Visit and comment at our New EDU blog!Win or contribute to the High Energy Astrobiology Prize! Research, criticize, vote, propose ideas, or donate to test the existence of extraterrestrial life in binary stars (stellivore hypothesis).
Recent Member PublicationsClément Vidal's book: The Beginning and the End: The Meaning of Life in a Cosmological Perspective, 2014, Springer.
John O. Campbell's book: Darwin Does Physics, 2015, CreateSpace. A largely unnoticed scientific revolution has occurred over the past forty-five years. The Darwinian paradigm has been successfully applied to numerous fields outside of biology: including the social and behavioural sciences and most recently to the physical sciences and to physics itself. This revolution promises an unprecedented conceptual unification of the many branches of science.
The underlying paradigm for cosmology is theoretical physics. It has helped us understand much about universal space, time, energy, and matter, but does not presently connect strongly to the emergence of information, computation, life and mind.
The EDU Scholarly Research Community explores how our understanding of the universe as a complex system might be augmented by insights from information and computation studies, evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) biology, and hypotheses and models of quasi-evolutionary and quasi-developmental process applied at universal and subsystem scales.
In the neo-Darwinian paradigm, adaptive evolutionary development guides the production of ordered, complex and intelligent structures. When we consider informational algorithms in biological systems, we can distinguish evolutionary processes which are stochastic, variety-creating, divergent, and contingently adaptive and developmental processes which produce convergent and systemically statistically predictable structures and trajectories internal to the developmental cycle. Such evo and devo algorithms emerged via replication and various selection functions, depending on environment. By analogy with the evolutionary development of two genetically identical twins, a variety of cosmology models predict that two parametrically identical universes would each exhibit unpredictably separate and unique "evolutionary" variation over their lifespan, and at the same time, a broad set of predictable "developmental" milestones and shared structure and function between them. In what other ways does our universe appear to be an evolutionary developmental system? What models suggest our universe may replicate and be selected upon in some extrauniversal environment? How do unpredictability and predictability interact in all replicating systems within our universe, from stars to chemistry to life, and what generic selection functions apply? To what extent may these intrauniversal models help us understand the way unpredictability and predictability work together in physics and cosmology, in service to universal complexity?
For more, please see the EDU Project page.A brief article on our work by Michael Chorost: Title: The Ascent of Life (PDF). New Scientist magazine, 21 Jan 2012, pp. 35-37.
Listserves, People, Themes, Questions, Bibliography, and SIGs
For EDU notice and discussion lists, see Listserves. For current EDU community scholars and associates, please see the People page. For a list of research themes, see the Themes page. For some current research questions, see the Questions page. For a starter list of EDU-related publications by community scholars, and other publications of note, see Bibliography. For a list of primary special interest groups, see SIGs. For a list of future conference themes and proposals, see Conference Themes.
Our first international EDU conference, Oct 8-9 2008 in Paris, France, was a watershed event for all participants. It started our community, which has steadily grown since then on our listserves. See the Conference 2008 page for EDU 2008 program, abstracts, slides, and some audio of presentations.
Our next conference is yet to be planned. It will likely be held as a satellite conference co-located with a major complex systems gathering. We need volunteers to help us make this happen. Are you interested? Visit our Next Conference page for more.
- To establish an evo devo universe (EDU) research community to explore ideas, models, and questions involving evolutionary and developmental processes that may be operating in the universe as a system, which may itself exist within a more extensive cosmologic environment (the multiverse).
- To bring together select cosmologists, physicists, chemists, biologists, complexity theorists, mathematicians, systems theorists, information theorists, computer scientists, philosophers, independent scholars, and bridge-building interdisciplinarians who have all addressed dimensions of this inquiry in previous publications.
- To identify a multidisciplinary global community of scholars with interest in exploring analogies of the universe as an evolutionary and developmental system, and of the universe as an information processing system, and in discriminating potential evolutionary and developmental processes and their interrelationships on either universal or subsystem scales.
- To conduct a periodic inquiry, conference publication series, and open access overview of current thinking on the evolution and development of the universe as a system.
How can I participate in the project?
There are many ways you can contribute to the Evo Devo Universe (EDU) project.
- If you are a researcher in physics, cosmology, chemistry, biology, philosophy, information, computation, complexity sciences or other field who is considering some of our Research questions, we will be glad to welcome you as a Research member of the community.
- If you are interested in doing bibliographic research, scholar recruiting, or community support, we will be glad to welcome you as an Associate member of the community. An early priority is to build a helpful bibliography and scholar network related to EDU themes. We thus welcome bibliographic and scholar recruitment suggestions.
- Academics, independent scholars and EDU Associates are encouraged to join the EDU-Talk discussion list, a moderated private list for scholars interested in exploring and critiquing models, hypotheses, questions, and speculations relating to the evolution and development of the universe and its subsystems. Please complete the brief EDU-Talk subscription form.
- Anyone may join our public EDU-Notices list. This moderated, announcement-only list is low volume and will keep you abreast of EDU Community activities (conferences, publications, etc.). Members may also post notices of important events, call for papers, publications, etc. on EDU-related themes (notices subject to moderator approval) .
- We greatly appreciate one-time or ongoing financial support and any help or advice related to fundraising for the project. Individual or institutional donations may be made to ASF, the nonprofit sponsoring this community, by PayPal or check.
- We are grateful for initial funding of the project by The Complex Systems Institute, Paris (ISC-PIF)