[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 199, Issue 71

Re Rose rocket at earthlight.com
Wed Apr 22 18:29:11 UTC 2020

Ben - Great question! People have attempted to answer this over decades and
along the way discovered transposons and "jumping genes". For the details
you could look up the work of prof Barbara McClintock, also profs Andrew
Pohorille (of NASA Ames) and Stuart Kauffman.

Basic idea is that sub-systems of highly complex, hierarchical systems can
split off and transfer from one system to another. Viruses are usually
considered non living because they are obligate parasites and co-opt other
organisims' metabolisms to propagate.

So they did not evolve to be a simpler system. They evolved from complex
systems as a sub-system, not as separate self-sufficient organisms. They
are not even metabolically complete - ie, they can't live on their own, or
replicate on their own, and instead depend utterly on hosts.

Cool, right?


On 22/04/2020 01:12, Re Rose wrote:
> Another tendency of complex biological systems is that they evolve to
> increase their system complexity, or /information/.

This is new to me.
Do you have any references for it?

Viruses surely have to be simpler than their evolutionary predecessors?
I can't see how they could have evolved from something even simpler.

Ben Zaiboc
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