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

5. Common Code: A Further Report of Reliable, Invariant Principles

Nowak, Martin. Evolutionary Dynamics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006. An array of technical chapters by the Harvard mathematical biologist which collect and expand on applications of game theory, broadly conceived, to fitness strategies in evolving populations from microbes to language-based societies. As noted in a New York Times article for July 31, 2007, by these insights an innate propensity for cooperation can be added to mutation and selection. Nowak is also co-director with Sarah Coakley of the Evolution and Theology of Cooperation Project at Harvard, Google name to reach its Templeton Foundation website.

Oborny, Beata. The Plant Body as a Network of Semi-Autonomous Agents. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. April, 2019. A Lorand Eotvos University, Budapest systems botanist shows how even life’s flora phase is distinguished and enabled by agent/link network modularities as they sense, process and convey vital information. See also Percolation Theory Suggests Some General Features Across Environmental Gradients by BO and Robert Juhasz at arXiv:1909.00585.

Plants can solve many difficult tasks while adjusting their growth and development to the environment. They can explore and exploit several resources, even when their distributions vary in space and time. Current research has found that the functional use of modular features enables the plant to adjust a flow of information and resources to ever changing conditions. Experiments have yielded many results about these processes but a theoretical model to encompass the high number of components and interactions has lagged behind. In this paper, I propose a framework on the basis of network theory, viewing the plant as a group of connected, semi-autonomous agents. I review some characteristic plant responses to the environment through changing the states of agents and/or links. (Abstract excerpt)

Oltvai, Zoltan and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Life’s Complexity Pyramid. Science. 298/763, 2002. A synoptic report on new research results and evidence about how nature is arrayed in an emergent scale where the same form and dynamics are in effect everywhere.

At the lowest level, these components form genetic-regulatory motifs or metabolic pathways (level 2), which in turn are the building blocks of function modules (level 3). These modules are nested, generating a scale-free hierarchical architecture (level 4). Although the individual components are unique to a given organism, the topologic properties of cellular networks share surprising similarities with those of natural and social networks. This suggests that universal organizing principles apply to all networks, from the cell to the World Wide Web. (763)

Palese, Luigi and Fabrizio Bossis. The Human Extended Mitochondrial Metabolic Network. BioSystems. Online April, 2012. University of Bari, Italy, physicians find an organism’s broad class of lipid biochemicals, in their systemic physiology, to similarly exhibit nature’s universal interactive geometries.

One of the most striking aspects of complex metabolic networks is the pervasive power-law appearance of metabolite connectivity. However, the combinatorial diversity of some classes of compounds, such as lipids, has been scarcely considered so far. In this work, a lipid-extended human mitochondrial metabolic network has been built and analyzed. It is shown that, considering combinatorial diversity of lipids and multipurpose enzymes, an intimate connection between membrane lipids and oxidative phosphorilation appears. This finding leads to some biomedical considerations on diseases involving mitochondrial enzymes. Moreover, the lipid-extended network still shows power-law features. Power-law distributions are intrinsic to metabolic network organization and evolution. (Abstract, 1)

Perez Velazquez, Jose. Finding Simplicity in Complexity: General Principles of Biological and Nonbiological Organization. Journal of Biological Physics. 35/209, 2009. As many disparate scientific fields converge on the same patterns and processes, a University of Toronto, Hospital for Sick Children, neurophysician muses that a common, infinite iteration must inhere as their source. To illustrate it is shown that neuronal dendrites, tree branches, river beds, lung bronchioles, gene phylogenies, blood capillaries, and lightning strikes exhibit the same network structure. See Towards a Statistical Mechanics of Consciousness at arXiv:1606.00821 with JPV as a coauthor for a further entry.

What differentiates the living from the nonliving? What is life? These are perennial questions that have occupied minds since the beginning of cultures. The search for a clear demarcation between animate and inanimate is a reflection of the human tendency to create borders, not only physical but also conceptual. It is obvious that what we call a living creature, either bacteria or organism, has distinct properties from those of the normally called nonliving. However, searching beyond dichotomies and from a global, more abstract, perspective on natural laws, a clear partition of matter into animate and inanimate becomes fuzzy. Based on concepts from a variety of fields of research, the emerging notion is that common principles of biological and nonbiological organization indicate that natural phenomena arise and evolve from a central theme captured by the process of information exchange. Thus, a relatively simple universal logic that rules the evolution of natural phenomena can be unveiled from the apparent complexity of the natural world. (Abstract)

Perez-Mercader, Juan. Scaling Phenomena and the Emergence of Complexity in Astrobiology. Gerda Horneck and Christa Baumstark-Khan, eds. Astrobiology. Berlin: Springer, 2002. Deep in the scientific literature a new universe is being described which arises by emergent, nested sequential stages. Perez-Mercader contends that these phases from biomolecules to human persons to galactic networks are distinguished by a universality whereby the same, invariant form and process recurs over and over.

