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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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IV. Ecosmomics: An Independent Source Script of Generative, Self-Similar, Complex Network Systems

Pesenson, Misha, ed. Multiscale Analysis and Nonlinear Dynamics: From Genes to the Brain. Weinhein: Wiley-VCH, 2013. The editor is a Caltech mathematician. Three main sections, Multiscale Analysis, Nonlinear Dynamics: Genelets and Synthetic Biochemical Circuits, and Nonlinear Dynamics: The Brain and the Heart, cover the fields of Systems Biology and Neuroscience. The volume factors in the latest, circa 2013, realizations that an inherently complex cosmos is distinguished by multiple nested hierarchical patterns and processes everywhere. Chapter authors include Paul Nunez, Lester Ingber, and Danielle Bassett. At this point in the complexity revolution, as cited in lead quotes by Murray Gell-Mann from the 1990s, it is increasing obvious that general, universally recurrent, creative principles do exist on their independent own.

Pietronero, Luciano. The Simple and the Complex: Scale Invariance and Self-Organization from Physics to Biology. Baltimore, David, et al, eds. Frontiers of Life. San Diego: Academic Press, 2002. A survey article from this four volume compendium of research frontiers from physics to neuroscience and ecological systems. Because of advances in complexity theory, Pietronero contends that the universe can now be understood as innately conducive to life and mind.

From this perspective, one can conjecture that the Darwinian selection ideas should be just one essential part of a broader scheme of self-organization toward a critical state that is represented by the quasi-stable structure of life on Earth. (81) In the traditional perspective, life appears as a sort of accidental event with extremely low probability. The framework of self-organization, not yet well-defined operationally, would greatly enhance this probability and makes the appearance of life more natural and maybe even unavoidable. (84)

Pollner, P., et al. Preferential Attachment of Communities: The Same Principle, but a Higher Level. Europhysics Letters. 73/3, 2006. The same interconnective network geometry occurs across many scalar stages from cells to social groupings, in this case co-authorship relations. Another sign of how nature’s genesis is universally similar everywhere.

Prigogine, Ilya and Isabelle Stengers. Order Out of Chaos. New York: Bantam, 1984. An earlier landmark work that established much groundwork for the subsequent complexity sciences. A Nobel laureate Russian-American physical chemist and a French philosopher articulate how a nonequilibrium thermodynamics of life can demonstrate that the cosmos is not wearing out but is engaged in a process of becoming.

Modern science originated in the specific context of the European seventeenth century. We are now approaching the end of the twentieth century, and it seems that some more universal message is carried by science, a message that concerns the interaction of man and nature as well as of man with man. (7)

For the ancients, nature was a source of wisdom. Medieval nature spoke of God. In modern times nature has become so silent that Kant considered that science and wisdom, science and truth, ought to be completely separated. We have been living with this dichotomy for the past two centuries. It is time for it to come to an end. As far as science is concerned, the time is ripe for this to happen. (339)

Prigogine, Ilya and Isabelle Stengers. The End of Certainty. New York: The Free Press, 1997. To further their case, Prigogine and Stengers believe that the new sciences can repeal the old doctrine of a deterministic universe where time is reversible in favor of an irreversible, creative self-organization.

Pumain, Denise, ed. Hierarchy in Natural and Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006. The latest theoretical confirmation that original nature and human settlement is arrayed in a scalar strata, earlier a ladder of levels, now a temporally emergent evolution. But such recurrent structure is mostly extracted as one more fragment, with little relation to the intrinsic self-organizing dynamics from which it springs. Typical papers are Hierarchical Organization of Biological and Ecological Systems by Alain Pave, and Michael Batty’s Hierarchy in Cities and City Systems.

