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COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Irreversible Processes in Ecological Evolution/SushrutGhonge

From Complex Time

Notes by user Sushrut Ghonge (Univ. Notre Dame) for Irreversible Processes in Ecological Evolution

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group

A. A group of few simple species can evolve into a large number number of interdependent species. There is an information theoretic entropy increase in this process. This means that if you reach into the ecosystem and randomly pick a species, you are more uncertain about what you will find that you were initially.

B. There could also be a more direct irreversibility associated with ecosystems: do larger and more complex organisms like us generate more heat (and hence entropy) than simpler organisms? This will need to be answered experimentally. How does entropy production per unit time compare among 100kg of bacteria, 100 kg of insects and a human weighing 100kg? Are complex organisms more efficient at using energy and resources than simpler organisms?

C. Jacopo's discussion on evolutionary games reminded me of a paradoxical class of games called Parrondo games. These games involve a combination of games that are all losing games, but when played in succession lead to a winning strategy. They have recently been used to explain some ecological and biological features (see references within the link).

Pamela: Could you please post references and /or tell us about the data pump techniques you used?

Fernanda: I like your philosophical idea of finding interactions where all organisms benefit. The second law does work against us by stating that for order to increase somewhere, there must be disorder created elsewhere. However, I do not agree that two species that mutually benefit must compete with or harm a third species. They could be harnessing energy from abiotic sources such as the sun, wind or thermal vents. Is it mathematically possible to have systems with only positive interactions between the living components? Are there any such systems on earth?

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Reference Materials