(Message from John Torday --Note: neither the list nor the server do accept attachments)

-------- Mensaje reenviado --------
Asunto:         Re: [Fis] Verification of the Principle of Information Science
Fecha:  Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:45:07 -0700
De:     JOHN TORDAY <jtor...@ucla.edu>
Para:   Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>

Dear All, I feel like the beggar at the banquet, having arrived at the FIS of late in response to Pedro's invitation to participate, having reviewed our paper on 'ambiguity' in Progress in Biolphyics and Molecular Biology (see attached). In my deconvolution of evolution as all of biology (Dobzhansky), I have reduced the problem to the unicellular state as the arbiter of information and communication, dictated by The First Principles of Physiology- negative entropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis. I arrived at that idea by following the process of evolution as ontogeny and phylogeny backwards from its most complex to its simplest state as a continuum, aided by the concept that evolution is a series of pre-adaptations, or exaptations or co-options. With that mind-set, the formation of the first cell from lipids immersed in water generated 'ambiguity' by maintaining a negative entropic free energy within itself in defiance of the external positive energy of the physical environment, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The iterative resolution of that ambiguous state of being is what we refer to as evolution. For me, information and communication are the keys, but they are not co-equals. I say that because in reducing the question of evolution to the single cell, I have been able to 'connect the dots' between biology and physics, such elements of Quantum Mechanics as non-localization and the Pauli Exclusion Principle being the basis for pleiotropy, the distribution of genetics throughout the organism, and The First Principles of Physiology, respectively. So now, thinking about the continuum from physics to biology, literally, the Big Bang generated the magnitude and direction of both the Cosmos and subsequently biology, i.e. life is a verb not a noun, a process, not a thing. For these reasons I place communication hierarchically 'above' information. Moreover, this perspective offers answers to the perennial questions as to how and why life is 'emergent and contingent'. The emergence is due to the pleiotropic property, the organism having the ability to retrieve 'historic' genetic traits for novel purposes. And the contingence is on The First Principles of Physiology. So we exist between the boundaries of both deterministic Principles of Physiology and the Free Will conferred by homoestatic control, offering a range of set-points that may/not evolve when necessary, depending on the prevailing environmental conditions.

And by the way, this way of thinking plays into Pedro's comments about the impact of such thinking on society because in conceiving of the cell as the first Niche Construction (see attached), all that I have said above plays out as the way in which organisms interact with one another and with their environment based on self-referential self-organization, which is the basis for consciousness, all emanating from the Big Bang as their point source. So with all due respect, Information is the medium, but communication is in my opinion the message, not the other way around. I see this as a potential way of organize information in a contextually relevant way that is not anthropocentric, but objective, approximating David Bohm's 'implicate order'. Ciao for now, I hope....John Torday

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 4:35 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es <mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>> wrote:

   Dear All,

   After Xueshan clarion call, I partially change what I was writing.
   Of course I have to thank him for his support of the 10 principles.
   Actually, in connection with the recent exchanges, particularly with
   Gordana's and John (Torday) posts, I was working in some ideas
   further related to the principles. On the one side the general view
   on the "new kind of natural science/philosophy" around information,
   and on the other side the transcendentalism of life... I think they
   also connect with Xueshan call of synthesis between info disciplines
   in his last paragraph. Trying to be concise I present herewith three

   First. "There is Life--and Information."
   Second. "We contemplate the World."
   Third. "The society around us."