Quax, Rick, et al. Stripping Syntax from Complexity: An Information-Theoretical Perspective on Complex Systems. arXiv:1603.03552. In a contribution that could exemplify the incipient presence of a scientific and worldview synthesis, University of Amsterdam, and Medical University of Vienna (Stefan Thurner) mathematical physicists integrate the field of information phenomena with nonlinear complexity dynamics. By so doing, they join other efforts to join language, genomes and the physical cosmos (Igamberdiev), along with quantum revisions by way of an information content (Vedral). After a decade and a half of this worldwide century, as intimated through history, a stratified, repetitive, iconic universe to human confluence is achieved. Its salutary value is the distillation of both an independent, implicate program-like source, and its “universal” manifestation at each and every spatial and temporal stage and instance. This is an epochal, once and future, verification of a new genesis ecosmos, of which it seems our self-discernment is a critically significant phenomenon.

Claude Shannon’s information theory (1949) has had a revolutionary impact on communication science. A crucial property of his framework is that it decouples the meaning of a message from the mechanistic details from the actual communication process itself, which opened the way to solve long-standing communication problems. Here we argue that a similar impact could be expected by applying information theory in the context of complexity science to answer long-standing, cross-domain questions about the nature of complex systems. This happens by decoupling the domain-specific model details (e.g., neuronal networks, ecosystems, flocks of birds) from the cross-domain phenomena that characterize complex systems (e.g., criticality, robustness, tipping points). This goes beyond using information theory as a non-linear correlation measure, namely it allows describing a complex system entirely in terms of the storage, transfer, and modification of informational bits. After all, a phenomenon that does not depend on model details should best be studied in a framework that strips away all such details. We highlight the first successes of information-theoretic descriptions in the recent complexity literature, and emphasize that this type of research is still in its infancy. Finally we sketch how such an information-theoretic description may even lead to a new type of universality among complex systems, with a potentially tremendous impact. The goal of this perspective article is to motivate a paradigm shift in the young field of complexity science using a lesson learnt in communication science.

Renken, Elena. Turing Patterns Turn Up in a Tiny Crystal. Quanta. August 10,, 2021. A science editor gathers an array of 21st century findings along with new evidence that serves to affirm Alan Turing’s 1952 chemical reaction-diffusion theory. The title is about a Nature Physics paper, Nanometric Turing Patterns: Morphogenesis in a Bismuth Monolayer by Yuki Fuseya, et al (July 2021), as a first report of their appearance even on an atomic scale. Other instances are bacterial colonies, animal stripes, Zebra fish embryos, sea shells and more. Of especial note across a widest span is Galactic Disks as Reaction-Diffusion Systems by Lee Smolin (arXiv:astro-ph/9612033) and Turing Instability in an Economic-Demographic Dynamical System can Lead to Pattern Formation on a Geographical Scale by Anna Zincenko, et al (2006.01664). Again from mid 2021, newly due to our EarthWise collaborators, the actual independent presence of nature’s ecosmic generative mathematical code-script is found to be in effect everywhere.

Riuz-Mirazo, Kepa and Alvaro Moreno. Basic Autonomy as a Fundamental Step in the Synthesis of Life. Artificial Life. 10/3, 2004. The main article in a retrospective issue on the late Francisco Varela’s concept of living systems as distinguished by an autopoietic or self-creating process. This quality involves forming and maintaining a cellular-like boundary by means of a recursive, fed back reference to an internal description. An “operational unit,” for example a microbe, organism or society, then constantly constructs and maintains its autonomous identity. The various papers offer a current, if technical, entry to these theories. They also contain a discussion of viewpoints about how autopoiesis can be considered a self-organizing emergence. Altogether by this view an evolutionary trend toward an enhanced selfhood can become evident.

Root-Bernstein, Robert and Patrick Dillon. Molecular Complementarity I: The Complementarity Theory of the Origin and Evolution of Life. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 188/4, 1997. An extensive article by the Michigan State University psychologist which envisions the florescence of life to be much due a sequential action of reciprocal biochemical opposite topologies. Please see updates under co-authors Alex Hunding (2006) and Vic Norris (2009), and by RRB, “A Modular Hierarchy-Based Theory of the Chemical Origins of Life Based on Molecular Complementarity” in Accounts of Chemical Research (2012, 45/12). In this latter paper it is mused that life’s mutuality could be “expanded in a scale-free manner beyond molecules to multicellularity, symbiosis, animal and human cultures, indeed, to ecological, social, political, economic, and other mediation by nonrandom interactions between agents.”

