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Mark A. Bedau [30]Mark Bedau [29]
  1. Mark Bedau, May 17, 1999.
    The document contains fourteen pictures of waves of evolutionary activity created by alleles in the sensory-motor strategies of agents in Packard's Scatter model.1 The quality of these waves indicate di erent kinds of evolutionary phenomena involving signi cant adaptations in sensory-motor rules. The purpose of this document is only to depict a variety of kinds of evolutionary phenomena, not to explain those phenomena a job for another occasion. The following papers contain more background on evolutionary activity waves and Packard's Scatter (...)
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  2. Mark Bedau, To Appear in Luciano Floridi, Ed., Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information.
    Artificial life (also known as “ALife”) is a broad, interdisciplinary endeavor that studies life and life-like processes through simulation and synthesis. The goals of this activity include modelling and even creating life and life-like systems, as well as developing practical applications using intuitions and methods taken from living systems. Artificial life both illuminates traditional philosophical questions and raises new philosophical questions. Since both artificial life and philosophy investigate the essential nature of certain fundamental aspects of reality like life and adaptation, (...)
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  3. Mark A. Bedau, Optimal Formulation of Complex Chemical Systems with a Genetic Algorithm.
    We demonstrate a method for optimizing desired functionality in real complex chemical systems, using a genetic algorithm. The chemical systems studied here are mixtures of amphiphiles, which spontaneously exhibit a complex variety of self-assembled molecular aggregations, and the property optimized is turbidity. We also experimentally resolve the fitness landscape in some hyper-planes through the space of possible amphiphile formulations, in order to assess the practicality of our optimization method. Our method shows clear and significant progress after testing only 1 % (...)
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  4. Mark A. Bedau, Quantifying the Extent and Intensity of Adaptive Evolution.
    Evolvability is the capacity to create new adaptations, and especially new kinds of adaptations, through the evolutionary process. Evolvability is important both as a theoretical issue in biology and as a practical issue in evolutionary computation. But it is difficult to study evolvability, in part because it is difficult to..
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  5. Mark A. Bedau, The Extent to Which Organisms Construct Their Environments.
    Those interested in the relationship betw een environment structure and behavior — the topic of this special issue of Adaptive Behavior — w ill find much of value in Peter Godfrey-Smith's new book, Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature (hereafter CFMN; all page citations are to CFMN unless otherw ise indicated). The w riting is clear and concise, aptly balancing precision and breadth, and a host of relevant issues are raised and advanced. Although my comments here w ill (...)
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  6. Mark A. Bedau, Three Illustrations of Artificial Life's Working Hypothesis.
    Artificial life uses computer models to study the essential nature of the characteristic processes of complex adaptive systems proceses such as self-organization, adaptation, and evolution. Work in the field is guided by the working hypothesis that simple computer models can capture the essential nature of these processes. This hypothesis is illustrated by recent results with a simple population of computational agents whose sensorimotor functionality undergo open-ended adaptive evolution. These might illuminate three aspects of complex adaptive systems in general: punctuated equilibrium (...)
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  7. Mark A. Bedau & Andrew Buchanan, Evolutionary Design of a DDPD Model of Ligation.
    Ligation is a form of chemical self-assembly that involves dynamic formation of strong covalent bonds in the presence of weak associative forces. We study an extremely simple form of ligation by means of a dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) model extended to include the dynamic making and breaking of strong bonds, which we term dynamically bonding dissipative particle dynamics (DDPD). Then we use a chemical genetic algorithm (CGA) to optimize the model’s parameters to achieve a limited form of ligation of trimers—a (...)
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  8. Andrew Buchanan & Mark A. Bedau, The Flexible Balance of Evolutionary Novelty and Memory in the Face of Environmental Catastrophes.
    We study the effects of environmental catastrophes on the evolution of a population of sensory-motor agents with individually evolving mutation rates, and compare these effects in a variety of control systems. A catastrophe makes the balance shift toward the need for evolutionary novelty, and we observe the mutation rate evolve upwards. As the population adapts the sensory-motor strategies to the new environment and the balance shifts toward a need for evolutionary memory, the mutation rate falls. These observations support the hypothesis (...)
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  9. Seth Bullock & Mark A. Bedau, Exploring the Dynamics of Adaptation with Evolutionary Activity Plots.
    Evolutionary activity statistics and their visualization are introduced, and their motivation is explained. Examples of their use are described, and their strengths and limitations are discussed. References to more extensive or general accounts of these techniques are provided.
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  10. Jeffrey A. Fletcher, Mark A. Bedau & Martin Zwick, Effect of Environmental Structure on Evolutionary Adaptation.
    Systems Science Ph.D. Program, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, jeff@sysc.pdx.edu Department of Philosophy, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202, mab@reed.edu Systems Science Ph.D. Program, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, zwick@sysc.pdx.edu..
