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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 31 through 45 of 74 found.


Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies

Earth Life > Common Code

Magliocca, Nicholas, et al. Modeling Cocaine Traffickers and Counterdrug Interdiction Forces as a Complex Adaptive System. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Early online April 1, 2019. Eight systems geographers posted in Alabama, Arizona, Wyoming, Texas, Oregon, and Ohio identify a common mathematical patterning that even criminal chaos seems to hold to and be constrained by. Our interest extends to a concurrent paper, Structure, Spatial Dynamics of Novel Seed Dispersal Mutualistic Networks in Hawaii (Visentin herein), which notes similar structuring dynamics across ecosystems. Within our 21st century scan, it is increasingly evident to a point of proof and discovery that an independent generative source is in exemplary presence everywhere.

The US government’s cocaine interdiction mission in the transit zone of Central America is now in its fifth decade despite its long-demonstrated ineffectiveness, both in cost and results. We developed a model that builds an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and function of narco-trafficking networks and their coevolution with interdiction efforts as a complex adaptive system. The model produced realistic predictions of where and when narco-traffickers move in and around Central America in response to interdiction. The model demonstrated that narco-trafficking is as widespread and difficult to eradicate as it is because of interdiction, and increased interdiction will continue to spread traffickers into new areas, allowing them to continue to move drugs north. (Significance)

Earth Life > Common Code

Visentin-Bugoni, Jeferson, et al. Structure, Spatial Dynamics and Stability of Novel Seed Dispersal Mutualistic Networks in Hawai’i. Science. 364/78, 2019. Eight systems ecologists posted in Illinois, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Honolulu report the presence of common topological forms as alien fauna and flora proceed to invade complex ecosystems. We thus record the presence of an independent mathematical source in universal formative effect.

Increasing rates of human-caused species invasions and extinctions may reshape communities and modify the structure, dynamics, and stability of species interactions. To investigate how such changes affect communities, we performed multiscale analyses of seed dispersal networks on Oahu, Hawaii. Networks consisted exclusively of novel interactions, were largely dominated by introduced species, and exhibited specialized and modular structure at local and regional scales, despite high interaction dissimilarity across communities. Furthermore, the structure and stability of the novel networks were similar to native-dominated communities worldwide. Our findings suggest that the emergence of complex network structure, and interaction patterns may be highly conserved, regardless of species identity and environment. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Life Origin

Barge, Laura, et al. Redox and pH Gradients Drive Amino Acid Synthesis in Iron Oxyhydroxide Mineral Systemss. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116/4828, 2019. Cal Tech researchers including Michael Russell detail a probable pathway by which biochemical precursors were able to energetically come together and complexify.

Earth Life > Nest > Life Origin

Garcia, Adrien, et al. The Astrophysical Formation of Asymmetric Molecules and the Emergence of a Chiral Bias. Life. 9/1, 2019. Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, France, and Aarhus University, Denmark scientists report a persistent proclivity of cosmic nature to form a rich variety of precursor complex biochemicals.

The biomolecular homochirality in living organisms has been investigated for decades, but its origin remains poorly understood. It has been shown that circular polarized light and other energy sources are capable of inducing small enantiomeric excesses in primary biomolecules such as amino acids or sugars. Since the first findings of amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites, a scenario in which essential chiral biomolecules originate in space and are delivered by celestial bodies has arisen. In this review we summarize the discoveries in amino acids, sugars, and organophosphorus compounds in meteorites, comets, and laboratory-simulated interstellar ices. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Life Origin

Villarreal, Luis and Guenther Witzany. That is Life: Communicating RNA Networks from Viruses and Cells in Continuous Interaction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Online March, 2019. A UC Irvine biologist and a Telos–Philosophische Praxis, Austria philosopher (search each) continue their project to better explain how life’s biomolecular origins came to be. Herein a novel finesse of ribonucleic and deoxyribonucleic acids, along with viral–like modes, is seen to provide a fuller, more accurate reconstruction.

