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← Origins of Life: Astrobiology & General Theories for Life - The Multiple Origins of Life - Part 1

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Showing Revision 3 created 02/20/2020 by Corinne L.

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    Hello, my name is David Krakauer. I'm president of the Santa Fe institute and I work on the evolution of intelligence on Earth. And today I'm going to talk about the multiple origins of life in complex time. Now most people would say life evolved perhaps once, between 3.5 and 4 billion years ago, and the evidence of that evolution are things like fosssilized microorganisms and those organisms are presumed to posses certain key properties. Autocatalylis, replication, metabolism and the ability to adapt. And this is a chemical material thereoy for the origin of life, and I'm gonna say theres another one that's quite distcinct that's based on information thereoy. And here's the argument
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    Origin of Life is dominated by what we would call naturalist reductionistic spectics. That is the ultimate understanding of why a system works is an analysis of the chemistry of the? most basic building blocks that make up the ? interest. There's another school called functionalists that say that those building blocks are necessary but not sufficient. What we really care about are their properties and those properties can be realized in multiple different ways. And I'm gonna make this argument very clear by showing your an analogous argument in the field of artificial intelligence. The idea here is that life emerges from an adaptive arrow of time, which is the reverse of the thermodynamic arrow of time that leads to increasing disorder. And the interesting thing about the adaptive order of time is it's multi scale, rather like the physical arrow of time, meaning it can be be observed at molecular levels all the way through to the scale of whole societies and in that respect, it's not critically dependant on biology or chemistry. And the key to understanding the adaptive arrow of of time is understanding the adaptive agent. The agent is the key concept or sometimes called the individual in complex adaptive systems. And an agent can be a virus, the agent can even be a language. So here is the analogous debate in artificial intelligence. John Searle is a proponent of biological naturalism. His proposition is that the only system that can be intelligent is a biological one. And he said my car and my adding machine understand nothing, they're not in that line of business. That is you could never build a mechanical device with understanding because they're not made of neurons . in contrast Alan Turing said we are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge, which was his somewhat sarcastic way of saying that the materials do not matter as much as we have assumed because we can instantiate function in a range of very different materials. And this argument for intelligence generalizes two arguments about life. we don't necessarily need the chemistry we have in existing living systems, there might be very different ways of achieving life like properties.
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    Hello, my name is David Krakauer.
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    I'm president of the Santa Fe institute
    and I work on the evolution of intelligence on Earth.
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    And today I'm going to talk about
    the multiple origins of life in complex time.
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    Now most people would say life evolved
    perhaps once
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    between 3.5 and 4 billion years ago,
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    and the evidence of that evolution are things like fossilized microorganisms
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    and those organisms are presumed to posses certain key properties.