, Volume 17, Issue 3-4, pp 223-352
Date: 22 Nov 2007

Categorical Ontology of Complex Spacetime Structures: The Emergence of Life and Human Consciousness

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A categorical ontology of space and time is presented for emergent biosystems, super-complex dynamics, evolution and human consciousness. Relational structures of organisms and the human mind are naturally represented in non-abelian categories and higher dimensional algebra. The ascent of man and other organisms through adaptation, evolution and social co-evolution is viewed in categorical terms as variable biogroupoid representations of evolving species. The unifying theme of local-to-global approaches to organismic development, evolution and human consciousness leads to novel patterns of relations that emerge in super- and ultra- complex systems in terms of colimits of biogroupoids, and more generally, as compositions of local procedures to be defined in terms of locally Lie groupoids. Solutions to such local-to-global problems in highly complex systems with ‘broken symmetry’ may be found with the help of generalized van Kampen theorems in algebraic topology such as the Higher Homotopy van Kampen theorem (HHvKT). Primordial organism structures are predicted from the simplest metabolic-repair systems extended to self-replication through autocatalytic reactions. The intrinsic dynamic ‘asymmetry’ of genetic networks in organismic development and evolution is investigated in terms of categories of many-valued, Łukasiewicz–Moisil logic algebras and then compared with those obtained for (non-commutative) quantum logics. The claim is defended in this essay that human consciousness is unique and should be viewed as an ultra-complex, global process of processes. The emergence of consciousness and its existence seem dependent upon an extremely complex structural and functional unit with an asymmetric network topology and connectivities—the human brain—that developed through societal co-evolution, elaborate language/symbolic communication and ‘virtual’, higher dimensional, non-commutative processes involving separate space and time perceptions. Philosophical theories of the mind are approached from the theory of levels and ultra-complexity viewpoints which throw new light on previous representational hypotheses and proposed semantic models in cognitive science. Anticipatory systems and complex causality at the top levels of reality are also discussed in the context of the ontological theory of levels with its complex/entangled/intertwined ramifications in psychology, sociology and ecology. The presence of strange attractors in modern society dynamics gives rise to very serious concerns for the future of mankind and the continued persistence of a multi-stable biosphere. A paradigm shift towards non-commutative, or non-Abelian, theories of highly complex dynamics is suggested to unfold now in physics, mathematics, life and cognitive sciences, thus leading to the realizations of higher dimensional algebras in neurosciences and psychology, as well as in human genomics, bioinformatics and interactomics.