The conserved results of evolution stored in DNA must be read, transcribed, and translated via an RNA‐mediated process for the development and growth of each individual cell. Thus, all living organisms depend on these RNA‐mediated processes. The precellular evolution of RNAs was crucial to the emergence of cellular life. Here we argue that RNA networks and RNA communication can interconnect precellular and cellular levels. With the reemergence of virology in evolution, it became clear that communicating viruses and subviral infectious genetic parasites are bridging these two levels by invading, integrating, coadapting, exapting, and recombining constituent parts in host genomes for cellular requirements in gene regulation and coordination aims. Therefore, a 21st century understanding of life is of an inherently social process based on communicating RNA networks, in which viruses and cells continuously interact. (Abstract excerpts)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Sueur, Cedric, et al. Mechanisms of Network Evolution: A Focus on Socioecological Factors. Primates. 60/3, 2019. This is a lead article in an issue on Social Networks Analyses in Primates: A Multilevel Perspective by University of Strasbourg, Kyoto University, Sun Yat-sen University and University of Agder, Norway system primatologists. They report that simian groupings, as they formed viable niches, can be found to spontaneously exhibit similar interconnective linkages as most everywhere else. See also in this issue Social Style and Resilience of Macaques Networks by Ivan Puga-Gonzalez, et al and Using Multiplex Networks to Capture the Multidimensional nature of Social Structure by Sandra Smith-Aguilar.

Since group-living animals are embedded in a network of social interactions, socioecological factors may not only affect individual behaviors but also group-level social interactions, i.e., the network structure. These co-variations between socioecological factors, individual behavior, and group-level structure are important to study since they may strongly influence animal health outcomes and reproductive success. This paper reviews how causal factors (food distribution, predation, and infectious agent risk), via intermediary mechanisms (stress, information sharing, and mating system), may affect individual behavior and social network topology. We conclude that studies focusing on how well networks resist changing conditions might provide a better understanding of underlying individual behavior, a process we have called network evolution. Evolutionary processes may favor a group phenotypic composition, thus a network topology, aka “collective social niche construction”. (Abstract excerpts)

Earth Life > Nest > Ecosystems

Tu, Chengyi, et al. Reconciling Cooperation, Biodiversity and Stability in Complex Ecological Communities. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/5580, 2019. With an opening nod to Alfred Lotka and Vito Volterra from the early 1900s, Chengyi Tu, UC Berkeley, Samir Suweis, Marco Formentin, and Amos Maritan, University of Padova, and Jacopo Grilli, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (search names) continue to finesse mathematical theories which are well exemplified by active creaturely groupings. It is again averred that cooperative relations are most important for achieving viable success.

Earth Life > Nest > Gaia

Jabr, Ferris. The Earth is just as Alive as You Are. New York Times. April 21, 2019. On Easter Sunday, a science writer makes a vibrant case, braced by new findings such as how even microbes can have an effect on plate tectonics, that the Gaia theory of a self-maintaining biosphere ought to be fully revived. As readers know, the view that living systems have long acted together to maintain a conducive world has had both advocates and detractors (see Michael Ruse). As so many stresses beset planet and person, maybe it is time to realize that our rarest abode is in actual fact a living organism.

In his early writing, Dr. Lovelock occasionally granted Gaia too much agency, which encouraged the misperception that the living Earth was yearning for some optimal state. But the essence of his hypothesis — the idea that life transforms and in many cases regulates the planet — proved prescient and profoundly true. We and all living creatures are not just inhabitants of Earth, we are Earth — an outgrowth of its physical structure and an engine of its global cycles. Although some scientists still recoil at the mention of Gaia, these truths have become part of mainstream science.

