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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 106 through 118 of 118 found.


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

Earth Life > Phenomenon > major

Rinkevich, Baruch. The Apex Set-up for the Major Transitions in Individuality. Evolutionary Biology. Online June, 2019. A senior Israeli marine biologist and educator agrees that life’s emergent development is well represented by this nested, sequential scale. Its repetition of mutual units within bounded wholes from unicellularity to organisms, colonies, and superorganic groupings is now affirmed as nature’s formative method, (as also present in neural architecture.) Into the 2010s, each regnant stage can be seen to relatively constitute a (semi)autonomous personal entity. As a contribution novel clarifications, instances, and expansions are suggested so to gain better sight of life’s ascendant zenith.

Morphological and functional hierarchies occurring in contemporary biological entities are amalgamated via a small number of progressive key-steps termed as Major Transition in Evolution (MTE) that encompass steps of Major Transition in Individuality (MTI). Literature views MTE/MTI in nature as a sequential increase in complexity, and has contributed insights into the emergence of genuine MTI candidates that actually build higher order individuals from simpler entities. By considering a novel MTI trajectory termed the ‘MTI continuum’, I found no literature consensus for this continuum’s apex. Next, I consider the properties of biological entities termed as ‘superorganism’ (eusocial insects, humans), also considered as highly-developed MTIs. Then I assign the emergence of three new MTI diachronic-classes, the colonial-organisms, chimerism and multi-chimerism, suggesting that they represent highly complex MTIs. These novel MTIs yet still generate genuine and distinct libertarian entities. (Abstract excerpt)

Chimera means an organism or tissue that contains at least two different sets of genetic DNA, often originating from the fusion of as many different zygotes (fertilized eggs). (WikiPedia) (We here note that the same term is used for complex dynamic systems poised at a critical state, such a neural activity.)

Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens

Future > Old Earth > anthropocene

Lewis, Simon and Mark Maslin. The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018. University College London environmentalists track this accelerant Earthsphere phase as industrial technologies take over, unawares, at once to construct better habitats, which now trash land, sea and air. Our interest is a closing section A New Way of Life? for it alludes at this global apocalyptic or transfiguration moment, that only a whole scale, intentional, agreed reconception of our human abide in balanced harmony with natural ecologies can save and foster us.

Future > Old Earth > anthropocene

Zalasiewicz, Jan, et al, eds. The Anthropocene as a Geological Time Unit: A Guide to the Scientific Evidence and Current Debate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Into the 21st century, this concept of a late historic era due to the populous industrial, technological, citified, resource-consuming, energy-burning human species has gained common use. The collection gathers many Earth system studies by which to certify a true evolutionary stage beyond the Holocene (12,000 years ago to circa 1950). Among its seven sections are History and Development as a Stratigraphic Concept, Biostratigraphic Signatures, The Technosphere and its Physical Record, and Climate Change, with authoritative entries by Will Steffen, Colin Waters, Naomi Oreskes, Mark Williams, Jacques Grinevald, and many more. We note The Technosphere and its Relation to the Anthropocene by Peter Haff which argues that a common, willful intention will be vital to mitigate and sustain.

The anthroposphere encompasses the total human presence throughout the Earth system including our culture, technology, built environment, and associated activities. The anthroposphere complements the term anthropocene – the age within which the anthroposphere developed. Some mark this age as beginning with the advent of agriculture, others with the industrial revolution. A growing movement within the geological community is considering establishing the anthropocene as a new geologic era, possibly starting around 1950. In physical terms, the anthroposphere is comprised of the cities, villages, energy and transportation networks, farms, mines, and ports. It also encompasses books, software, blueprints, and communication systems - the mark of civilization. (Aspen Global Change Institute)

Future > New Earth > Mind Over Matter

Lu, Ziaobo, et al. Superconductors, Orbital Magnets, and Correlated States in Magic Angle Bilayer Graphene. arXiv:1903.06513. Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, UT Austin, National Institute for Material Science, Japan, and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing condensed matter physicists tap into nature’s seemingly endless array of material properties for human benefit and creative avail. Companion entries are With a Simple Twist, “Magic” Material is Now the Big Thing in Physics by David Freedman in Quanta Magazine, (April 30, 2019), and Unconventional Supercondictivity in Magic-Angle Graphene Superlattices in Nature (556/43, 2018).

