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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 46 through 60 of 66 found.


Life's Corporeal Evolution Encodes and Organizes Itself: An EarthWin Genesis Synthesis

Quickening Evolution > > Life Origin

Smokers, Iris, et al. Complex Coacervation and Compartmentalizes Conversion of Prebiotically Relevant Metabolites. ChemSystemsChem. June, 2022. In this new Chemistry Europe journal, Radboud biochemists along with lab director Evan Spruijt contribute another 2020s instance whereby synthetic ideas can be fed back to help illume what went on long ago as life first came into being and on its cellular way to our curious selves.

Metabolism and compartmentalization are two of life’s most central elements. Constructing
synthetic assemblies based on prebiotically relevant molecules that combine these elements can provide insight into the formation of life-like protocells from abiotic building blocks. In this work, we show that a wide variety of anionic metabolites interact with oligoarginine to form coacervate protocells through liquid-liquid phase separation. We show that these metabolites remain reactive in compartmentalized systems. These results reveal the intricate interplay between (proto)metabolic reactions and coacervate compartments. (Abstract excerpt)

Quickening Evolution > > Multicellular

Arias Del Angel, Juan, et al. Interplay of Mesoscale Physics and Agent-like Behaviors in the Parallel Evolution of Aggregative Multicellularity. BMC EvoDevo. 11:21, 2020. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, New York Medical College, Centre for Human Genetics, Bengaluru, India including Stuart Newman gather recent empirical evidence and theoretical reason as to how this major transition persistently occurred, and what might be the deeper dynamics that drove it to do so.

The emergence of multicellular organisms exhibiting cell differentiation, spatial patterning and morphogenesis has been recognized as one of the major transitions in evolution. Depending on the criteria applied, multicellularity evolved on anywhere between 10 and 25 independent occasions, which enabled an extraordinary increase in the complexity of living systems; the study of the developmental mechanisms and selective forces leading to their emergence, maintenance, and variation is an active research area. In broad terms, multicellular organisms can be classified either as aggregative (“coming together”) or zygotic (“staying together”), according to the mechanism by which multicellularity arises.

An important implication of the perspective we have presented here is that physics-based and agent-based approaches to understanding development are not simply alternative modeling or computational strategies, but represent realities of complex biological systems that are represented to various extents in different organismal lineages. Thus, the material nature of multicellular systems and the inherent structural motifs entailed by the relevant physics introduces a predictability to morphological evolution. (14)

Quickening Evolution > > Societies

Cooney, Daniel, et al. Evolutionary Dynamics Within and Among Competing Groups. arXiv:2209.02063. Across some 50 pages, and 125 references, University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University polyscholars including Simon Levin and Joshua Plotkin describe game theory models, broadly conceived, so to provide explanatory insights into how the oriented major transitions of whole entities within each other ascend from deep origins to animals onto we curious peoples. Into these 2020s, a convergent, proven sense is dawning of a common pattern and process which iterates as it emerges and exemplifies in procreative effect.

Biological and social systems are arrayed in multiple scales, whereof individuals in a group may act at odds to the whole collective incentive. Resolutions of this tension form the basis for major transitions as the origin of cellular life, multi-cellular organisms, and societies. Here we survey a growing literature that extends evolutionary game theory to describe such multilevel dynamics. In regard, we analyze how known modes that promote cooperation within a group like assortment, reciprocity, and population and affect competition between groups. We describe the broad applicability of multi-scale game models ranging from the production of diffusible metabolites in microbes to the management of common-pool resources in human societies. (Excerpt)

Quickening Evolution > > Societies

Sivaram, Abhishek and Venkat Venkatasubramanian. Arbitrage Equilibrium, Invariance, and the Emergence of Spontaneous Order in the Dynamics of Birds Flocking. arXiv:2207.13743. A Columbia University PhD student and a senior chemical engineering professor contribute systemic insights into the independent formative forces that engender these natural topologies. See also A Unified Theory of Emergent Equilibrium Phenomena in Active and Passive Matter by Venkat V., et al (2206.09096) which adds a “statistical teleodynamics” quality, and Dynamics of Swarmalators by Gourab Sar and Dibakar Ghosh (2206.09096) for a similar contribution.