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  11. Mark Bedau, 1 Arti Cial Life's Working Hypothesis.
    Arti cial life studies computer models of the processes characteristic of complex adaptive systems|processes like self-organization, self-reproduction, adaptation, and evolution. Complex adaptive systems take many forms, each of which di ers from the others in myriad ways. By abstracting away from the diverse details, arti cial life hopes to reveal fundamental principles governing broad classes of complex adaptive systems. This hope rests on arti cial life's working hypoth-.
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  12. Mark Bedau, Artificial Life Illuminates Human Hyper-Creativity.
    The aim of this chapter is to show how the technological research activity called “artificial life” is shedding new light on human creativity. Artificial life aims to understanding the fundamental behavior of life-like systems by synthesizing that behavior in artificial systems (more on artificial life below). One of the most interesting behaviors of living systems is their creativity. Biological creativity can be found in both individual living organisms and in the whole biosphere—the entire interconnected system comprised of all forms of (...)
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  13. Mark Bedau, Adaptation of Mutation Rates in a Simple Model of Evolution.
    We have studied the adaptation of mutation rates in a simple model of evolution. The model consists of a two-dimensional world with a periodically replenished resource and a uctuating population of evolving agents whose survival and reproduction are an implicit a function of their success at nding resources and their internal metabolism. Earlier work suggested that mutation rate is a control parameter that governs a transition between two qualitatively di erent kinds of complex adaptive systems, and that the power of (...)
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  14. Mark Bedau, Bifurcation Structure in Diversity Dynamics.
    ed individuals. Total diversity D is the sum of two fundamental principles governing broad classes of such..
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  15. Mark Bedau, Catalysis by Self-Assembled Structures in Emergent Reaction Networks.
    We study a new variant of the dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) model that includes the possibility of dynamically forming and breaking strong bonds. The emergent reaction kinetics may then interact with self-assembly processes. We observe that self-assembled amphiphilic aggregations such as micelles have a catalytic effect on chemical reaction networks, changing both equilibrium concentrations and reaction frequencies. These simulation results are in accordance with experimental results on the so-called “concentration effect”.
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  16. Mark Bedau, Dependence of Adaptability on Environmental Structure in a Simple Evolutionary Model.
    This paper concerns the relationship between the detectable and useful structure in an environment and the degree to which a population can adapt to that environment. We explore the hypothesis that adaptability will depend unimodally on environmental variety, and we measure this component of environmental structure using the information-theoretic uncertainty (Shannon entropy) of detectable environmental conditions. We de ne adaptability as the degree to which a certain kind of population successfully adapts to a certain kind of environment, and we measure (...)
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  17. Mark Bedau, Dynamics of the Environment for Adaptation in Static Resource Models.
    We measure the environment that is relevant to a population's adaptation as the information-theoretic uncertainty of the distribution of local environmental states that the adapting population experiences. Then we observe the dynamics of this quantity in simple models of sensory-motor evolution, in which an evolving population of agents live, reproduce, and die in a two-dimensional world while competing for resources. Although the distribution of resources is static, the agents' evolution creates a dynamic environment for adaptation.
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  18. Mark Bedau, Effect of Environmental Structure on Evolutionary Adaptation.
    Systems Science Ph.D. Program, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, jeff@sysc.pdx.edu Department of Philosophy, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202, mab@reed.edu Systems Science Ph.D. Program, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, zwick@sysc.pdx.edu..
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  19. Mark Bedau, Financial Markets Can Be at Sub-Optimal Equilibria.
    We use game theory and Santa Fe Artificial Stock Market, an agent-based model of an evolving stock market, to study the optimal frequency for traders to revise their market forecasting rules. We discover two things: There is a unique strategic Nash equilibrium in the game of choosing forecast revision rates, and this equilibrium is sub-optimal in the sense that traders’ earnings are not maximized an the market is inefficient. This strategic equilibrium is due to an analogue of the prisoner’s dilemma; (...)
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  20. Mark Bedau, Four Puzzles About Life.
    To surmount the notorious difficulties of defining life, we should evaluate theories of life not by whether they provide necessary and sufficient conditions for our current preconceptions about life but by how well they explain living phenomena and how satisfactorily they resolve puzzles about life. On these grounds, the theory of life as supple adaptation (Bedau 1996) gets support from its natural and compelling resolutions of the following four puzzles: (1) How are different forms of life at different levels of (...)
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  21. Mark Bedau, Is Echo a Complex Adaptive System?
    We evaluate whether John Holland’s Echo model exemplifies his theory of complex adaptive systems. After reviewing Holland’s theory of complex adaptive systems and describing his Echo model, we describe and explain the characteristic evolutionary behavior observed in a series of Echo model runs. We conclude that Echo lacks the diversity of hierarchically organized aggregates that typify complex adaptive systems, and we explore possible explanations for this failure.
