implied by the second law from Ludwig Boltzmann (1877) can be set aside and moved beyond. This wide=ranging entry builds its case by enjoining the thought and writings of key contributors such as Chiara Marletto and David Deutsch (constructor theory), along with Vlatko Vedral, Gilad Gour, Markus Muller and others.
The second law of thermodynamics is among the most sacred in all of science, but it has always rested on 19th century arguments about probability. New arguments trace its true source to the flows of quantum information. (Summary)
Barzon, Giacomo, et al. Criticality and Network Structure Drive Emergent Oscillations in a Stochastic Whole-Brain Model. Journal of Physics: Complexity. 3/3, 2022. After some years into the 21st century, and original notices in the 1980s and before, by these 2020s University of Padova systems theorists including Samir Suweis can now reach a deep theoretical and empirical quantification of a critically-poised universality across the ecosmos to cerebral capacities so to provide a dynamic middle-way optimum poise between more or less, closed and open coherence. See Heterogeneity Extends Criticality by Fernanda Sanchez-Puig, et al herein for another 2022 instance.
Overall, here we have shown in detail how network structure plays a fundamental, yet sometimes poorly understood, role. Therefore, we believe that our work will serve as a baseline for future analytical efforts in explaining the nature of the observed transition under more relaxed assumptions, e.g., in the presence of a non-trivial distribution of weights and different topologies, to further understand the influence of both in the emergence of critical features in the human brain. Possible approaches may include the use of heterogeneous mean-field methods as done in the study of epidemic spreading or annealed network approximations. All in all, we believe that our findings are a further contribution to the still puzzling ‘critical brain hypothesis’. (11)
Bezgodov, Aleksandr and Konstantin Barezhev.
The Origin of Planetary Ethics in the Philosophy of Russian Cosmism.
The Russian philosopher authors are General Director and Research Director of the Planetary Development Institute, which is based in Dubai. Into March 2022, it is timely that I came upon this erudite volume based on a deep native wisdom of these Eastern Slavic peoples. From the 1890s to the 1950s, this stellar school conceived an organic, numinous, feminine milieu which requires our human/Earth participation. (See George Young 2010 herein for a historic review.) The epochal endeavor was distinguished by contributors such as Nikolai Federov, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Vladimir Vernadsky. Two chapters are Nikolai Umov: Anti-Entropy Ethics for Controlled Evolution and Ivan Efremov: Between Inferno and Harmony. An overall unitary, “panbiologic” animation and procreative destiny was traced from dark to light, relative chaos to order, with a quickening consciousness which peoples would spread across the galaxies.
This book seeks to formulate a Planetary Ethics as a moral basis and value code for a biocompatible, harmonious, and manageable civilization. Its essential content is extensively drawn Russian cosmists from the 1890s to the 1950s who made up this unique philosophical, scientific, and cultural phenomenon. By way of their joint planetary-cosmic consciousness, they developed a system of biocentric and humanistic values. Another facet was a spiritual rebellion of life against chaos, death, and limitation. The cosmists focused on a united humanity and a definitive relationship between human beings and a biouniverse still in the making. (Excerpt)
Bowick, Mark, et al. Symmetry, Thermodynamics and Topology in Active Matter. Physical Review X. February, 2022. This is an invited perspective review of a 2020 Kavli Conference with this title by Kavli Institute, UC Santa Barbara, MIT and Indian Institute of Science physicists. Two coauthors are Cristina Marchetti and Sriram Ramaswamy who were the main founders of this scientific notice of how particulate materials (e.g., colloids, bacteria) in both organic and inorganic media tend to self-organize into complex, dynamic forms. As a COVID remote meeting, many more authorities could present their work. Now ten years on, it is strongly evident that a common, robust spontaneity serves to vivify natural phenomena everywhere.
