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P. 1
Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical

Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical

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Published by Pantheon Books
Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin’s theory of evolution works on a mathematical level. For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth’s life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It’s a question no one has yet answered—in fact, no one has even attempted to answer it until now. In this illuminating and provocative book, Gregory Chaitin argues that we can’t be sure evolution makes sense without a mathematical theory. He elucidates the mathematical scheme he’s developed that can explain life itself, and examines the works of mathematical pioneers John von Neumann and Alan Turing through the lens of biology. Chaitin presents an accessible introduction to metabiology, a new way of thinking about biological science that highlights the mathematical structures underpinning the biological world. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Proving Darwin makes clear how biology may have found its greatest ally in mathematics.
Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin’s theory of evolution works on a mathematical level. For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth’s life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It’s a question no one has yet answered—in fact, no one has even attempted to answer it until now. In this illuminating and provocative book, Gregory Chaitin argues that we can’t be sure evolution makes sense without a mathematical theory. He elucidates the mathematical scheme he’s developed that can explain life itself, and examines the works of mathematical pioneers John von Neumann and Alan Turing through the lens of biology. Chaitin presents an accessible introduction to metabiology, a new way of thinking about biological science that highlights the mathematical structures underpinning the biological world. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Proving Darwin makes clear how biology may have found its greatest ally in mathematics.

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Publish date: May 8, 2012
Added to Scribd: May 18, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780307907462
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fpagan_9 reviewed this
"Metabiology": Chaitin, whose version of algorithmic information theory revealed the full extent of the limitations of pre-Gödel and pre-Turing mathematics, in these remarkable 123 pages and in his usual free-wheeling ("creative") way describes a mathematical model for investigating the theoretical effectiveness of Darwinian evolution. In the model, the genomes of organisms take the form of the bit-sequences of certain computer programs, and fitness for survival is represented by the computational power (precisely defined) of those programs. Chaitin has proved that the time complexity for the process of producing higher-"fitness" programs is between N^2 and N^3 when the process is one of cumulative random mutations, this being vastly better than that (2^N) for non-cumulative random mutations and almost as good as that (N) for the imaginary limit of "intelligent design".
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Сергей Крылов added this note|
"...But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It’s a question no one has yet answered...". - No, Darwin's theory functions on formally-technological level, which is very close to mathematical ones but differed from that - see Sergey Krylov, "Mathematical Foundations of
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Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical