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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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I. Our Personphere Edition: A 21st Century, Scientific, PhiloSophia, eLibrary of eCosmos, Resource

C. Our Earthropo Sapiensphere: A 2020s Robust, Self-Similar, Familial, PediaVersion Comes Altogether

Jusup, Marko, et al. Social Physics. arXiv:2110.01866. In a paper to appear in Physics Reports, a 16 member team with postings in Japan, Croatia, China, the USA, Luxembourg, the UK, Singapore, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Austria. Slovenia and Taiwan including Petter Holme, Stefano Boccaletti and Matjaz Perc achieves a thorough survey of this (re)union project from its 18th century inklings (Auguste Comte, et al) to our pewawnr worldwise retrospective observance. Twelve chapters over 358 pages proceed from Urban Dynamics, and Econophysics to Pandemics and Climate Phenomena and topics such as polarization, tipping points, biodiversity, neighborhoods, mobility, deep learning AI, and multiplex connectivities. As we peoples may gain a global vista on an evident course from a substantial universe to our evident witness and participation, how might it at last dawn as grand universe to Earthuman discovery?

Recent years have seen a rise in the use of physics-inspired methods as a way to resolve diverse societal problems. Such an effort is due to physicists venturing beyond their usual field, but also by other scientists who wish to gain a deeper basis. Here, we dub this nascent endeavor as a "social physics." We first review the modern way of living that enables humankind's prosperous existence such as urban development, vehicular traffic, financial markets, civil cooperation, societal networks, and the integration of intelligent machines. We then move on to consider potential threats to like criminal behaviour, massive migrations, contagions, environmental issues, and finally climate change. Their coverage ends with ideas for future resolve. After some 360 pages and 1148 references we conclude that this integrative synthesis across this widest expanse seems quite promising. (Abstract excerpt)

Kelso, Scott. On the Coordination Dynamics of (animate) Moving Bodies. Journal of Physics: Complexity. 3/3, 2022. The veteran Florida Atlantic University complexity theorist (search) posts a synoptic review of this collegial endeavor from the 1990s to discern and articulate such perceived, natural, intrinsic forces as they give rise to personal and planetary agency. The paper opens with prior inklings to Isaac Newton, James Maxwell, and Erwin Schrodinger to set a conceptual scenario. Into our 2020’s, a novel quantification of these constant synergies (symbioses) can be factored to brace and explain. Kelso then notes prime study areas going forward to further distinguish and empower life’s innate, reciprocating ascendance. See also A Blueprint for the Study of the Brain’s Spatiotemporal Patterns by Emmanuelle Tognoli, Danielia Benites and S. Kelso at arXiv:2106.00637

Coordination comes in many guises and represents one of the most striking, but least understood features of living things. The different forms that coordination takes and how it emerges and changes are of great interest to the social and behavioral sciences, neuroscience, psychology, biology and physics itself. Inspired originally by theories of self-organization in open, nonequilibrium systems, coordination studies seek to understand such patterns at many scales and for multiple functions in living things. Here we review some of the key concepts of along with recent developments and posit ten tenets that may guide further understanding. (Abstract excerpt)

In response to Schrdodinger’s question (What is this “I”?), how recent work on human infants embedded in a specific environment is revealing how spontaneous self-organizing processes give rise to the ‘self’ or the directedness property of complex, biological systems, usually contained in terms like ‘agency’ ‘purpose’ and ‘intention’. We conclude with a summary of the main theoretical tenets of coordination dynamics, a theory of directed self-organization, intended to provide a stimulus for further research. (3)

Tenet Ten: Metastability is an expression of the full complexity of brains and people and gives rise to a plethora of complementary pairs such as individual - collective, competition - cooperation, segregation - integration, etc. Metastable coordination dynamics suggests that a deep principle of complementarity underlies life, brain, mind and society. The message of metastability is that in complex coordinated systems, thinking in terms of sharp dichotomies and contrarieties has to be replaced with far more subtle and sophisticated complementarities. (14)

Kocoglu, Cemile, et al. How Network-based Approaches can Complement Identification Studies in Frontotemporal Dementia. Trends in Genetics. 38/9, 2022. We cite this entry by University of Antwerp neurologists to notably record an integral turn beyond 20th century point gene - malady attributions. In this way medical diagnoses can include all the equally real interinking topologies (maybe GRN-like) as a causal factor for these cerebral deficits. An initial review of this overdue movement is Network Medicine: Complex Systems in Human Disease and Therapeutics by Joseph Loscalso, Albert-Laszlo Baribasi and Edwin Silverman (Harvard UP, 2017) which introduces this vital advance but its content has not been availed for brains until now.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a primary cause of dementia over a broad range of clinical phenotypes and cellular pathologies. Genetic discoveries in FTD have occurred in well-known extended families. In the context of complex diseases, it is hypothesized that mutations with reduced penetrance or a combination of low-effect size variants with environmental factors drive disease. In this review, we examine gene discovery approaches in FTD and introduce network biology concepts as tools to assist gene identification studies in genetically complex disease. (Abstract)

Kuppers, Bernd-Olaf. The Language of Living Matter: How Molecules Acquire Meaning. International: Springer Frontiers, 2022. This latest, significant work by the University of Jena natural philosopher and long colleague of Manfred Eigen (search each) is an opus summary of his lifetime endeavor to articulate a more viable explanation of how life began and developed as an oriented evolution. Into the 2020s a considerable finding is reached that a linguistic, informative ability and content appears to be nature’s most distinctive quality. In regard, a strong affirmation to date of a double occasion with a textual, biomolecular, genetic-like narrative from universe to humanverse is achieved. We include several quotes to convey its contribution.

This book by an eminent philosopher provides strong evidence for the claim that language is a general principle of Nature, rooted deeply in physical and chemical laws. The author’s central concept then leads us to view the essence, origin and evolution of life in a completely new way. To justify this far-reaching idea, the book takes a long and deep look at our scientific thinking, at language as such, and at science’s methods, unity, limits and perspectives. These concerns and resolves are covered in six thematically self-contained chapters, rounded off by an epilogue that introduces the new topic of Nature’s semantics. The range of issues covered is a testimony to how progress in the life sciences is transforming the whole edifice of science, from physics to biology and beyond. (Publisher)

Chap. 1: Language: Gateway to the World Starting from the idea that the world is recognizable to us because it is structured like a language, this chapter develops how this concept courses from its version human to the language of structures. A notable, common feature of linguistic forms is their inherent context-dependence. While apparent in our own speech and script, it also applies to quite different areas such as quantum physics, genetics, Gestalt psychology, sociology and epistemology. (Abstract excerpt)

Truth: The Regulative Principle of Cognition This chapter follows a historical line of philosophical thinking that led to modern linguistic philosophy which brought language to the center of epistemology. By this review we can perceive philosophical thought as a language mechanism generating new figurations by ever recombining and crystallizing a finite set of elementary ideas — just as biomolecular substances originate from a small set of chemical elements. (Excerpt)

Epilog: Nature’s Semantics Animate Nature can be considered figuratively as the book of life. Just as the words of a written text combine to form a meaningful whole, evolutionary beings form a diverse complex network of interactions. In other words, the language of Nature is, as it were, the “hyperlanguage” of living matter. To deal responsibly with Nature, we have to take account of her semantics at the borderlines of construction and destruction, stability and instability, order and chaos. Only in this way can the dynamic order of Nature be maintained in the face of invasive human activity. (Excerpt)

Indeed, the mechanistic view of the world leaves no room for teleological explanations. Yet, the idea that Nature arose from a purpose-oriented Divine rationality has persisted to the present day. This spiritual sense also moves many scientists. For a long time, a picture of Nature as a harmonious order with a textbook-like character to help understand reality. In this way, our human efforts to gain some comprehension often were seen as attempts to read the “Book of Nature.” Thus over the centuries many endeavors sought better interpretations, now into the 21st century. When the human genome was first sequenced in 2001, a Book of Life phrase was used. (11) The German philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996) often referred to a book metaphor as the “readability of the world.” (11)

The universal language that we are looking for is one of abstract structures. As Galileo famously cited, it is written in a mathematical script. We may even be on the verge of a new “Copernican revolution.” The thesis that the world has the structure of a language could lead to such a revolution in our understanding. (13) However, we shall go one step further and ask whether language is a general principle of Nature that exists independently of ourselves and already becomes manifest in essential living matter. A strong indication of the scope of this working hypothesis is found in the deep parallels between human language and the language-analog structure of genes. (16)

Kverkova, Kristina, et al. The Evolution of Brain Neuron Numbers in Amniotes. PNAS. 119/11, 2022. Charles University, Prague paleo-neuroscientists deftly reconstruct the evolution of brain neuron number across an entire range of Metazoa species and found that after fish and reptiles, birds and mammals have much larger quantities in cerebral areas meant for higher cognition. It is noted that several major changes in neuron brain scaling in the past 300 million years indeed appear to be oriented to an increasing degree of intelligence. The group effort has achieved the strongest evidence to date of how life’s emergent sensory stirrings can be known to have this central edification. The paper has vivid illustrations of relative creaturely advances in body and brain anatomies, which well evince a grand learning experience.