Active biological matter, such as bacterial colonies and bird flocks, is being found to exhibit self-organized dynamical behavior via inputs from hydrodynamics, kinetic theory, and non-equilibrium statistical physics. But for biological agents, these methods do not recognize the vital feature of survival-driven purpose and the pursuit of maximum utility. Here, we propose a novel game-theoretic framework to find that the bird-like agents self-organize into flocks so to approach a stable arbitrage equilibrium of equal effective utilities. Our theory is not limited to just birds flocking but can be adapted for the self-organizing dynamics of other active matter systems. (Abstract excerpt)

This kind of universality is particularly striking, which prompts us to close with an apropos quote from the Richard Feynman: ”Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” It appears that the emergence of spontaneous order via self-organizing stable arbitrage equilibria is such a thread. (8)

Quickening Evolution > > Ecosystems

Rogers, Tanya, et al. Chaos is not Rare in Natural Ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution. July, 2022. TR, National Marine Fisheries Service, along with Bethany Johnson and Stephan Munch, UC Santa Cruz provide a 2020s report that while Darwin’s bank remains tangled, our latest nonlinear sciences can reveal the present of an orderly basis. See also Yonatan, Yogev, et al. Complexity-Stability Trade-off in Empirical Microbial Ecosystems by Yogev Yonatan, et al in this same issue for a similar contribution..

Chaotic dynamics are thought to be rare in natural populations but this may be due to earlier empirical limitations, rather than an inherent stability of ecosystems. By way of extensive simulation testing, we applied multiple chaos detection methods to a global database and found chaotic behavior in some 30% of cases. Relative chaos was more prevalent among plankton and insects and least among birds and mammals. These results demonstrate that chaos does often occur in natural populations, and thus caution against steady-state approaches to conservation and management. (Excerpt)

Quickening Evolution > > Homo Sapiens

Crabtree, Stefani and Jennifer Dunne. Towards a Science of Archaeolcology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. August, 2022. A Utah State University environmentalist and the Santa Fe Institute research director propose and sketch an integral way to learn how our homo to anthropo sapient presence has impacted, for better or worse, many local environments.

We propose a novel field of research called ‘archaeoecology’ to study the past ~60, 000 years of interactions between humans and ecosystems as a way to better understand our human place within them. An archaeoecology view can integrate issues, data, and approaches from these aspects, as it broadly gathers recent and future studies.

Quickening Evolution > > Homo Sapiens

Fernandez-Lopez, Javier, et al. Understanding Hunter-Gatherer Cultural Evolution Needs Network Thinking. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. August, 2022. Nine system archaeologists from Spain, France, the USA, Canada, Switzerland, and Denmark such as Maxime Derex and Marcus Hamilton post another good notice of the current historic turn from object pieces and entities alone so to factor in the equally real and more vital presence of actual group interactivities. See herein T. Frottier and C. Kocoglu for other instances. Thus into these 2020s might we peoples be able to learn about our true familial affinities in time to stop isolate men fighting and allow women and love to save us

Hunter–gatherers past and present live in complex societies, and the structure of these can be assessed using social networks. We outline how the integration of new evidence from cultural evolution experiments, computer simulations, ethnography, and archaeology open new research horizons to understand the role of social networks in cultural evolution.

Quickening Evolution > Recapitulation

Uesaka, Masahiro and Naoki Irie. Beyond Recapitulation: Past, Present and Future.. Journal of Experimental Zoology B. 338/1-2, 2022. Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology, RIKEN Center, Kobe, Japan and University of Tokyo system biologists introduce this double issue as a latest 19th century to 21st century, once and future, scientific review as this persistent, obvious affinity gains a new evidential credibility. A prime basis has been a historic reunification of macro evolutionary and micro developmental processes. In addition, as the section reports, strong parallels have also been identified for cerebral activities, language learnings, cultural artifacts and more. Some papers are How can Recapitulation be Reconciled with Modern Concepts of Evolution? by Shigeru Kuratani, et al and The Biogenetic Law and the Gastraea: From Ernst Haeckel’s Discoveries to Contemporary Views by Georgy Levit, et al.

