No entailing laws, but enablement in the evolution of the biosphere

  title={No entailing laws, but enablement in the evolution of the biosphere},
  author={Giuseppe Longo and Ma{\"e}l Mont{\'e}vil and Stuart A. Kauffman},
  booktitle={GECCO '12},
Biological evolution is a complex blend of ever changing structural stability, variability and emergence of new phenotypes, niches, ecosystems. We wish to argue that the evolution of life marks the end of a physics world view of law entailed dynamics. Our considerations depend upon discussing the variability of the very "contexts of life": the interactions between organisms, biological niches and ecosystems. These are ever changing, intrinsically indeterminate and even unprestatable: we do not… 
SEMIOSIS AND PHASE TRANSITIONS IN BIOLOGY : the Future of Biosemiotics within a Genuinely Evolutionary Conception of the World
It is shown that new developments in both physics and biology promise prospects for reversing this situation by means of a non-reductive unification of physical and biological theories within a truly evolutionary natural philosophy—including cosmology.
Biological constraints as norms in evolution
It is argued that to fully account for the causal power of constraints on evolution, they must be thought of in terms of normativity, which stems not only from the historicity of biological constraints, but also from their internalisation through the practices of living beings.
From Physics to Semiotics
This chapter tries to justify “functions”, whose unprestatable becoming are parts of the ever changing phase space of evolution, hence no entailing laws.
Biocosmology: Towards the birth of a new science
Cosmologists wish to explain how our Universe, in all its complexity, could ever have come about. For that, we assess the number of states in our Universe now. This plays the role of entropy in
Semiosis and Phase Transitions in Biology: a Peircean View
Abstract Since the days of Darwin and Wallace, evolution has been a leading unifying factor in biological theorizing, along with other key conceptual strands from thermodynamics, genetics, and
Extended Criticality, Phase Spaces and Enablement in Biology
How Future Depends on Past and Rare Events in Systems of Life
The dependence on history of both present and future dynamics of life is a common intuition in biology and in humanities. Historicity will be understood in terms of changes of the space of
The World Is Not a Theorem
It is argued that it is not possible to apply set theory to affordances; therefore, a set-based mathematical theory cannot be devised to deduce the diachronic evolution of the biosphere.
The Ecological Niche: History and Recent Controversies
In this chapter, the history of the concept of ecological niche is traced and it is seen how its meanings varied with the search for a theory of ecology.


Randomness and Multi-level Interactions in Biology
Biological randomness is presented as an essential component of the heterogeneous determination and intrinsic unpredictability proper to life phenomena, due to the nesting and interaction of many levels of organization.
In this paper, we propose to consider living systems as "coherent critical structures," though extended in space and time, their unity being ensured through global causal relations between levels of
From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings.
Gene expression dynamics in the macrophage exhibit criticality
Using global gene expression data from macrophages stimulated with a variety of Toll-like receptor agonists, it is found that macrophage dynamics are indeed critical, providing the most compelling evidence to date for this general principle of dynamics in biological systems.
Are Biological Systems Poised at Criticality?
This work reviews the surprising successes of this “inverse” approach to statistical mechanics models of biological systems directly from real data, using examples from families of proteins, networks of neurons, and flocks of birds.
Stepwise formation of the bacterial flagellar system
These results show that core components of the bacterial flagellum originated through the successive duplication and modification of a few, or perhaps even a single, precursor gene.
Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters and Complexity
This text distills the core ideas of statistical mechanics to make room for new advances important to information theory, complexity, active matter, and dynamical systems. Chapters address random
Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems
Previous two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy investigations of the FMO bacteriochlorophyll complex are extended, and direct evidence is obtained for remarkably long-lived electronic quantum coherence playing an important part in energy transfer processes within this system is obtained.