Superconductivity often occurs close to broken-symmetry parent states and is especially common in doped magnetic insulators. When twisted close to a magic relative orientation angle near 1 degree, bilayer graphene has flat moire superlattice minibands that have emerged as a rich and highly tunable source of strong correlation physics, notably the appearance of superconductivity close to interaction-induced insulating states. Here we report on the fabrication of bilayer graphene devices with exceptionally uniform twist angles. Our study shows that symmetry-broken states, interaction driven insulators, and superconducting domes are common across the entire moire flat bands, including near charge neutrality. (Abstract excerpt)

Future > New Earth > Mind Over Matter

Omidshafiei, Shayegan, et al. Alpha-Rank: Multi-Agent Evaluation by Evolution. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/9937, 2019. A ten person team from DeepMind Paris, London, and Edmonton, Singapore University and Columbia University achieve a frontier advance as our collective human acumen begins to intentionally take up life’s algorithome programs. While we would not consider cosmic genesis as a “game” as per the Abstract, what is being found is an open, natural procreativity whence an optimum or good enough result can be seen is reached by and accrues from a wide array of candidate options.

A ten person team from DeepMind Paris, London, and Edmonton, Singapore University and Columbia University achieve a frontier advance as our collective human acumen begins to intentionally take up life’s algorithome programs. While we would not consider cosmic genesis as a “game,” what is being found is an open, natural procreativity whence an optimum or good enough result can be seen is reached by and accrues from a wide array of candidate options.

Future > New Earth > second genesis

Dehne, Henry, et al. Transient Self-Organization of DNA Coated Colloids Directed by Enzymatic Reactions. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/7350, 2019. Technical University of Munich chemists including group leader Andreas Bausch (second quote and website), research ways by which complex system methods can help study nucleotide molecules so to serve life’s new intentional, informed procreation.

Dynamic self-organisation far from equilibrium is a key concept towards building autonomously acting materials. Here, we report the coupling of an antagonistic enzymatic reaction of RNA polymerisation and degradation to the aggregation of micron sized DNA coated colloids into fractal structures. A transient colloidal aggregation process is controlled by competing reactions of RNA synthesis of linker strands by a RNA polymerase and their degradation by a ribonuclease. By limiting the energy supply (NTP) of the enzymatic reactions, colloidal clusters form and subsequently disintegrate without the need of external stimuli. (Abstract)

Understanding complex biomaterials on a fundamental physical basis is an integral challenge of future biophysical research. This challenge can be addressed by the concerted application of new experimental tools of soft condensed matter physics to living cells and bio-mimetic model systems. In our group we concentrate on the one hand on developing new physical tools to address the underlying complexity and mechanisms and on the other hand on developing new biomaterials for applications ranging from biomedicine to functional food. (TUM Cellular Biophysics)

Future > New Earth > second genesis

Freedens, Julius, et al. Total Synthesis of Escherichia coli with a Recoded Genome. Nature. Online May 15, 2019. This achievement by a 14 member Cambridge University, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology team led by Jason Chin (search) merited a New York Times May 16 review by Carl Zimmer with the title Scientists Created Bacteria with a Synthetic Genome. Is This Artificial Life? In much regard, the answer is yes for these microbe colonies do seem to thrive with DNA constructed from scratch by human ingenuity.

Nature uses 64 codons to encode the synthesis of proteins from the genome, and chooses 1 sense codon—out of up to 6 synonyms—to encode each amino acid. Synonymous codon choice has diverse and important roles, but many substitutions are detrimental. Here we demonstrate that the number of codons used to encode the canonical amino acids can be reduced through the genome-wide substitution of target codons by defined synonyms. We create a variant of Escherichia coli with a four-megabase synthetic genome through a high-fidelity convergent total synthesis. (Abstract excerpt)

Future > New Earth > democracy

Albrecht, Glenn. Earth Emotions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019. This passionate evocation by the Australian environmental philosopher is reviewed more in A Viable Gaia, which we cite here for his proposal of a “symbiotic democracy” based upon and guided by nature’s intrinsic, animate democratic reciprocity of individual and community.

