Conference 2008

From Evo Devo Universe
Revision as of 10:22, 25 October 2008 by Clementvidal (talk | contribs) ('''Scientific Committee''')
Jump to: navigation, search

First International Conference on the

Evolution and Development of the Universe

Wed - Thu, 8 - 9 October 2008, Paris, France

Host Institution: Ecole Normale Supérieure, in collaboration with ECCO, the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
EDU2008 attendees.JPG
[[EDU2008-silhouette| Who is Who?]

Evo Devo Universe is a global scholarly research community exploring and critiquing models, hypotheses, and questions relating to the extent and interaction of evolutionary (or quasi-evolutionary) and developmental (or quasi-developmental) processes in the universe and its subsystems.

EDU 2008 provides an opportunity for those working across these topics to get together and exchange ideas, results and resources. The conference will present and discuss a selection of current work in the field, highlight new directions for investigation and provide small group and open space time for special interest group interaction and collaboration.

Scientific Committee

  • James N. Gardner, complexity theorist with a background in philosophy and theoretical biology. (Portland, OR, USA)
  • Carlos Gershenson, complexity theorist studying self-organization, evolution, ALife, and cognition. (Boston, MA, USA)
  • Richard Gordon, embryologist and theoretical biologist exploring development, genetics, and evolution. (Manitoba, Canada)
  • Francis Heylighen, systems theorist and cyberneticist focusing on the evolution of complexity. (Brussels, Belgium)
  • David Holcman, mathematician and computational biologist modeling microstructures in biological systems. (Paris, France)
  • Laurent Nottale, cosmologist and pioneering theorist in scale relativity and fractal space-time. (Paris, France)
  • John Smart, systems theorist and scholar of accelerating change. (Mountain View, CA, USA)
  • Clement Vidal, philosopher and systems theorist studying evolutionary cosmology. (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Peter Winiwarter, transdisciplinary researcher in complex systems, neural networks and evolution. (Boursay, France)


The best conference papers will be published as a special issue of the interdisciplinary journal Foundations of Science. All accepted papers will be published on the EDU website. An “open commentary” soliciting EDU community feedback will be organized after the conference for all accepted papers.

Submission Options

Extended Abstracts and Papers are the two options for initial submission to the scientific committee, to be considered for conference presentation.
Please use the online submission system to upload your abstract or paper.

  • Extended Abstracts are 500-1000 words (with brief References, not included in the word count).
  • Papers are 5000-15000 words, with a brief (100-500 word) Abstract and References (both not included in word count).

You will be notified by August 15th whether your abstract or paper are accepted. If your abstract/paper is accepted, you will have until September 29th to write the paper (abstract accepted) or do any recommended improvements (paper accepted). All those who are accepted are expected to attend the conference to present their papers and to receive in-person feedback. There are no conference fees for presenters, but lodging (a conference hotel is available) and travel costs are your own. Partial lodging dispensation funds may be available for some presenters, please apply only as needed.

Research Questions and Themes

Abstracts and papers considering evolutionary or developmental aspects of the universe and its subsystems are welcome in areas including: cosmology, biology, complexity theory, nonlinear mathematics, information theory, computer science, systems theory, philosophy, culture studies, and related disciplines. Please review to understand the scope and focus of Research Questions in the EDU community. Papers are significantly more likely to be accepted if they clearly address one (or more) of these general questions.

Papers may address any of the following topical Themes, with implications for the universe as a system.

  • Anthropic bias and observer selection effects.
  • Anthropic, fine-tuning, and multiverse/ensemble models in cosmology.
  • Acceleration studies at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Astrobiology, Fermi paradox, and SETI.
  • Complexity, emergence, ergodicity, and nonlinear science models with organic and computational features.
  • Computational and artificial life inspired models and analogies applied at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Cosmology with organic features, such as cosmological natural selection (CNS) and CNS with intelligence (CNS-I).
  • Directionality, macrodevelopment, and convergent evolution in biological systems.
  • Evolutionary and developmental processes in evo-devo and theoretical biology.
  • Evolutionary and developmental processes in non-biological systems (physical, chemical, cultural, technological).
  • Hierarchy theory, modularity, and self-organization at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Information theory of evolution and development, intelligence theory at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Network theory and neural networks as a paradigm to explain self-organization of complex networks.
  • Non-equilibrium dissipative structures at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Philosophy and systems theory with organic and computational features at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Philosophical and epistemological status of cosmological and speculative theories.
  • Probability distributions, power laws, and statistical predictability at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Scale relativity, scale invariance and self-similarity models at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Self-reference, iteration, and recursion models at the universe and subsystem scales.
  • Systems models relating physical, chemical, biological, cultural, and technological (PCBCT) subsystems

Themes outside the scope of the conference and its community:

  • Non-naturalistic orthogenesis or teleology, intelligent design, supernaturalism, and theology.

Important Dates

  • 30th July – Deadline for the submission of initial abstracts and paper proposals (extended from 15 July).
  • 15th August – Notification of acceptance (accepted abstracts to be expanded to papers after 15 August)
  • 29th September – Deadline for the receipt of final papers
  • 8-9 October – EDU 2008 Conference, Paris, France.

Keynote Speakers

  • James N. Gardner, a complexity theorist and science essayist, with a background in philosophy and theoretical biology.
  • Francis Heylighen, a systems theorist and cyberneticist focusing on the evolution of complexity.
  • Laurent Nottale, a cosmologist and pioneering theorist in scale relativity and fractal space-time.
  • John Smart, a systems theorist and scholar of accelerating change.
  • John Stewart, an evolutionary thinker, author and evolutionary activist.
  • Clement Vidal, a philosopher and systems theorist studying evolutionary cosmology.