A reconstruction of the evolution of brain information-processing capacity is vital to understandings the rise of complex cognition. Comparative studies long used brain size as a proxy. However, to get a better sense of paths leading to high intelligence, power, we need to compare brains by large datasets of computational neurons. We find Amniote brain evolution to be tracked by four major shifts in neuron–brain scaling. The most dramatic increases in brain neurons occurred independently with the appearance of birds and mammals. The other two rises in neuron numbers happened in core land birds and anthropoid primates, known for their cognitive prowess. (Abstract excerpt)

Amniota, a group of limbed vertebrates that includes reptiles, birds, mammals and their extinct ancestors. The amniotes are the evolutionary branch (clade) of the tetrapods in which the embryo develops within a set of protective extra-embryonic membranes—the amnion, chorion, and allantois

Liu, Jiazhen, et al. The Emergence of Polarization in Coevolving Networks. arXiv:2205.14480. In their latest paper, the University of Miami and George Washington University (Neil Johnson) systems physicist team (search Chaoming) reach a conclusive point when they are able to provide a theoretical explanation for the constant propensity of social groupings to ever bifurcate into opposite persuasions. For the first time, a deeper, independent motive can be seen as responsible these common divisions. But for our human phase, any sense that such polar modes are actually archetypal complements of a whole viable, family-like unity. Instead of destructive conflict the two halves - again as conserve/create, regress/progress, tradition/innovation – they remained locked in mortal combat.

these effects emerge in coevolving networks due to reinforced mechanisms and network evolution. However, a comprehensive theoretical framework capturing generic drives which lead to polar states remains to be done. In this paper, we describe a universal scaling law for opinion distributions in accord with a set of scaling exponents which sort social systems into polarization and depolarization phases. We then find three phases of polarization, partial polarization, and depolarization, and a corresponding phase diagram. In the polarized phase, our theory predicts that a bi-polarized community structure emerges naturally from the coevolving dynamics. (Abstract excerpt)

In conclusion, we discover a universal scaling law for opinion distributions in real-world networks, characterized by a set of scaling exponents. This allows us to quantify different polarizing phases of the social system. We propose a generic framework for polarization dynamics of coevolving networks where opinion dynamics and network evolution are coupled based on two essential ingredients: 1) opinion homogenization and 2) homophily clustering. The proposed framework predicts three different polarizing phases and the corresponding phase diagram for modeling parameters. Moreover, the exact solution of the theory reveals the observed scaling law for opinion distributions, suggesting the model captures the universal patterns of polarization successfully. (10)

Marshall, Stuart, et al. Formalizing the Pathways to Life using Assembly Spaces. Entropy. 24/7, 2022. As emergent personal and planetary sapience continues apace to retrospectively research, quantify and explain how we peoples came to be, University of Glasgow and Arizona State University biochemical theorists including Leroy Cronin and Sara Walker describe a computational assembly index metric by which to discern an innate orientation toward vital complex dexterity, beyond just happenstance. See also False Positives and the Challenge of Testing the Alien Hypothesis by this extended group at arXiv:2207.00634.

Assembly theory has been developed to explore the extrinsic information required to distinguish a given object from a random ensemble. Our prior work came up with key processes to deconstruct an object into parts so as to evaluate the minimum steps needed to rebuild it. Here we scope out the core mathematical concepts and boundaries on the assembly index. We explore ways to meld mathematical and physical objects to propose that a high assembly index must have been produced using directed biological or technological processes rather than purely random processes, thereby defining a new scale of aliveness. We think this approach can help identify novel physical and chemical laws so to understand what life is by quantifying what life does. (Abstract edited excerpt)

Technological processes are bootstrapped to biological ones, and hence, the production of technosignatures could be traced to a biological origin. Examples of include chemical products produced by molecular systems such as networks of enzymes, complex chemicals made in the laboratory, and the works of Shakespeare. Finding the object in some abundance, or a single object with many repeating features, is required in order to distinguish single random occurrences. For example, a system which produces long random strings will generate some that have a high assembly index. Finding the same long string more than once will tell us that there is a bias in the system towards creating that string; thus, searching for signatures of life should involve looking for an abundant high assembly index. (4, excerpt)

Menichetti, Giulia and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Nutrient Concentrations in Food Display Universal Behavior. Nature Food. 3/375, 2022. Northeastern University network theorists focus their studies on the wide-ranging aspects our human sustenance from its production, quality to supplies. Once more, an exemplary presence of nature’s independent, generative complexities becomes well evident even for this global speciesphere instance.

