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Proving Darwin : making biology mathematical…
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Proving Darwin : making biology mathematical (urspr publ 2012; utgåvan 2012)

av Gregory J. Chaitin

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Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin's theory of evolution works on a mathematical level. For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth's life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin's theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It's a question no one has yet answered--in fact, no one has even attempted to answer it until now. In this illuminating and provocative book, Gregory Chaitin argues that we can't be sure evolution makes sense without a mathematical theory. He elucidates the mathematical scheme he's developed that can explain life itself, and examines the works of mathematical pioneers John von Neumann and Alan Turing through the lens of biology. Chaitin presents an accessible introduction to metabiology, a new way of thinking about biological science that highlights the mathematical structures underpinning the biological world. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Proving Darwin makes clear how biology may have found its greatest ally in mathematics.… (mer)
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"Metabiology": Chaitin, whose version of algorithmic information theory revealed the full extent of the limitations of pre-Gödel and pre-Turing mathematics, in these remarkable 123 pages and in his usual free-wheeling ("creative") way describes a mathematical model for investigating the theoretical effectiveness of Darwinian evolution. In the model, the genomes of organisms take the form of the bit-sequences of certain computer programs, and fitness for survival is represented by the computational power (precisely defined) of those programs. Chaitin has proved that the time complexity for the process of producing higher-"fitness" programs is between N^2 and N^3 when the process is one of cumulative random mutations, this being vastly better than that (2^N) for non-cumulative random mutations and almost as good as that (N) for the imaginary limit of "intelligent design".
1 rösta fpagan | Jul 16, 2012 |
As for the genetic code, Chaitin takes the second word very seriously; genes are simply software to be transformed into fitness by the hardware that is the physics of the organisms’ environment. ... In other words, we have a perfectly static environment. If you were interested ecology or evolutionary game theory, then Chaitin just threw you out with the bath water. If you were interested in modeling, and wanted to have something computable define your fitness, then tough luck. Finally, in a fundamental biological theory, I would expect fitness to be something we measure when looking at the organisms, not a fundamental quantity inherent in the model. ... there is only one organism mutating through time. If you are interested in population biology, or speciation then you can’t look at them in this model. The mutations are not point-mutations, but what Chaitin calls algorithmic mutations. The algorithmic mutation actually combine the act of mutating and selecting into one step, ... Chaitin’s model does not have random mutations, it has randomized directed mutations. Fitness as a basic assumption, static environment, and directed mutations make this a teleological model — a biologist’s nightmare.
 
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Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin's theory of evolution works on a mathematical level. For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth's life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin's theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It's a question no one has yet answered--in fact, no one has even attempted to answer it until now. In this illuminating and provocative book, Gregory Chaitin argues that we can't be sure evolution makes sense without a mathematical theory. He elucidates the mathematical scheme he's developed that can explain life itself, and examines the works of mathematical pioneers John von Neumann and Alan Turing through the lens of biology. Chaitin presents an accessible introduction to metabiology, a new way of thinking about biological science that highlights the mathematical structures underpinning the biological world. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Proving Darwin makes clear how biology may have found its greatest ally in mathematics.

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