Please see the EDU 2008 Conference Program for the detailed daily agenda for the conference.

EDU 2008 is two days of presentations and Q&A, panel Q&A, coffee breaks and catered lunch, afternoon special interest groups and open space activities, and optional offsite no-host dinners and after-dinner conversation. List of talks by accepted speakers (still susceptible to minor changes):

  • An Algorithmic Information Theory Approach to the Emergence of Order Using Simple Replication Models, Sean Devine
  • Application of Quantum Darwinism to Cosmic Inflation, Nicolas Lori, Alex Blin
  • Are Particles Self-Organized Systems?, Vladimir Manasson
  • Complex-Dynamic Cosmology and Emergent World Structure, Andrei Kirilyuk
  • Complexity and Evolution, Börje Ekstig
  • Complexity and Energy Density in Big History, Fred Spier
  • Computational and Biological Analogies for Understanding the Fine-Tuning of Parameters in Physics, Clément Vidal
  • Does Species Evolution Follow Scale Laws ? An Application of the Scale Relativity Theory to Fossil Living Beings, Jean Chaline
  • Evo Devo Universe? A Framework for Speculations on Cosmic Culture, John Smart
  • Foundations of Physics, Tom Gehrels
  • Information Organization and Knowledge Evolution: The Case of Pharmaceutical Innovations, Carl Henning Reschke
  • Integration as a Fundamental Process in Cosmic Evolution and Science Development, Kris Roose
  • Quantum Mechanics and Environment-Induced Superselection Rules, Thomas Durt
  • Scale Relativity and Fractal Space-Time: Theory and Applications, Laurent Nottale
  • The Meaning of Life in a Developing Universe, John Stewart
  • The Role of Energy Conservation and Vacuum Energy in the Evolution of the Universe, Jan Greben
  • The Self-Organization of Time and Causality, Francis Heylighen
  • The String Landscape as Genetic Alphabet: The Subtle Virtues of a Non-Unique Cosmic Code, James N. Gardner
  • Towards a Hierarchical Definition of Life, the Organism, and Death, Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis
  • Universal Evolutionary Hierarchy: A Unified Network Approach, Peter Winiwarter

Pre-prints of these papers are available for download in the Files section of EDU-Talk listserve. If you are a scholar interested in these issues, and/or will be a presenter or attendee at EDU 2008, please complete the very brief seven question EDU-Talk Subscription Form to join EDU-Talk and download presenter's papers.

Organizing Committee

Organized in collaboration with the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group (ECCO) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


Dussane Room, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, 45 Rue d'Ulm, 75005 (Île-De-France), Paris, France. Continental breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks will be provided to attendees on both days. EDU 2008 is an academic event, closed to press. Journalists are welcome to attend, but no writeups please.

Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The city has a global influence on education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts. Attendees will be warmly encouraged to spend Friday, Oct 10th sightseeing in self-convened, self-hosted groups. Lists of local options will be provided.


Presenters Free
Students (<100) Free*
Students (>100) 40 euros (60 USD)**
General Attendees     80 euros (120 USD)

'*' Current valid Student ID required at the door for free Student Rate, lunches and coffee breaks included.
'**' Rate for student registrants beyond 100, or without current ID to present at the door is 40 euros.

Lodging and Transport

A Car- and Room-Sharing Page is available for any attendees who wish to post carshare or roomshare offers or requests to economize lodging and travel at EDU 2008.

  • The primary conference hotel is Hotel Ibis Place d'Italie 25, avenue Stephen Pichon 75013 PARIS. Metro: Place d'Italie, (Lignes 5, 6, 7). Tel : (+33)1/44249485 Fax : (+33)1/44242070. See also the map. Rates begin at 100 euros per night. Hotel Ibis is 3.4 km (8 mins) by car or 2.3 km (25 mins) by foot from the conference venue (Ecole Normale Superiere). The metro is also close by, and at 2 metro stations distance from the ENS (Ligne 7, Censier Daubenton).
  • The alternate conference hotel, 1 km farther from the venue, is Accor's Formule 1, Porte de Chatillon. Rates begin at 50 euros per night. Formula 1, Porte de Chatillon is 3.4 km Formule 1 is a chain, so if this hotel is booked, others may be found by Google Maps (search "Hotel Formule 1 75005 Paris"). The easiest way to come to the ENS from there is to take the bus 38 at "Porte d'Orléans", direction "Gare du Nord" and to step out at "Val de grace" and walk a few minutes.

See also a map of the area of the ENS with nearby transportation options.

For information about public transportation from the Airports to Paris or within Paris (bus and subway lines), visit the RATP.


All EDU 2008 attendees must register online at:

EDU 2008 can accommodate a maximum of 200 attendees. Please register as soon as possible to secure your space!
Registration takes just a few minutes, and allows us to generate your badges, attendee list, send email updates, etc.

Non-EU Attendees Please Note: Due to the international epidemic of attempted visa, entry permit, and conference registration fraud, the conference organizers reserve the right to question any registration request, and to honor it only on receipt of valid proof of active research or industry participation in the technical field of the conference.

We look forward to great presentations, conversations, learning, and socializing with you in Paris this October!


For questions, please contact John Smart and/or Clement Vidal.