   1. Life and Information: In biology, information is the new mantra.
   All kinds of scientific-technological-entrepreneurial gurus have
   proclaimed it, based on the revolutionary discoveries and gigantic
   bio-data accumulations. But scientifically, few people are trying to
   accommodate a new central theory of biology that could incorporate
   that new empirical reality of amazing complexity. In my own
   preliminary approach I describe how the simplest cells confront "the
   information flows" of their environment and couple them with the
   inner information flows related to their self-production, always
   doing it adaptively. Regarding the excellent work that John Torday
   has done on the evolutionary organizational achievements of
   multicellulars, as he mentioned, there are ample possibilities of
   mutual connection... Everything is rather  preliminary but at least
   we can open the door so that other people behind could do it better.
   In any case, around life and information, we see an amazing world of
   molecular complexity in action that contains some of the
   fundamentals of the new info perspective. The living cell can really
   "perceive" selected portions of the world around (information flow)
   and regularly intercepts them by means of its sensory apparatus
   (signaling system). Then it reacts adaptively, modifying its
   processes and structures according to inner stocks of permanent
   information (knowledge), sculpting a life cycle, also communicating
   with other living cells, and really building "molecular meaning"
   upon the received signals. Besides, the pervasive horizontal gene
   transfer in microbial ecosystems (phages, viruses, plasmids, sex...)
   has generated a collective multi-species assemblage or genuine
   "planetary library" of global molecular knowledge. It is not
   bombastic, as all planetary cycles of fundamental elements that
   sustain all present life are based on trillions of molecular
   machines of prokaryotes that have been churning around for eons.
   This Molecular Internet of sorts (Sorin Sonea dixit) was the
   beginning, and made possible so many things that now we may call in
   so many ways: evolvability, autopoiesis, agency, informational
   existence, ecological webs, ecosphere, GAIA, etc.
   We may discuss quite legitimately about information physics, but
   clarifying first the scientific discourse about biological
   information by means of a new consistent viewpoint looks a priority
   (at the same level, at least).

   2. Looking at the World: After the incredible complexification of
   life, nervous systems, etc. we, the improbable, the unexpected, are
   here. And like our humble bacterial ancestors, we have to confront
   the world for our individual living, and so we regularly contemplate
   and are immersed  into the quasi-infinite information flows of the
   environment. But this time, by means of language, acting both as our
   new social communication tool and as an open-ended symbolic system,
   our collective capabilities of relating with the world have boomed.
   And historically we have developed those social repositories or
   stocks of knowledge we call science and all kinds of accompanying
   technological tools that allow us a new contemplation and action
   onto the world around. Now we can sense the most remote perceptions,
   we can colligate them with the different disciplines, and produce
   adaptive (or non adaptive) responses, with supposedly the final goal
   of advancing our lives both individually and collectively.
   The new kind of science/philosophy to establish around this
   informational "looking at the world"  would demand a new "observer",
   in this case starting from a differentiated set of disciplinary
   principles of observation. But that creates a lot of logic and
   scientific difficulties. Recognizing the limitation of the
   agent/observer is one of them; leaving open-ended the observable is
   another. I am aware of the invincible circularity that easily
   surrounds all of this. So the need of a set of new principles
   sidestepping the worst problems and allowing fresh new thought.
   Probably, the easiest part would be the parallel realization of a
   new synthesis incorporating a new stock of scientific concepts
   (admittedly, most of them in the making yet); at least it could
   start by a compendium of the numerous theories around information
   already existing. At the end, a more "natural" and efficient
   approach to our limitations in the individual and social handling of
   "knowledge ecologies" would also emerge...

   3. The Society Around: When we look at our societies, what we see
   along history is that the biggest global changes have always been
   induced or accompanied by substantial changes in the
   information/communication flows around individuals: writing,
   codices, printing press, books, newspapers, new media, computers,
   internet, social networks... Our societies have always been
   "information societies." The current acceleration of artificial
   information flows represents a challenge to the most natural info
   flows (face to face conversation) so ingrained in our social and
   psychological adaptation and personal lives. Paradoxically, in the
   "information society", mental health and wellbeing problems are
   steadily mounting as public health problems (a terrible escalation
   of depression and suicides), plus new de-socialization pathologies
   that are emerging, including the resurgence of nastiest political
   movements at a global scale. We do not recognize the perils and
   pitfalls of that intangible "social information" stuff, explosive
   like nitroglycerine in social milieus when improperly or maliciously
   handled. In many ways, the advancement of social information science
   is tremendously important, and I quite agree with the gist of the
   message just received from Xueshan... we must have a specific
   session devoted to it.

   Along coming weeks, we can progressively ascend along the topics
   related with the principles, entering into biology, and then to
   other territories, perhaps until finally confronting the hottest
   social challenge... At least I will periodically make suggestions in
   that sense. Maintaining our usual chaoticity is not a bad thing
   either--as usual navigating in between Scilla and Charybdis.

   All the best

-- -------------------------------------------------
   Pedro C. Marijuán
   Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
   Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
   Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
   Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta 0
   50009 Zaragoza, Spain
   Tfno.+34 976 71 3526 <tel:+34%20976%2071%2035%2026>  (& 6818)
   pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es <mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>

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