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Dec16-11, 11:30 AM
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Quote Quote by Ophiolite View Post
I recommend the extensive work of Stuart Kaufmann. He has been pursuing some fascinating concepts in self-organisation and emergent properties related to abiogenesis and biological evolution. He has a number of excellent published books which have garnered praise from Nobel laureates and the likes of Stehpen Gould. If his ideas are wrong they are wrong in a gloriously elegant, inventive and original way.
Stuart Kaufmann is a treat when it comes to complex systems. In Reinventing The Sacred he mentions something that keeps me thinking well into the night,

The number of possible combinations of activities of these genes is 22,500 or about 10750. There are only an estimated 1080 particles in the known universe, which means that the number of possible states of our regulating genes is enormously, vastly larger than the number of particles in the universe. If we add in our structural genes, there are 225,000 or about 107,500 states. The universe is about 1017 seconds old. It takes a few minutes to an hour for genes to turn on or off. Even if we were a thousand times as old as the universe, there is not time enough for our regulatory network to "visit" even a tiny fraction of its possible states. And remember, we are still assuming genes are as simple as light bulbs, with no states but "on" or "off".