“Sumbiocracy” I define as a form of cooperative rule, determined by the type and totality of mutually beneficial or benign relationships, in a given sociobiological system. Sumbiocracy is a form of government where humans govern for all the reciprocal relationships of the Earth at all scales, from local to global. Organic form (all biodiversity including humans) and organic processes (symbiotically connected ecosystems and Earth systems) are primary in this new form of government. (106)

Future > New Earth > democracy

Geier, Fabian, et al. The Physics of Governance Networks. arXiv:1906.08679. A five person team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research including Jurgen Kurths and Jon Donges join multiplex topology science with critical condensed matter transition phenomena to scope out better ways by which civilized, knowledgeable societies could mitigate and resolve worsening epidemic, resource and weather assaults.

Adaptive networks are a versatile approach to model phenomena such as contagion and spreading dynamics, and structure formations that emerge from the dynamic coevolution of complex networks. Here, we study critical transitions in contagion dynamics on multilayer adaptive networks with dynamic node states, along with an application to the governance of sustainable resource use. We find that sustainability is favored for slow interaction timescales, large homophilic network adaptation rate and high taxation rates. These systemic results can advance understandings of complex adaptive systems from fields ranging from physics and epidemiology to sociology and global sustainability science. The paper also provides insights into potential intervention points for governance policy and sustainable renewable resource use that can better inform social-ecological process modeling. (Abstract excerpts)

Adaptive networks are a promising approach between theoretical physics and efforts to understand future trajectories of the Earth system in the Anthropocene where human social dynamics has become a dominant geological process. By modelling complex social systems as adaptive multilayer networks embedded in land-use or Earth system models, methods from complex systems theory, nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics can be applied to identify management options, critical transitions, tipping points and critical intervention points, and map safe operating spaces for these systems. More generally, they can help analyze complex co-evolutionary dynamics of human-environment systems including the evolution of technological and knowledge systems. (2)

Future > New Earth > Viable Gaia

Albrecht, Glenn. Earth Emotions. Ithaca: Cornell University, 2019. The Australian environmental philosopher was a professor of sustainability at Murdoch University, Sydney until 2014. He presently has a blog dubbed Psychoterratica at glennaalbrecht.com. This neologism is a negative term for global climate crises as industrial human beings live far apart from, and in destructive denial of, an abiding ecosphere. His project is to vivify a practical 21st century re-union by way of the latest organic sciences. A path forward might well be a respectful avail of life’s natural symbiosis between member entities and a supportive grouping at each and every phase. A prime case is the eukaryotic cell with prokaryotic microbes, as long taught by Lynn Margulis. This me + We reciprocity for mutual benefit within a “US” whole suffuses evolution, until our homo sapiens came along.

Albrecht also sees this proposal as a recovery of indigenous, perennial wisdom, and an animate way to inform and foster a “terranascian,” Earth creator mindfulness to replace the dominant “terraphthora,” Earth destroyer peril. In regard, he replaces the Anthropocene or Technocene moniker for a “Symbiocene” era of human beingness in harmony with local bioregions and a Gaian viability. While Australian concerns are leading edge in the “Great South Land,” he worries over the northern conflicts between an apocalyptic Armageddon and new green movements struggling across America and Europe. We add a notice that a solution could reached by identifying and putting into practice a universal, independent complementary Ubuntu, Taomics, bigender guidance.

