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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Propagating Organization: An Enquiry

Robert Logan
Department of Physics, University of Toronto and Institute f

Stuart Kauffman
Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics, University of Calgary

Robert Este
Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics, University of Calgary

Randy Goebel
Department of Computer Science, University of Alberta

David Hobill
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary

Ilya Schmulevich
Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle Washington

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: June 24, 2007

Our aim in this article is to attempt to discuss propagating organization of process, a poorly articulated union of matter, energy, work, constraints and that vexed concept, “information”, which unite in far from equilibrium living physical systems.

Here we seek a non-reductionist explanation for the synthesis, accumulation, and propagation of information, work, and constraint, in terms of both molecular self reproduction and the basic work energy cycle where work is the constrained release of energy. The typical requirement for work itself is to construct those very constraints on the release of energy that then constitute further work. Information creation, we argue, arises in two ways: first information as natural selection assembling the very constraints on the release of energy that then constitutes work and the propagation of organization. Second, information in a more extended sense is “semiotic”, that is about the world or internal state of the organism and requires appropriate response. The idea is to combine ideas from biology, physics, and computer science, to formulate explanatory hypotheses on how information can be captured and rendered in the expected physical manifestation, which can then participate in the propagation of the organization of process in the expected biological work cycles to create the diversity in our observable biosphere.

Our conclusions, to date, of this enquiry suggest a foundation which views information as the construction of constraints, which, in their physical manifestation, partially underlie the processes of evolution to dynamically determine the fitness of organisms within the context of a biotic universe.

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