Re: Structures Complexity (was: Extropy and Life (I))

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 12:53:17 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 20 Aug 1997, Prof. Jose Gomes Filho wrote:

> On 20 Aug 97 at 13:29, Anders Sandberg (Anders Sandberg
> <>) wrote about Re: Extropy and Life (I):
> >
> > Complexity can thrive when the local entropy isn't too low or too
> > high ("the edge of chaos"). The entropy flow out of the system sets
> > an upper limit to the complexity of the structures which can exist in
> > it.
> but, considering the structures: organisms, it is possible that one
> structure can change such flux, modifying, consequently, its
> own complexity upper limit ...

Yes, that should be possible within some limits. A plant or animal
can become more complex as it grows larger (just look at ordinary
developmental processes). In the end there will be environmental
limits, of course (the Earth receives a certain amount of energy from
the sun, which cannot be changed although it can be used more

> for example, is the maximum complexity of the set of possible
> genetic mutations of a certain organism (genetically based, of
> course...) upper limited or even necessarily dependent on the
> entropy outflow ?

The number of possible mutations depends merely on the length of the
genome (in the case of expressed mutations, mainly on the length of
the intron genome). If the genome has length N, then 4N point changes
can occur (and a larger number of deletions, crossovers and
additions; each on the order of N^2). So it doesn't depend on the
entropy outflow, although for a very long genome you need an entropy
outflow just to make the DNA repair work.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
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