Monday, February 01, 2021

Edge of Chaos

"Complex systems have evolved which may have learned to balance divergence and convergence, so that they're poised between chaos and order ... It's precisely those systems that can simultaneously perform the most complex tasks and evolve, in the sense that they can accumulate successive useful variations. The very ability to adapt is itself, I believe, the consequence of evolution. You have to be a certain kind of complex system to adapt, and you have to be a certain kind of complex system to coevolve with other complex systems. We have to understand what it means for complex systems to come to know one another — in the sense that when complex systems coevolve, each sets the conditions of success for the others. I suspect that there are emergent laws about how such complex systems work, so that, in a global, Gaia-like way, complex coevolving systems mutually get themselves to the edge of chaos, where they're poised in a balanced state."

- Stuart Kauffman (1939 - )

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