Who Needs Genomes?

Barry McMullin
Dublin City University

Tim Taylor
University of Abertay Dundee

Axel von Kamp
Dublin City University

(FoilTeX Presentation)


We have inherited from our forefathers the keen longing for unified, all-embracing knowledge. The very name given to the highest institutions of learning reminds us, that from antiquity and throughout many centuries the universal aspect has been the only one to be given full credit. But the spread, both in width and depth, of the multifarious branches of knowledge during the last hundred odd years has confronted us with a queer dilemma. We feel clearly that we are only now beginning to acquire reliable material for welding together the sum total of all that is known into a whole; but, on the other hand, it has become next to impossible for a single mind fully to command more than a small specialized portion of it.

I can see no other escape from this dilemma (lest our true aim be lost forever) than that some of us should venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them and at the risk of making fools of ourselves.

--Erwin Schrödinger (1944; Preface to What is Life?)

Evolvability--of what?

Degeneration of Complexity (Engineering)


Growth of Complexity (Biology)


Template Reproduction

Template Reproduction

The (Other) Von Neumann Machine


So Why Bother?

So Why Bother?

But in Cyberspace?


But in Cyberspace?

But in Cyberspace?

But in Cyberspace?

But in Cyberspace?

The Von Neumann Machine (Reprise)


Can this work? (Very preliminary!)

Whither Evolvability?

Related Online Resources


This work is copyright ©2001 by Barry McMullin. Certain clipart used by courtesy of ZDNet, a division of ZD Inc. (http://www.zdnet.com).

Tierra graphics are from an article by Pedro Paulo Balbi de Oliveira at:

http://www1.univap.br/ pedrob/PAPERS/FSP_96/APRIL_07/tom_ray/tom_ray.html

Permission is hereby granted to private individuals to access, copy and distribute this work, for purposes of private study only, provided that the distribution is complete and unmodified, is accompanied by this copyright notice, and that no charges are levied. The work may not be accessed or copied, in whole or in part, for commercial purposes, except with the prior written permission of the author.

All other rights reserved.

Copyright © 2001 All Rights Reserved.
Timestamp: 2001-02-22