A mathematical theory of evolutionand biological creativity

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G. J. Chaitin: A mathematical theory of evolution and biological creativity. Talk at workshop on “Random-ness, Structure and Causality: Measures of Complexity from Theoryto Applications” organized by Jim Crutchfield and Jon Machta at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico 10 January 2011.



Theoretical Biology Mathematical Biology

I believe we already have the mathematical tools to begin developing such a theory. For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have a proof that Darwinian evolution works. I want to find the sim- plest toy model of evolution for which I can prove that evolution will proceed forever, without ending.

Extended Abstract


Used References

1. S. Aaronson, “Who Can Name the Biggest Number?,” http://www.scottaaronson.com/writings/bignumbers.html

2. C. Calude, Theories of Computational Complexity, Elsevier, 1987.

3. G. Chaitin, Algorithmic Information Theory, Cambridge University Press, 1987.

4. G. Chaitin, “Evolution of Mutating Software,” EATCS Bulletin 97 (February 2009), pp. 157–164.

5. G. Chaitin, “Metaphysics, Metamathematics and Metabiology,” APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 10, No. 1 (Fall 2010), pp. 7–11. Also in H. Zenil, Randomness Through Computation, World Scientific, 2011, pp. 93–103.

6. G. Chaitin, “To a Mathematical Theory of Evolution and Biological Creativity,” http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/CDMTCS//researchreports/391greg.pdf Final version entitled “Life as Evolving Software” in H. Zenil, A Computable Uni- verse, World Scientific, to appear.

7. C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species, John Murray, 1859.

8. R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, 1976.

9. R. Dawkins, The Ancestor’s Tale, Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

10. E. Haeckel, Art Forms from the Ocean, Prestel, 2009.

11. E. Haeckel, Art Forms in Nature, Prestel, 2010.

12. J. O. de La Mettrie, Man a Machine, Open Court, 1912.

13. J. Maynard Smith, E. Szathm ́ary, The Major Transitions in Evolution, Oxford University Press, 1997.

14. J. Maynard Smith, E. Szathm ́ary, The Origins of Life, Oxford University Press, 1999.


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