Life’s Cerebral Faculties Become More Complex, Smarter, Informed, Proactive, Self-Aware

Earth Life > Sentience

Ball, Philip. The Book of Minds: How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings from Animals to AI to Aliens. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022. In this latest volume, the prolific polyscholar science writer (search here and his website) extends his wide compass onto another vital feature of emergent life and sentience on the way to our global cognizance as it lately gains prominence. While he won a 2018 physics book for Beyond Weird about the quantum revolution, this thoroughly researched, copious interview edition covers the disparate occasions and sequential stages of how life’s long developmental course came to trace a axial advance in cerebral forms and cognitive faculties. In regard, this historic shift from bones to brains can further distinguish a progressive florescence of quickening, stirring, awakening intelligences in group communities. Chapters include Minds and Where to Find Them, Waking Up in the World, All the Things You Are and Free to Choose, along with novel machine learnings, if we properly program. But this 21st century turn from aimless accident to an evolutionary gestation as it may just reach and transition to a Geonate moment may well return human persons, one and all, to a central place and purpose.

Popular science writer Philip Ball explores a range of sciences to map our answers to a huge, philosophically rich question: How do we even begin to think about minds that are not human? Sciences from zoology to astrobiology, computer science to neuroscience, are seeking to understand minds in their own distinct disciplinary realms. Taking a uniquely broad view of minds and where to find them—including in plants, aliens, and God—Philip Ball pulls the pieces together to explore what sorts of minds we might expect to find in the universe. In so doing, he offers for the first time a unified way of thinking about what minds are and what they can do, by locating them in what he calls the “space of possible minds.” (Publisher)

Earth Life > Sentience

Jablonka, Eva and Simona Ginsburg. Learning and the Evolution of Conscious Agents. Biosemiotics. September, 2022. This latest essay by the Tel Aviv University and Open University of Israel scholar on their insightful perceptions (search) of life’s central propensity to evolve, develop and grow in learned, informed, aware agency from the earliest minimum to our personal, planetary retrospect here adds a biocommunicative advance in effect along the way. In regard, these thoughtful views contribute to the historic 2020s subject shift from bony bodies to a primary cerebral, cognitive, knowledgeable, collective individuation.

The scientific study of aware experience is now an active research program for philosophers of mind, psychologists, cognitive scientists, neurobiologists, evolutionary biologists and biosemioticians. Here we outline our evolutionary approach from two decades which focuses on the early transition to minimally conscious, organisms. We propose that life’s sentience was driven by an open-ended, representational, generative and recursive form of associative learning, which we call Unlimited Associative Learning (UAL). In this present regard, our framework allows the exploration of the evolutionary changes in agency, value systems, selective processes and goals that were involved from a perspective that resonates with the approaches of bio-semioticians. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Sentience

Miller, Jacob and Kevin Weiner. Unfolding the Evolution of Human Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Science. August, 2022. As the quotes note, Yale University and UC Berkeley psychologists contribute to 21st century worldwise reconstructions of prior trajectories of effective cranial and knowing capacities. We cite as more 2020s evidence that better brains and more informative content actually defines a central vector from earliest phases aimed at our global human acumen.

Recent findings spanning subject fields from braincases in paleoneurobiology to in vivo measurements in cognitive neuroscience are providing novel insights into our reconstructions of life’s emergent cerebral intelligence. Here, we integrate these findings and propose that studying small, evolutionarily new cortical structures can be a significant way to identify new links between neuroanatomical substrates and human-specific aspects of cognition. (Abstract)

Evidence from sulcal indentations on endocasts not only show big changes from our early human ancestors, but also hint that smaller sulcal structures may hold large implications for the history of our own brains. Considering when smaller sulci emerged in our evolutionary history builds on present work and offers a promising new application bridging studies of cognition, neuroanatomy, and paleoneurobiology. (737)

Earth Life > > Intel Ev

Ng, Eden Tian Hwa and Akira Kinjo. Computational Modelling of Plasticity-Led Evolution. arXiv:2208.00649. In our late day of a global knowsphere whose composite EarthKinder contents are commonly accessible, University of Brunei, Darussalam, Island of Borneo biomathematicians advance and finesse alternative views upon how life might have arisen along with an especial educative capacity. By this vista, into the 2020s a natural, necessary affinity between genomic and cerebral networks and functions is becoming newly apparent.

