Evolution, Information and Emergence

Authored by: George Ellis

The Routledge Handbook of Emergence

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138925083
eBook ISBN: 9781315675213
Adobe ISBN:


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The emergence of life is based on adaptive evolutionary processes that accumulate information about the physical, ecological, and social environment, and on this basis develop appropriate responses to them. Because true complexity is based in modular hierarchical structures (Simon 1996; Booch 2007), this is a process of emergence of successive higher levels of structure and behaviour on evolutionary, developmental, and functional timescales. They each behave according to quite different patterns of causation than the layers below them, on the basis of different kinds of information suited to that level, processed in the way appropriate to that level.

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