Extensive programmes around the world proceed to measure and catalogue the composition of food. Here we analyse the nutrient content of the full US food supply and show that the concentration of each nutrient follows a universal single-parameter scaling law that accurately captures the eight orders of magnitude in nutrient variability. We show that the universality is rooted in the biochemical constraints obeyed by the metabolic pathways for nutrient modulation. This provides a mathematical rationale for food composition databases and aids a quantitative understanding of food processing on nutrient balance and health effects. (Abstract excerpt)

Milli, Smitha, et al. A Rational Reinterpretation of Dual-Process Theories. Cognition. Vol. 217, October, 2021. This section has sought to gather many findings since the 1970s that human beings, and all creatures, possess a double neural-cognitive faculty whereof each half contributes a vital attribute. Along with bicameral brain studies, a divide into slower, think about it and fast, just do it options has a currency, but with debate. Into 2021, UC Berkeley, MPI Intelligent Systems and Princeton University scholars propose a clarification by way of the same, typical left and right hemisphere modes of separate details and contextual orientation. By so doing, an integral synthesis is achieved as a bigender complementarity. But its presence sets up a deep quandary. While a scientific, psychological, academic literature posts this historic advance, our vital bioplanet remains in a terminal condition because politics, nations, factions, warlords rage with no sense of any greater natural knowledge and guidance.

Highly influential “dual-process” accounts of human cognition postulate the coexistence of a slow accurate system with a fast error-prone system. But why would there be just two systems rather than, say, one or 93? Here, we argue that a two part faculty might reflect a rational tradeoff between the cognitive flexibility afforded by multiple systems and the time and effort required to choose between them. We find that the optimal number of systems depends on the variability of the environment and the difficulty of deciding when which system should be used. We find a plausible range of conditions under which it is better to have a fast approach without any deliberation (“System 1”) and a slower view that is more accurate through considerations (“System 2”). (Abstract)

Our analyses found two minded choice and risky-choice modes as a most suitable way to deal with a range of environments and cognitive costs: a system that performs no deliberation (“System 1”) and another with a fair amount of forethought (“System 2”). This might be why the human mind contains opposite subsystems within itself – one that is fast but fallible and one that is slow but accurate. Our findings thereby suggests that dual-process architectures could be optimal for the human mind. (12)

Nonacs, Peter, et al. Social Evolution and the Major Evolutionary Transition in the History of Life. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. December, 2021. The editors for this special section are Peter Nonacs UCLA (Center for Behavior, Evolution & Culture,) Karen Kapheim, Utah State University (comparative genomics) and Heikki Helantera, University of Helsinki, (evolutionary ecology) are deeply engaged in field and conceptual studies which could be well served by an endemic structural arrangement and emergent orientation (Brief capsules in their own words below.) As an observation, just as a teleologic course could no longer be ignored (section herein), so this nested scale from 1995 is now similarly gaining a full, revelant acceptance. Its inclusion then describes a revolutionary (EarthWin) appreciation of life’s true developmental gestation. A further merit is a strongest case to date for an ascendant personsphere sapience learning on her/his own.

Among the ten entries are an overview survey: Major Evolutionary Transitions and the Roles of Facilitation and Information in Ecosystem Transformations by Amanda Robin, et al, What Do We Mean by Multicellularity? The Evolutionary Transitions Framework Provides Answers by Caroline Rose and Katrin Hammerschmidt, The Evolution of Microbial Facilitation: Sociogenesis, Symbiogenesis, and Transition in Individuality by Istvan Zachar, Gergely Boza The Major Transitions in Evolution: A Philosophy of Science Perspective by Samir Okasha and notably Design for an Individual: Connectionist Approaches to the Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality by Richard, Watson, et al (search)

In their classic 1995 book, John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmáry sketched the evident presence of eight major evolutionary transitions (METs) in the long history of life on earth. But 27 years since, optional views, and detail debates about defining features and qualities still persist. Attempts to find deep, constant patterns and processes also go on, but have not yet integrated this entire sweep of evolution and ecology from replicating molecules to loquacious humans. It seemed appropriate to post a topical issue which could gather, assimilate and enjoin these many aspects, air specific issues and consider a common, nested sequence. To wit, METs are seen to occur as fusions of independent individuals into a higher order entity, along with a novel way that information is stored and transmitted. In addition, the ecological context where this ascendant course goes on is rarely considered. Into these 2020s, new findings and novel ideas about life’s developmental stirrings, genetic bases and consequent course to our consummate global retrospective could provide a salutary synthesis. (Nonacs, et al, Introduction excerpt)

