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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2012 Oct;42(5):469-73; discussion 474. doi: 10.1007/s11084-012-9309-y.

Is there an optimal level of open-endedness in prebiotic evolution?

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


In this paper we explore the question of whether there is an optimal set up for a putative prebiotic system leading to open-ended evolution (OEE) of the events unfolding within this system. We do so by proposing two key innovations. First, we introduce a new index that measures OEE as a function of the likelihood of events unfolding within a universe given its initial conditions. Next, we apply this index to a variant of the graded autocatalysis replication domain (GARD) model, Segre et al. (P Natl Acad Sci USA 97(8):4112-4117, 2000; Markovitch and Lancet Artif Life 18(3), 2012), and use it to study--under a unified and concise prebiotic evolutionary framework--both a variety of initial conditions of the universe and the OEE of species that evolve from them.

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