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Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Jan;10(1):247-91. doi: 10.3390/ijms10010247. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

The capabilities of chaos and complexity.

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The Gene Emergence Project, The Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc., Greenbelt, MD 20770-1610, USA.


To what degree could chaos and complexity have organized a Peptide or RNA World of crude yet necessarily integrated protometabolism? How far could such protolife evolve in the absence of a heritable linear digital symbol system that could mutate, instruct, regulate, optimize and maintain metabolic homeostasis? To address these questions, chaos, complexity, self-ordered states, and organization must all be carefully defined and distinguished. In addition their cause-and-effect relationships and mechanisms of action must be delineated. Are there any formal (non physical, abstract, conceptual, algorithmic) components to chaos, complexity, self-ordering and organization, or are they entirely physicodynamic (physical, mass/energy interaction alone)? Chaos and complexity can produce some fascinating self-ordered phenomena. But can spontaneous chaos and complexity steer events and processes toward pragmatic benefit, select function over non function, optimize algorithms, integrate circuits, produce computational halting, organize processes into formal systems, control and regulate existing systems toward greater efficiency? The question is pursued of whether there might be some yet-to-be discovered new law of biology that will elucidate the derivation of prescriptive information and control. "System" will be rigorously defined. Can a low-informational rapid succession of Prigogine's dissipative structures self-order into bona fide organization?


Biocybernetics; Biosemiotics; Complex adaptive systems (CAS); Complexity theory; Emergence; Non linear dynamics; Self-organization; Symbolic dynamics analysis; Systems theory

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