Is There an Optimal Level of Open-Endedness in Prebiotic Evolution?
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In this paper we explore the question of whether there is an optimal set up for a putative prebiotic system leading to open-ended evolution (OEE) of the events unfolding within this system. We do so by proposing two key innovations. First, we introduce a new index that measures OEE as a function of the likelihood of events unfolding within a universe given its initial conditions. Next, we apply this index to a variant of the graded autocatalysis replication domain (GARD) model, Segre et al. (P Natl Acad Sci USA 97(8):4112-4117, 2000; Markovitch and Lancet Artif Life 18(3), 2012), and use it to study - under a unified and concise prebiotic evolutionary framework - both a variety of initial conditions of the universe and the OEE of species that evolve from them.
KeywordsComplexity Compotype Compositional Information Simulations Replication
NK would like to thank the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for Grant EP/J004111/1 & EP/G042462/1. Parts of this work were done while he was a recipient of a Weizmann Institute of Science’s “Morris Belkin” visiting professorship. This work is partly supported by EU-FP7 project MATCHIT and by the Crown Human Genome Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science.