Thesis summary: Evolution is a fractal process, forming a branching pattern we call “tree of life”. Life has evolved exponentially (basically continuing today with technology and Moore’s Law) This perspective predicts that life is older than earth:
- Uses and abuses of fractal methodology in ecology
- Fractals and ecology
- The Chaostheory of evolution
- Multiplicative and Fractal Process in DNA Evolution
- the tree of life is clearly a fractal pattern
life is an emergent phenomenon of growing complexity.
as in (recursive)math there are the following types of solutions:
- Zero or fixed numbers (see black holes, singularity)
- going towards Infinity (the expanding sphere of the observable universe
- oscillating between 2 or more states (rotation of galaxies, planets, cycles)
- the fractal border – patterns growing in complexity, like the infinite border of the Mandelbrot-Set.
This last solution, the fractal border is the equivalent to Life!
„A decade after Mandelbrot published his physiological speculations,“ Gleick writes, „some theoretical biologists began to find fractal organization controlling structures all through the body. The standard ‚exponential‘ description of bronchial branching proved to be quite wrong; a fractal description turned out to fit the data. The urinary collecting system proved fractal. The biliary duct in the liver. The network of special fibers in the heart that carry pulses of electric current to the contracting muscles….“
Today, the fractal approach is being used to better understanding every component of the human body. Neuroscientist Ary Freeman, for instance, maintains that a kind of „ordered unpredictability“ lies at the heart of the brain’s ability to perceive the world. „Studying the electrical activity of the brains of rabbits trained to recognize various smells, Freeman finds that the animals‘ brain waves shift to a different pattern of chaotic activity as each smell is inhaled
The Freeman and Rapp references are from a recent article titled „The Mathematics of Human Life,“ by William F. Allman. We sense Allman’s excitement as he comes to realize the full dimensions of the fractal phenomenon: „The body’s overall structure bears the signature of the chaotic processes that shape it–right down to the DNA molecule that serves as its genetic blueprint…. The fractal nature of DNA appears to play a role in its ability to pass on biological information that controls development of the various parts of the body. Because fractals represent a midway point between randomness and predictability, DNA’s fractal structure may represent a compromise between encoding the maximum amount of information, while still being extremely resilient to damage….“