Finally, among the main patterns we can identify a systematic presence of systems within systems, within systems: planetary systems, within galaxies, within clusters of galaxies, or bases within DNA molecules, within chromosomes, within cell nuclei, within cells, etc. (339)

Picoli, S., et al. Scale-Invariant Structure of Size Fluctuations in Plants. Scientific Reports. 2/Article 328, 2012. Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Brazil, physicists untangle nature’s floral profusion by way of complex systems science to lately decipher this recurrent, recursive, “analogy of proper proportion” (Aquinas) scripture. See also Picoli and Mendes in Religion and Science.

A wide range of physical and biological systems exhibit complex behaviours characterised by a scale-invariant structure of the fluctuations in their output signals. In the context of plant populations, scaling relationships are typically allometric. In this study, we analysed spatial variation in the size of maize plants (Zea Mays L.) grown in agricultural plots at constant densities and found evidence of scaling in the size fluctuations of plants. The findings indicate that the scaling of the probability distribution of spatial size fluctuation exhibits non-Gaussian behaviour compatible with a Lévy stable process. The scaling relationships were observed for spatial scales spanning three orders of magnitude. These findings should provide additional information for the selection and development of empirically accurate models of pattern formation in plant populations.

Potirakis, Stelios, et al. Dynamical Analogy between Economical Crisis and Earthquake Dynamics within the Nonextensive Statistical Mechanics Framework. Physica A. Online February, 2013. University of Athens physicists drawn upon these thermodynamic theories of Constantino Tsallis to discern across disparate realms the presence of deep similarities, which are extended to seizures, magnetic storms and solar flares. So are we closing on a great historic realization, as other ages and cultures long aver, of an infinitely recurrent natural creation which so springs as if by universally applicable, genetic-like code. See also in regard “The Earth as a Living Planet” at arXiv:1210.4804 (October 2012) by Y. Contoyiannis, with Potirakis, whence more analogies are noted between geological criticalities and human physiology.

The field of study of complex systems considers that the dynamics of complex systems are founded on universal principles that may be used to describe a great variety of scientific and technological approaches of different types of natural, artificial, and social systems. Several authors have suggested that earthquake dynamics and the dynamics of economic (financial) systems can be analyzed within similar mathematical frameworks. We apply concepts of the nonextensive statistical physics, on time-series data of observable manifestations of the underlying complex processes ending up to these different extreme events, in order to support the suggestion that a dynamical analogy exists between a financial crisis (in the form of share or index price collapse) and a single earthquake. (Abstract)

Proekt, Alex, et al. Scale Invariance in the Dynamics of Spontaneous Behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109/10564, 2012. Physician Proekt, physicists Jayanth Banavar and Amos Martin, and neurobiologist Donald Pfaff, find animal activities to exhibit the same nested recurrence of self-organized phenomena as everywhere else in nature and society, as this site documents, from galaxies to genomes, brains, language, and our noosphere.

Typically one expects that the intervals between consecutive occurrences of a particular behavior will have a characteristic time scale around which most observations are centered. Surprisingly, the timing of many diverse behaviors from human communication to animal foraging form complex self-similar temporal patterns reproduced on multiple time scales. We present a general framework for understanding how such scale invariance may arise in nonequilibrium systems, including those that regulate mammalian behaviors. Our analyses reveal that the specifics of the distribution of resources or competition among several tasks are not essential for the expression of scale-free dynamics. Rather, we show that scale invariance observed in the dynamics of behavior can arise from the dynamics intrinsic to the brain. (Abstract)

pyo, Andrew, et al. Proximity to Criticality Predicts Surface Properties of Biomolecular Condensates. PNAS. 120/23, 2023. This mid 2023 entry by Princeton and Johns Hopkins University biologists including Ned Wingreen is a good example of the wide and deep convergent synthesis that is presently underway. The paper notably views the title biological functions as primarily due to deep self-organizing energies as they serve ti generate life’s oriented developmental evolution. A further vital finding is a constant propensity to seek and reside at a optimum critical point.