“Sumbiocracy” I define as a form of cooperative rule, determined by the type and totality of mutually beneficial or benign relationships, in a given sociobiological system. Sumbiocracy is a form of government where humans govern for all the reciprocal relationships of the Earth at all scales, from local to global. Organic form (all biodiversity including humans) and organic processes (symbiotically connected ecosystems and Earth systems) are primary in this new form of government. (106)

The neologism “ghedeist” was thus created by me to account for a secular positive feeling for the unity of life, and the intuition, now backed up by science, that all things are interconnected by the sharing of a life force. My definition of the “ghedeist” is the awareness of the spirit or force that holds things together, a secular feeling of interconnectedness in life between the self and other beings (human and nonhuman) and their gathering together to live within shared Earth places and spaces including our own bodies. It is a feeling of intense affinity and sense of empathy for other beings that all share a joint life. (151)

Future > Self-Selection

Haqq-Misra, Jacob. Does the Evolution of Complex Life Depend on the Stellar Spectral Energy Distribution?. arXiv:1905.07343. The Blue Marble Space Institute, Seattle astrobiologist (search) adds another measured condition which is vital for biospheric life to develop into complex organisms. As the Abstract notes, the right intensity of solar radiation is needed over a sufficiently long span (a billion years for Earth), so that a global species as our own can appear.

This paper presents the proportional evolutionary time hypothesis, which posits that the mean time required for the evolution of complex life is a function of stellar mass. The "biological available window" is defined as the region of a stellar spectrum between 200 to 1200 nm that generates free energy for life. Over the ∼4 Gyr history of Earth, the total energy incident at the top of the atmosphere and within the biological available window is ∼1034 Joules. The hypothesis assumes that the rate of evolution from the origin of life to complex life is proportional to this total energy, which would suggest that planets orbiting other stars should not show signs of complex life if the total energy incident on the planet is below this energy threshold. (Abstract)

Future > Self-Selection

Lammer, Helmet, et al. The Role of Nitrogen as a GeoBiosignature for the Detection and Characterization of Earth-like Habitats. arXiv:1904.11716. A seven member group mainly from the Austrian Academy of Sciences Space Research Institute cites that the appropriate presence of this globally atmospheric and chemical element ought to be seen as another important factor for life’s emergent evolution.

Since the Archean, nitrogen has been a major atmospheric constituent in Earth's atmosphere. It is an essential element in the building blocks of life, therefore the geobiological nitrogen cycle is a fundamental factor in the long term evolution of both Earth and Earth-like exoplanets. We discuss the development of the Earth's N2 atmosphere since the planet's formation and its relation with the geobiological cycle. Then we suggest atmospheric evolution scenarios and their possible interaction with life forms for a stagnant-lid anoxic world, a tectonically active anoxic world, and an oxidized tectonically active world. Since life forms are the most efficient means for recycling deposited nitrogen back into the atmosphere nowadays, they sustain its surface partial pressure at high levels. (Abstract excerpt)

Future > Self-Selection

Turbet, Martin, et al. The Runaway Greenhouse Radius Inflation Effect. arXiv:1906.3527. In a paper to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Geneva and NASA Goddard scientists report another finely-tuned window that a habitable bioworld need remain within and pass through for life to evolve and emerge over a long time span. As the Abstract says, a narrow balance of solar radiation and surface conditions must be maintained for this purpose.

Planets similar to Earth - but slightly more irradiated - are expected to enter into a runaway greenhouse state, where all surface water rapidly evaporates, forming an optically thick H2O-dominated atmosphere. For Earth, this extreme climate transition is thought to occur for a ~6% increase only of the solar luminosity. In general, the runaway greenhouse is believed to be a fundamental process in the evolution of Earth-size, temperate planets. Using 1-D radiative-convective climate calculations accounting for thick, hot water vapour-dominated atmospheres, we evaluate the transit atmospheric thickness of a post-runaway greenhouse atmosphere, and find that it could possibly reach over a thousand kilometers. This abrupt radius inflation - resulting from the runaway-greenhouse-induced transition - could be detected statistically by ongoing and upcoming space missions such as TESS, CHEOPS and PLATO. This could provide an empirical measurement of the irradiation at which Earth analogs transition from a temperate to a runaway greenhouse climate state. This astronomical measurement would make it possible to statistically estimate how close Earth is from the runaway greenhouse. (Abstract excerpt)

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