I view my research program as the intersection of Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology explores why questions and how issues. My students and I use several approaches from mathematical theories to empirical methods and field work in Panama. Although most of my work is with social insects, we are open to any system or species depending on how well suited they are to learn about vital evolutionary phenomena. (P. Nonacs)

I began my scientific life in Kay Holekamp's lab as at Michigan State University. After a stint as a zookeeper, I went to grad school at UCLA where my PhD was co-advised by Peter Nonacs and Bob Wayne as a shift from carnivores to bees. A post-doc followed in Gene Robinson's lab at UIUC, where I got into genomic aspects. I started my own lab at Utah State University in 2014. (K. Kapheim)

I see sociality, cooperation, conflict and communication everywhere. I work on genomics and transcriptomics, behaviour, chemical ecology and conceptual approaches to evolution. Beyond social insects, another necessary topic I study is the major transitions in evolution. In regard, I carry out theoretical and empirical analyses on similarities and differences between in complex multicellularity and superorganisms. (H. Helantera)

Ourllette, Nicholas. A Physics Perspective on Collective Animal Behavior. Physical Biology. 19.2, 2022. The Stanford University systems physicist (search) has become a leading authority for the study of dynamic group-wide activities, and the derivation of common features across all manner of species. His subject choice has been midge insects suitable for laboratory tests. (I heard Nicholas speak at UMass Amherst around 2010 when he was at Yale. A view even back then was that it didn’t matter which critter one chose, they all behave the same.) Into 2022, this timely review with 160 references can now cite a robust confirmation of this natural invariance. Premier research has investigated avian flocking, fish pods, wildebeest herds and all the way to invertebrate molds. (That is, except people because individual me yet opposes social We.) Akin to Self-Organization in Stellar Evolution (Georigiev, 2022), our EarthWise endeavors seem to be entering a new convergent stage of universal confirmations. Stars and starlings array and move to the same independent, genotype-like score and script. We may begin to glimpse an actual 2020s discovery that our participatory bioplanet is meant to achieve.

The dynamic patterns and coordinated motion displayed by groups of social animals are a beautiful example of self-organization in natural far-from-equilibrium systems. Recent advances in active-matter physics have enticed physicists to consider how their results can be extended from microscale physical systems to groups of real, macroscopic animals. At the same time, better measurement technologies have achieved high-quality empirical data for animal groups both in the laboratory and the wild. In this review, I describe how physicists have approached synthesizing, modeling, and interpreting this information, both at the level of individual animals and the group scale. I focus on the kinds of analogies that physicists have made between animal groups and more traditional areas of physics. (Abstract)

Ravn, Ib. Beyond Chaos and Rigidity, Flexstability. New Ideas in Psychology. August, 2022. As peoples and cultures world over become so polarized between such dual archetypal opposites, persuasions or fixations, a senior Aarhus University, Danish School of Education psychologist proposes an evident (once and future) middle way integrative unity. See also similar suggestions such as tradition and innovation by Jagiello, Heyes and Whitehouse, and participants and socialism by Thomas Piketty. In our regard, an active balance of conserve/create, regress/progress, particle/wave, war/peace, me individual/We society on every scale and instance can viably ensue. mitigate and resolve.

But in the USA, a new phase of violent conflict now looms. On a global scale, nuclear weapons are rattled between America (individualist) and Russia/China (communal). Yet it boggles that no one can see the fierce split is obviously between nature’s ecsomic, gender-like complements. The US senate vote on the climate bill was 50/50 as Republicans to a man went against. The South Korea flag is graced with a yin/yang Tao symbol as war games go on against the North. We are cutting it too close, how can this perennial family image ever be realized.

Chaos and rigidity are often used to describe problematic psychological states. If they are to be avoided, how does one conceive of a normative alternative? This paper proposes that underlying chaos and rigidity are two dimensions of healthy human experience, those of stability (focus, routine, unity) and flexibility (exploration, novelty, diversity). This essay proposes an optimal, unified state of “flexstability” in which individuals experience both flexibility and stability at the same moment. Chaos can be now understood as flexibility without stability, and rigidity as stability without flexibility. We apply this option to seven research areas in psychology: parenting styles, identity formation, development of mind, flow, creativity, emotional regulation and self-determination. (Abstract)

The main contribution offered here is the point that chaos and rigidity may be seen as expressions of a deeper dynamic, that of forms guiding human activity in ways more or less flexible and stable, producing more or less chaos and rigidity. The alternative that suggests itself, the state of flexstability, is proposed as a way of characterizing and envisioning a more appropriate alternative than any half-way house between rigidity and chaos. Viable human development efforts should not succumb to the logics of either-or or more-or-less when a logic of both-and is so readily available. (8)

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