The Active Matter phrase refers to any collection of entities that individually use free energy to generate their own motion and forces. Through interactions, active particles spontaneously organize into emergent large-scale structures. This self-organizing paradigm is now applied to living and nonliving systems from subnuclear structures in the cell to collective motion at the human scale. The diverse phenomena they exhibit all stem from a dynamic assembly of discrete components that dissipatively break time-reversal symmetry. Here we review an array of current and emerging research directions as physical materiality, broadly conceived, comes to life. (Abstract, excerpt)
Butler, Travis and Georgi Georgiev. Self-Organization in Stellar Evolution: Size-Complexity Rule. arXiv:2202.02318. Assumption University, Worcester, MA physicists (search GG) post a strong notice to date of nature’s deep propensity to organize itself into dynamic, invariant states everywhere. In this astral case, how stars form is seen as an another exemplary result. An historic importance then becomes an implied mathematic source code which exists in generative effect independently of any certain scale or instance. In regard, such recurrent features in kind from celestial to cultural phases are cited as a 2022 presence and proof of a true universality. As our Earthuman epic reaches a consummate moment, this entry, A Physics Perspective on Collective Animal Behavior (N. Ouellette 2022), and many others are coming altogether so to reveal and discover a cocreative uniVerse to wumanVerse familial genesis.
Complexity Theory is highly interdisciplinary, therefore any regularities must hold on all levels of organization, independent on the nature of the system. An open question in science is how complex systems self-organize to produce emergent structures and properties by way of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. There is a quantity-quality transition which holds across natural systems, which is often known as the size-complexity rule. We apply this standard to stars to compare them with other complex systems so to find universal patterns of self-organization independent of the substrate. This rule goes under different names in different disciplines and systems of different nature, such as the area-speciation rule, economies of scale, scaling relations in biology and for cities, and many others. (Abstract excerpt)
Canup, Robin and Philip Christensen, Co-Chairs.
Origins, Worlds and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology.
Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences,
The online posting is a thorough, graphic, 700+ page volume all about this ambitious 2023 to 2032 USA research project, with many global inputs. A paper edition will appear next year. It even considers “Planetary Defense” against astro objects. An Earthuman basis is conveyed by some 600 White Paper topical proposals across a wise span such as A Solar System Space Telescope, New Planetary Data Ecosystems Centers, and Cryogenic Comet Sample Return. Specific chapters cover Evolution of Protoplanetary Disks, Global Atmospheres, Magnetospheres, Moons, and Climate, on to Exoplanets, Dynamic Habitability and Life Elsewhere, along with program plans, equity concerns and so on. Many sections discuss spaceflight missions in this period and beyond
STATEMENT OF TASK: The Space Studies Board shall establish a survey committee to develop a comprehensive science and mission strategy for planetary science that updates and extends the Board’s current solar system exploration decadal survey, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022. The new decadal survey shall broadly canvas the field of space and ground-based planetary science to determine the current state of knowledge and identify the most important scientific questions to be addressed during the interval. In addition, it will address relevant programmatic and implementation issues of interest to NASA and the National Science Foundation.
Cavagna, Andrea, et al. Natural Swarms in 3.99 Dimensions. arXiv:2107.04432. Eight physicists from Italy and Argentina including Irene Giardina provide a further quantitative basis for the universal presence of optimum member-group integral behaviors which can be rooted in statistical physics. A definitive explanation can they be derived from Renormalization Group theories about relations between nested active scales. As the authors note, their advance is the first time that such a specific connection has been made.
The dynamical critical exponent z of natural swarms is calculated using the renormalization group. To order \epsilon = 4-d, a novel fixed point emerges, where both off-equilibrium activity and mode-coupling inertial interactions are relevant. In three dimensions the critical exponent at the new fixed point is z=1.3, in fair agreement with experiments. (Abstract)
Chanu, Athokpam, et al.
Analysis of the Structural Complexity of Crab Nebula Observed at Radio and Infrared Frequencies using a Multifractal Approach.
