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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

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)

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)

Ramstead, Maxwell, et al. Answering Shrodinger’s Question: A Free-Energy Formulation. Physics of Life Reviews. Online September, 2017. Canadian, Australian, and British neurosciences including lead author Karl Friston post a new response to the 1944 What is Life? book by the Nobel laureate Erwin Schrodinger which has inspired the scientific quest for an integral definition grounded in physical principles. While ranging over a wide area, there is a growing confidence in the later 2010s that this essential rooting and explanation is within reach. In this journal, papers come with peer reviews, we note Michael Levin, John O. Campbell, Leot Leydesdorff, and others (14 men). But the whole project might benefit, it seems, from a toning down and clarity of technical terms.

The free-energy principle (FEP) is a formal model of neuronal processes that is widely recognised in neuroscience as a unifying theory of the brain and biobehaviour. More recently, however, it has been extended beyond the brain to explain the dynamics of living systems, and their unique capacity to avoid decay. The aim of this review is to synthesise these advances with a meta-theoretical ontology of biological systems called variational neuroethology, which integrates the FEP with Tinbergen's four research questions to explain biological systems across spatial and temporal scales. We exemplify this framework by applying it to Homo sapiens, before translating variational neuroethology into a systematic research heuristic that supplies the biological, cognitive, and social sciences with a computationally tractable guide to discovery. (Abstract)

In other words, an organism does not just encode a model of the world, it is a model of the world – a physical transcription of causal regularities in its eco-niche that has been sculpted by reciprocal interactions between self-organization and selection over time. On the basis of these distinctions, we turn next to defining a fully generalizable ontology for biological systems based on a multiscale free energy formulation, which we call “variational neuroethology.” (5)

Ribeiro, Tiago, et al. Scale-Free Dynamics in Animal Groups and Brain Networks. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. January, 2021. Into the 2020s, TR and Dietmar Plenz, NIH Critical Dynamics Group and Dante Chialvo, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina are able to perceive and delineate strong similarities between these disparate phases. An especial quality is the spontaneous presence of a self-organized criticalities in both active instances. Here then is an excellent instance of our Earthuman acumen just now attaining such a convergent synthesi of universal recurrence in kind.

The collective emergence of order in myriad interactive entities occurs over a vast range of physical and biological systems. Their key feature is an adaptive behavior beyond individual components. This article focuses on recent insights for two seemingly disparate phenomena: flocking in animal groups and neuronal ensembles in the brain. We report upon the spontaneous organization in bird flocks and whole human brain activity utilizing correlation functions and critical dynamics. Scale-free correlation functions capture the collective organization of neuronal avalanches in nonhuman primates and between neurons during visual processing in rodents. We conclude that at or near a phase-transition, neuronal information can propagate in the brain with similar efficiency to the collective adaptive response observed in some animal groups. (Abstract excerpt)

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