Like many living creatures, Earth has a highly organized structure, a membrane and daily rhythms; it consumes, stores and transforms energy; and if asteroid-hitching microbes or space-faring humans colonize other worlds, who is to say that planets are not capable of procreation? If Earth breathes, sweats and quakes — if it births zillions of organisms that devour, transfigure and replenish its air, water and rock — and if those creatures and their physical environments evolve in tandem, then why shouldn’t we think of our planet as alive?

Humans are the brain — the consciousness — of the planet. We are Earth made aware of itself. Viewed this way, our ecological responsibility could not be clearer. By fuming greenhouse gases, we have not simply changed the climate; we have critically wounded a global life form and severely disrupted its biological rhythms. No other member of this living assembly has our privileged perspective. No one else can see the sinews and vessels of our planetary body. Only we can choose to help keep Earth alive.

Earth Life > Sentience > Animal Intelligence

Marino, Lori. Thinking Chickens: A Review of Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior in the Domestic Chicken. Animal Cognition. 20/2, 2017. The founding director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy in Kanab, Utah provides a most thorough study and appreciation to date about a personal and communal repertoire that this avian icon actually possesses.

Domestic chickens are members of an order, Aves, which has been the focus of a revolution in our understanding of neuroanatomical, cognitive, and social complexity. At least some birds are now known to be on par with many mammals in terms of their level of intelligence, emotional sophistication, and social interaction. Yet, views of chickens have largely remained unrevised. Here I examine scientific data on the leading edge of cognition, emotions, personality, and sociality in chickens, exploring such self-awareness, cognitive bias, social learning and self-control. My overall conclusion is that chickens are just as cognitively, emotionally and socially complex as most other birds and mammals in many areas, and that there is a need for further noninvasive comparative behavioral research about their intelligence. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Sentience > Animal Intelligence

Marino, Lori and Debra Merskin. Intelligence, Complexity, and Individuality in Sheep. Animal Sentience. Vol. 4, 2019. This is a new journal all about creaturely sensitivities, along with practical, legal, ethical, sociological, and philosophical aspects. Biopsychologist Lori Marino is a biopsychologist was at Emory University and is now a leading advocate for this overdue reconception of how truly like human persons all manner of animals really are. Debra Merskin is a University of Oregon media scholar working to communicate these actual qualities so to improve the their treatment. (Temple Grandin has long had a similar mission.) Herein a species long viewed as sheepish is found to have an familiar array of emotional behaviors. See also in this journal, e.g., More Evidence of Complex Cognition in Nonhuman Species by Lesley Rogers (Vol.3, 2018) and Animal Sentience: The Other-Minds Problem by Stevan Harnad (Vol. 1, 2016).

Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are among the earliest animals domesticated for human use. They are consumed worldwide as mutton, hogget, and lamb, kept as wool and milk producers, and used extensively in scientific research. The popular stereotype is that sheep are docile, passive, unintelligent, and timid, but a review of the research on their behavior, affect, cognition, and personality reveals that they are complex, individualistic, and social. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Hoeschele, Marisa. Preface to the Special Section on Animal Music Perception. Comparative Cognition and Behavior. Volume 12, 2017. As scientific, psychological and linguistic studies find that all kinds of creatures, aided by online videos from corvids to elephants, indeed have an ear for and dance to musical rhythms, a field of study has formed around it, search Honing. Some papers are Relation Chord Perception by Pigeons, Consonance Processing by Nonhuman Animals, and Animal Pitch Perception. In regard, these findings of music appreciation across the evolutionary spectrum, along with communicative skills.

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Honing, Henkjan, ed. The Origins of Musicality. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018. The University of Amsterdam linguist edits a follow up volume to a Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B issue (Vol.370/Iss.1664, 2015) on realizations that a wide array of creatures indeed possess a deep propensity for all manner of rhythmic harmonies. Some chapters are Neural Overlap in Processing Music and Speech, Structure Building in Music, Language, and Animal Song, and Searching for the Origins of Musicality across Species.

