reply to post by ZeuZZ
Thank you for posting this Zeuz! I always enjoy finding new material relating to this topic.
I think you and anyone else interested in this thread enjoy a few threads a shared a few years ago on this very topic.
The Future is Coming: Part 1
When speaking of evolution, we cannot forget the very universe itself and matter. The universe is composed of opposing forces and systems which
interact over to attempt to reach equilibrium.
The evolution of matter is also an important topic. Matter was formed over time different stages and increasing complexity. At first the universe was
to hot to be anything but plasma. and then over time, orbital and atomic structures began to form. Initially there was only hydrogen and helium and
maybe trace elements of lithium?. But most of the elements after the first two elements were fused in mass in stars.
And then you have to consider the chemical makeup of planets. Over time millions of chemical interactions are going on which change the chemical
composition of a planet. This molecular evolution is controlled by variables such as the current stability of molecules, their ability to interact
with other molecules (nothing evolves in isolation), and the most important factor would be a chemicals ability to replicate itself. Each of these
factors (among others) help determine the environment.
Self replication + random "mutations" in chemical structures is key, and im sure you can all assume why.
This topic get a whole lot more interesting in this second thread.
Why the Universe may be a Computer afterall: Genetic Algorithms, Cellular Automata, and Rule
While researching binary cellular automata, Prof. Wolfram discovered a very interesting rule, rule 110.
There are 4 classes of cellular automata.
class 1 - produces basic checkerboard patterns
class 2 - produces arbitrarily spaces streaks
class 3 - starts to become more interesting as recognizable features such as triangles appear in the pattern in random order
class 4 - the most famous example being Rule 110. This one however produced the "aha experience". and resulted in wolfram dedicating over a decade to
this topic. Class 4 rules produce surprisingly complex patterns that do not repeat themselves. We see in them many different types of artifacts
however the pattern is neither regular nor completely random; it appears to have some order but is never predictable.
Why is this important? Keep in mind we began with the simplest starting point: a single black cell. the process involves repetitive application of a
very simple rule. From such a basic rule we see complex and interesting features that shows some order and apparent intelligence. Localized structures
appear and interact in various complicated-looking ways
Wolfram makes the following point repeatedly: "whenever a phenomena is encountered that seems complex it is taken almost for granted that the
phenomenon must be the result of of some underlying mechanism that is itself complex. By my discovery that simple programs can produce great
complexity makes it clear that this is not in fact correct.
The universe is more mysterious than we understand!
Good thread OP and I hope my input spawns further discussion!
edit on 10/23/2012 by VonDoomen because: (no reason given)