Here are some extracts from Part 2:
"There may not be any consensus about the best terms in which
to describe the organized complexity exemplified by living organisms,
but the challenge has been clearly laid out. Also, it remains uncertain
just what kind of explanation the most sophisticated models coming out
of systems biology might yield--whether, for instance, such explanations
will fall within the range of human reason, graspable by our cognitive
capacities, or whether they will require reliance on computers that are
so much better at handling complexity than we are. But that is another
question altogether. Perhaps, in the end, if and when we succeed in
explaining just what it is that is so distinctive about biological
entities, Kant will have been proven right--right, that is, about the
relation between such accounts and the capacities of human judgment."
She refers to work of Walter Fontana and Leo Buss, who conclude that "The traditional theory of 'dynamical systems' is not equipped for dealing with constructive processes." What they claim is required is an "...effort to expand the traditional theory to include objects, their internal properties, their construction, and their dynamics", i.e. a theory of "Constructive dynamical systems".
My paper on construction kits (reference below) goes beyond that to require both evolution and development to be capable of creating not only new objects, but also multiple (branching) layers of new construction kits that enrich the variety and complexity of objects that can be constructed and behaviours that can be produced, including interactions with structured objects of many types, in the environment.
To be continued ... possibly ...
Comments, criticisms, suggestions, all welcome.
1 Mar 2015