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Honing, Henkjan, et al. Without It No Music: Cognition, Biology and Evolution of Musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol.370/Iss.1664, 2015. HH, University of Amsterdam, Carel ten Cate, Leiden University, Isabelle Peretz, Montreal University, and Sandra Trehub, University of Toronto introduce an issue to broadly consider innate animal sensitivities to beat, pitch, and rhythm. The project is said to be inspired by YouTube videos of birds dancing to rock tunes, which revealed unexpected eabilities. Some entries are Four Principles of Bio-Musicality by Tecumseh Fitch, a guiding scholar for the endeavor, Evolutionary Roots of Creativity, Principles of Structure Building in Music Language and Animal Song, Finding the Beat across Humans and Non-human Primates, and Cross-cultural Perspectives on Music and Musicality. Follow-up editions are a 2018 volume The Origins of Musicality edited by H. Honing, reviewed herein, and Honing’s own The Evolving Animal Orchestra: In Search of What Makes Us Musical (MIT Press, 2018).

Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are then essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Ma, Weiyi, et al. Spontaneous Emergence of Language-like and Music-like Vocalizations from an Artificial Protolanguage. Semiotica. Online April, 2019. Behavioral linguists WM, University of Arkansas, Anna Fiveash, University of Lyon, France, and William Forde Thompson, Macquarie University, Sydney experimentally show how cognitive streams innately tend to divide into dual language-like and prosodic musical modes. By a different approach and measure, once again neural nature seems to ever seek these distinctive, reciprocal script and/or score phases, which altogether compose life’s dramatic dance.

How did human vocalizations come to acquire meaning in the evolution of our species? Charles Darwin proposed that language and music originated from a common emotional signal system based on the imitation and modification of sounds in nature. This protolanguage is thought to have diverged into two separate systems, with speech prioritizing referential functionality and music prioritizing emotional functionality. However, there has never been an attempt to empirically evaluate the hypothesis that a single communication system can split into two functionally distinct systems that are characterized by music- and language like properties. Here, we demonstrate that when referential and emotional functions are introduced into an artificial communication system, that system will diverge into vocalization forms with speech- and music-like properties, respectively. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Massip-Bonet, Angels, et al, eds. Complexity Applications in Language and Communication Sciences. International: Springer,, 2019. Systems linguists A M-B and Albert Bastardas-Boada, University of Barcelona, and Gemma Bel-Enguix, National Autonomous University of Mexico (search each) gather diverse essays about how to perceive human conversant and literary discourse as a complex adaptive, self-organizing network similar to everywhere else. Their Introduction reviews this scientific and conceptual advance through the 2010s as it grows in breath and veracity. Again we may note that by turns, an inherent textual quality across natural and social realms becomes evident. Sample chapters could be The Paradigm of Complexity in Sociology, How and Why to Model the Complexity of Thought Systems, and Amazing Grace: An Analysis of Barack Obama’s Raciolinguistic Performances.

This book offers insights on the study of natural language as a complex adaptive system. It discusses a new way to tackle the problem of language modeling, and provides clues on how the close relation between natural language and some biological structures can be very fruitful for science. The book examines the theoretical framework and then applies its main principles to various areas of linguistics. It discusses applications in language contact, language change, diachronic linguistics, and the potential enhancement of classical approaches to historical linguistics by means of new methodologies used in physics, biology, and agent systems theory. It shows how studying language evolution and change using computational simulations enables to integrate social structures in the evolution of language, and how this can give rise to a new way to approach sociolinguistics.

In their Science as a Social Self-organizing Extended Cognitive System chapter, Robert Hristovsky, Natalia Balagué and Pablo Vázquez develop the idea that sciences are social self-organizing adaptive cognitive systems. They explain the rise of unifying themata in science overcoming the fragmentation of scientific language and illustrate the diversification and unification of scientific language with examples of different disciplines such as cosmology, chemistry, psychology and physics, among others. (8)

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