We cite this entry by Jawaharlal Nehru University, School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research investigators for its self-similar content and as an example of deep human proclivities to carry out such studies wherever possible. A reference list harks back to Per Bak who in 1988 proposed a “physics of fractals” and “self-organized criticality.”
The Crab nebula exhibits complex morphological patterns at different observing frequencies. We carry out a systematic investigation using imaging data at radio and infrared frequencies. For our analysis, we use standard multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA). We find long-range, power-law correlations, as expected from the physics of supernova evolution. Consequently, its multifractal properties originate from the probability density function as well as different correlations of large and small fluctuation values. Our analysis thus provides a fresh perspective on the morphology of the Crab nebula from a statistical physics viewpoint. (Abstract excerpt)
Czegel, Daniel, et al. Bayes and Darwin: How Replicator Populations Implement Bayesian Computations. BioEssays. 44/4, 2022. DC and Eors Szmathary, Institute of Evolution, Budapest, Hamza Glaffar, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Joshua Tenenbaum, MIT, continue their project to perceive and identify life’s developmental emergence as mainly a cerebral, cognitive learning advance. It is argued that every organism across all Metazoan domains must be primarily able to be aware of and predict their ever-changing environs. By this view, bodily evolution (Darwin) and proactive mind (Bayes) need proceed in a parallel way. Here, this 2020s version is informed and braced by probalistic, iterative, cognitive models or versions. Writ large, once again an outline of a self-educating, making, affirming, autocatalytic participant reality can become evident as a complementarity of past reference and open future.
Bayesian learning theory and evolutionary theory both formalize adaptive competition dynamics in variable environments. What do they have in common and how do they differ? In this paper, we discuss structural and process analogies at a computational and an algorithmic-mechanical level. We point out mathematical equivalence and isomorphism between Bayesian update and replicator dynamics. We discuss how these mechanisms provide similar ways to adapt to stochastic conditions at multiple timescales. We thus find replicator populations to encode regularities so as to predict future environments. As a notable result, a unified view of the theories of learning and evolution can be achieved. (Abstract)
Czegel, Daniel, et al. Novelty and Imitation within the Brain: A Darwinian Neurodynamic Approach to Combinatorial Problems. Nature Scientific Reports. 11:12513, 2021. DC, Eors Szmathary, Marton Csillag, and Balint Futo, Institute of Evolution, Budapest, along with Hamza Glaffar, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory post a latest version of their studies of life’s creaturely evolution as most involved with progressively gaining intelligence and knowledge so to best survive. See also Bayes and Darwin: How Replicator Populations Implement Bayesian Computations by this collegial team in BioEssay. (44/4, 2022.)
Efficient search in combinatorial spaces, such as those of possible action sequences, linguistic structures, or causal explanations, is an essential component of intelligence. Based our prior work, we propose that a Darwinian process, operating over sequential cycles of imperfect copying and selection of neural informational patterns, is a promising candidate. In teacher and learner settings, we demonstrate that the emerging Darwinian population of readout activity patterns can maintain and continually improve upon existing solutions A novel analysis method, neural phylogenies, is then proposed that displays the unfolding of the neural-evolutionary process. (Abstract excerpt)
da Costa, Luciano.
We cite this 2021 entry by the senior University of Sao Paulo complexity theorist (search) as a way to record his steady flow of wide-ranging, collegial papers since the early 2000s. Another reason is a present burst of studies over a topical span from enzymes to texts and cities. By this work, along with many other worldwide contributions, 21st century nonlinear systems science altogether seems to have reached an integral convergence. Into the 2020s, a consistent natural recurrence of common patterns and processes, forms and flows, has now become quite evident everywhere.
The neural criticality hypothesis states that the brain may be poised in a critical state at a boundary between different types of dynamics. Many studies show that critical systems tend to exhibit optimal computational property. Here, we provide an account of the mathematical and physical foundations of criticality. We then review and discuss recent experimental studies so to identify important next steps to be taken, along with connections to other fields. (2111.02803 excerpt)