Is There an Optimal Level of Open-Endedness in Prebiotic Evolution?

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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.

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Correspondence to Omer Markovitch.

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Markovitch, O., Sorek, D., Lui, L.T. et al. Is There an Optimal Level of Open-Endedness in Prebiotic Evolution?. Orig Life Evol Biosph 42, 469–474 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11084-012-9309-y

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Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Compotype
  • Compositional Information
  • Simulations
  • Replication