In a plasticity-led evolution, a change in the environment induces novel traits via phenotypic variability, after which such traits are genetically accommodated. While this hypothesis is served by experimental findings, here we propose computational methods to gain insight into underlying mechanisms. These models include the developmental process and gene-environment interactions, along with genetics and selection. Our results apply to such GRNs which represent consolidate the criteria of plasticity-led evolution. Since gene regulatory networks are mathematically equivalent to artificial recurrent neural networks, we discuss their analogies and discrepancies to help understand the mechanisms underlying plasticity-led evolution.

We remark that the Wagner model (Does Evolutionary Plasticity Evolve? Evolution. 50/3, 1996) is mathematically equivalent to a recurrent neural network (RNN). Numerous authors have also pointed out analogies between evolution and learning. RNNs process input data to give predictions as outputs. In development, GRNs process environmental cues to express phenotypes as outputs. However, the learning process itself differs between RNNs and GRNs. On the one hand, RNNs are often trained by changing their network parameters in order to minimize the prediction error, which bears similarity to Lamarckian evolution. (9)

Earth Life > Individuality

Cabell, Kenneth and Jaan Valsiner, eds. The Catalyzing Mind: Beyond Models of Causality. Berlin: Springer, 2014. Clark University and Aalborg University, Denmark editors gather to date and introduce an essay collection from environmental to biologic, psychological and cultures to advance the importance of personal self-making (autopoietic, semiopoietic), catalytic agencies are in life’s quickening emergence. Select chapters include Systematic Systemics: Causality, Catalysis, and Developmental Cybernetics as an Introduction by the editors, Catalysis and Morphogenesis: The Context Semiotic Configuration of Form, Function and Fields of Experience Picione, Raffaele and Maria Freda. Breaking the Arrows of Causality: The Idea of Catalysis in the Making by Jaan Valsiner, and Semiotic Scaffolding: A Biosemiotic Link between Sema and Soma by Jesper Hoffmeyer, see Abstracts below.

Theoretical models of catalysis have proven to bring with them major breakthroughs in chemistry and biology, from the 1830s onward. It can be argued that the scientific status of chemistry has become established through the move from causal to catalytic models. Likewise, the central explanatory role of cyclical models in biology has made it possible to move from the idea of genetic determination to that of epigenetic negotiation as the core of biological theory. Basic history of the idea of catalysis is outlined in this chapter, and the need to overcome the use of simple cause–effect notions in psychology is recommended. (Valsiner)

While organic life arises from myriad biochemical processes, it is usually not noticed that additional dynamic forms serve to integrate of all these processes into real living creatures. Here we point out that these organizing agencies are not so much biochemical as evolutionarily tailored as a communicative or semiotic (sign theoretical) logic. Such a biosemiotic reframing of biological thinking need involve an informed sensory version open to novel approaches of integrating life and cognition. A recent concept of structuring and enabling principles across the developmental levels of life is called semiotic scaffolding, which relates to psychological catalyses in interesting ways to be explored. (Hoffmeyer)

Our Earthuman Ascent: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Krishnadas, M., et al. Recurrence Measures and Transitions in Stock Market Dynamics. arXiv:2208.03456. We note this contribution by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati worldwide researchers as another case whereby nature’s universal code-script mathematics can be seen in similar, manifest effect even across our frantic financial trades.

The financial markets are understood as complex dynamical systems whose dynamics is analysed by data sets that usually come from stock markets. A reliable method is based on recurrence plots and networks from statistical phases. Here we perform a detailed study of the daily complexity of 26 markets around the globe using these measures. We show that the measures derived from recurrence patterns can be used to capture the nature of transitions in stock market dynamics. Our study reveals that the radical changes around 2008 indicate a stochastic transition, which is different from than during the pandemic. (excerpt)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Becker, Kurt, et al. Complex Urban Systems. European Physical Journal Special Topics. 231/9, 2022. Center for Urban Science and Progress, Tandon School of Engineering, NYU scholars introduce this issue with this subtitle: A Living Lab to Understand Urban Processes and Solve Complex Problems subtitle. To wit, into these 2020s it is now possible to proceed on a whole scale revision guided by complex network dynamics, so as to achieve a much better viability. Some entries are Ridership Prediction in Transportation Hubs, Analytical Fault Impact Model for the Electrical Grid, and Integrative Urban AI to Expand Coverage, Access and Equity.

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