In Common Code we also cite concurrent physical instances such as Self-Organized Patterning on Azo Molecular Glass Film via Optical Near-Field Effect and Self-Organization of Ferroelectric Domains Reinforced via Ultrasonic Vibration both in the Nature journal Communications Materials (May 2023). To continue with nature’s dynamic universality, see Statistical thermodynamics of self-organization in the adaptive immune system by Jozsef Prechl, (2306.04665), From Autopoiesis to Self-Organization: Toward an Enactive Model of Biological Regulation by Tom Froese, et al (bioRxiv. June 9, 2023), Programmable Self-organization of heterogeneous microrobot collectives by Steven Ceron in PNAS (120/24, 2023) and Critical Scaling of Whole-Brain Resting-State Dynamics by Adrian Ponce-Alvarez, et al in Communications Biology (June 2023).

Self-organization through the phase separation of biomolecular condensates is ubiquitous in living cells. What general principles relate these macroscopic properties to the underlying microscopic features of biomolecules? By using universal ratios of thermodynamic quantities in the vicinity of a critical point, condensate physical properties can be inferred from a small number of thermodynamic parameters. We confirm that the range of validity of the critical region is large enough to cover the physiologically relevant range in living cells. (Pyo Significance excerpt)

Overall, these results suggest that the framework of critical phenomena can be utilized as a principled approach to understand the effect of microscopic features on the macroscopic properties of many biomolecular condensates. (Pyo 2)

The universality of behavior near a critical point provides an inherently principled way to relate microscopic features to macroscopic properties. Within a model for biomolecular phase separation, this affinity infers that polymer sequences influence surface tension by shifting the distance to the critical point. Notably, these interdependent scaling laws are not limited to a particular model system but are generally applicable within the 3D Ising universality class. (Pyo 5, 6)

Radicchi, Filippo and Ginestra Bianconi. Epidemic Plateau in Critical SIR Dynamics with Non-trivial Initial Conditions. arXiv:2007.15034. We cite this entry by Indiana University and Alan Turing Institute, London network theorists as an example amongst a flood of similar papers about how the active COVID-19 pandemic seems to exhibit and be moved by intrinsic mathematical patterns and dynamics. See also An Infection Process near Criticality by P. Krapivsky at 2009.08940. And we wonder if this international effort, aided global coordination, could come to a common synthesis, it would result a concerted focus going forward to mitigate and prevent any more –demics.

Containment measures implemented by some countries to suppress the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in a slowdown of the epidemic characterized by a time series of daily infections plateauing over extended periods of time. We prove that such a dynamical pattern is compatible with critical Susceptible-Infected-Removed (SIR) dynamics. In traditional analyses of the SIR model, the critical dynamical regime is started from a single infected node. We describe that such non-trivial starting conditions affect the outbreak size as an increasing function of the initial number of infected individuals, while the expected duration of the outbreak is a non-monotonic function of the initial number of infected individuals. (Abstract excerpt)

Radicchi, Filippo, et al. Complex Networks Renormalisation. Physics Review Letters. 101/148701, 2008. In our midst today, if we might inquire, is an imminent discovery via the sum of myriad contributions such as this finding of an invariant resonance whose nested nets from universe to human repeat the same archetypal pattern and process. Renormalization group theory, from 1982 physics Nobel laurate Kenneth Wilson, is yet another window upon nature’s innate universality, but is said to need better terminologies that could aid such a translation.

Generally speaking, an object is self-similar if any part of it, however small, maintains the general properties of the whole object. Self-similarity is a characteristic feature of fractals and it expresses the invariance of a geometrical set under a length-scale transformation. Many complex systems such as the World-Wide-Web (WWW), the Internet, social and biological systems, have a natural representation in terms of graphs, which often display heterogeneous distributions of the number of links per node (the degree k). These distributions can be described by a power law decay, i.e. are scalefree: they remain invariant under a rescaling of the degree variable, suggesting that suitable transformations of the networks’ structure may leave their statistical properties invariant. (148701)

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