To begin with, we assert that complementarity is not only common but actually ubiquitous within living systems. More specifically, the mechanism of molecular complementarity serves to unify a currently disparate array of conceptual approaches to understanding living processes, ranging from non-equilibrium thermodynamics, systems theory and hierarchy theory, to homeostasis, self-organization and emergent properties. It also suggests basic similarities between the processes governing prebiotic evolution and embryological development. (1997, Pg.447)

Molecular complementarity plays critical roles in the evolution of chemical systems and resolves a significant number of outstanding problems in the emergence of complex systems. All physical and mathematical models of organization within complex systems rely upon nonrandom linkage between components. Molecular complementarity provides a naturally occurring nonrandom linker. More importantly, the formation of hierarchically organized stable modules vastly improves the probability of achieving self-organization, and molecular complementarity provides a mechanism by which hierarchically organized stable modules can form. (2012, Pg.2169)

Rosas, Fernando, et al. An Information-Theoretic Approach to Self-Organization: Emergence of Complex Interdependencies in Coupled Dynamical Systems. arXiv:1808.05602. Imperial College London and Free University of Brussels theorists including Henrik Jensen post a technical synthesis of nature’s insistent propensity to arrange via interactive, conversant agents into scales of animate intricacy and intelligence. Further clarifications and distillations await, but circa 2018 global collaborations seem to be closing on an auspicious discovery. As perennial wisdom has long intimated, a phenomenal genesis in and of which we find our iconic selves does indeed come with a procreative code, seemingly meant for our inquiry and edification. See also T. Stanisz, et al herein for a similar exercise.

Self-organisation lies at the core of fundamental but unresolved scientific questions, and holds the promise of de-centralised paradigms crucial for future technological developments. While self-organising processes have been traditionally explained by the tendency of dynamical systems to evolve towards specific configurations, or attractors, we see self-organisation as a consequence of the interdependencies that those attractors induce. Building on this intuition, we develop a theoretical framework for quantifying self-organisation based on coupled dynamical systems and multivariate information theory. We propose a metric of global structural strength that identifies when self-organisation appears. We illustrate by way of elementary cellular automata, showing how it can detect and characterise the emergence of complex structures. (Abstract edits)

It is fascinating how some systems acquire organisation spontaneously, evolving from less to more organised configurations in the absence of centralised control or an external driver. In a world constricted by the second law of thermodynamics and driven by “no free lunch” principles, self-organisation phenomena dazzle us by creating structure seemingly out of nowhere. Besides this aesthetic dimension, self-organisation plays a key role at the core of out-of-equilibrium statistical physics, developmental biology, and neuroscience. Additionally, self-organisation serves as inspiration for new paradigms of de-centralised organisation where order is established spontaneously without relying on an all-knowning architect or a predefined plan, such as with the Internet of Things, and blockchain technologies. In this context, self-organisation is regarded as an attractive principle for enabling robustness, adaptability and scalability into the design and management of large-scale complex networks. (1)

Rosas, Fernando, et al. Reconciling Emergences: An Information-Theoretic Approach to Identity Causal Emergence in Multivariate Data. arXiv:2004.08220. A seven person group based at University College London including Henrik Jensen (search FR, HJ) continue to finesse ways to express and appreciate nature’s evidentially orientated propensity for more complex animate forms to arise from lesser ones. Something seems to be going on by its own spontaneity, which can be noticed in widely disparate areas. But it would seem that efforts as this are still compromised by not being able to allow or consider an overall (genesis) reality from which this phenomena manifests and exemplifies. See also Conflicting Emergences by Federico Turkheimer, et al in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (99/3, 2019).

The broad concept of emergence is vital to open scientific questions, yet few quantitative theories of emergent phenomena have been proposed. This article introduces a formal theory of causal emergence in multivariate systems, which studies the relationship between the dynamics of parts of a system and macroscopic features of interest. Our theory provides a quantitative definition of downward causation, and introduces a complementary modality which we refer to as causal decoupling. We illustrate our findings in a number of case studies, including Conway's Game of Life, Reynolds' flocking model, and neural activity as measured by electrocorticography. (Abstract excerpt)

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