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  22. Mark Bedau, Measurement of Evolutionary Activity, Teleology, and Life.
    We consider how to discern whether or not evolution is taking place in an observed system. Evolution will be characterized in terms of a particular macroscopic behavior that emerges from microscopic organismic interaction. We de ne evolutionary activity as the rate at which useful genetic innovations are absorbed into the population. After measuring evolutionary activity in a simple model biosphere, we discuss applications to other systems. We argue that evolutionary activity provides an objective, quantitative interpretation of the intuitive idea of (...)
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  23. Mark Bedau, Open Problems in Artificial Life Mark A. Bedau∗,†.
    artificial life, each of which is a grand challenge requiring a major advance on a fundamental issue for its solution. Each problem is briefly explained, and, where deemed helpful, some promising paths to its solution are indicated.
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  24. Mark Bedau, Objectifying Values in Science: A Case Study.
    There are at least two different ways in which values and science can be connected. One is through the evaluation of science, and the other is through the scientific investigation of values. The evaluation of science is a non−scientific, political or ethical investigation of the practices of science. Various proposed and actual scientific practices call out for social and ethical evaluation. A few that have received recent attention are the human genome project, intelligence testing, and encryption algorithms. Such evaluations of (...)
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  25. Mark Bedau, Published In.
    To surmount the notorious difficulties of defining life, we should evaluate theories of life not by whether they provide necessary and sufficient conditions for our current preconceptions about life but by how well they explain living phenomena and how satisfactorily they resolve puzzles about life. On these grounds, the theory of life as supple adaptation (Bedau 1996) gets support from its natural and compelling resolutions of the following four puzzles: (1) How are different forms of life at different levels of (...)
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  26. Mark Bedau, Supple Laws in Psychology and Biology.
    The nature and status of psychological laws are a long-standing controversy. I will argue that part of the controversy stems from the distinctive nature of an important subset of those laws, which I’ll call “supple laws.” An emergent-model strategy taken by the new interdisciplinary field of artificial life provides a strikingly successful understanding of analogously supple laws in biology. So, after reviewing the failures of the two evident strategies for understanding supple psychological laws, I’ll turn for inspiration to emergent-models explanations (...)
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  27. Mark Bedau, The Evolution of Sensorimotor Functionality.
    One can study the the evolution of sensorimotor functionality by synthesizing this process in an abstract arti cial life model, speci cally, a population of agents that interact with each other and with their environment in a way that allows natural selection implicitly to shape their sensorimotor couplings. The present paper de nes very general measures of environmental and sensory uncertainty, and of action's direct and indirect e ects on perception, and reports a series of observations of these quantities in (...)
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  28. Mark Bedau, The Scientific and Philosophical Scope of Artificial Life.
    The new interdisciplinary science of artificial life has had a connection with the arts from its inception. This paper provides an overview of artificial life, reviews its key scientific challenges, and discusses its philosophical implications. It ends with a few words about the implications of artificial life for the arts.
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  29. Mark A. Bedau (forthcoming). Testing Bottom-Up Models of Complex Citation Networks. .
    The robust behavior of the patent citation network is a complex target of recent bottom-up models in science. This paper investigates the purpose and testing of three especially simple bottom-up models of the citation count distribution observed in the patent citation network. The complex causal webs in the models generate weakly emergent patterns of behavior, and this explains both the need for empirical observation of computer simulations of the models and the epistemic harmlessness of the resulting epistemic opacity.
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  30. Mark A. Bedau (2013). Minimal Memetics and the Evolution of Patented Technology. Foundations of Science 18 (4):791-807.
    The nature and status of cultural evolution and its connection with biological evolution are controversial in part because of Richard Dawkin’s suggestion that the scientific study of culture should include “memetics,” an analog of genetics in which genes are replaced by “memes”—the hypothetical units of cultural evolution. Memetics takes different forms; I focus on its minimal form, which claims merely that natural selection shapes to some extent the evolution of some aspects of culture. Advocates and critics of memetics disagree about (...)
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  31. Mark A. Bedau (2013). Weak Emergence Drives the Science, Epistemology, and Metaphysics of Synthetic Biology. Biological Theory 8 (4):334-345.
    Top-down synthetic biology makes partly synthetic cells by redesigning simple natural forms of life, and bottom-up synthetic biology aims to make fully synthetic cells using only entirely nonliving components. Within synthetic biology the notions of complexity and emergence are quite controversial, but the imprecision of key notions makes the discussion inconclusive. I employ a precise notion of weak emergent property, which is a robust characteristic of the behavior of complex bottom-up causal webs, where a complex causal web is one that (...)
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  32. Ulrich Krohs & Mark A. Bedau (2013). Interdisciplinary Interconnections in Synthetic Biology. Biological Theory 8 (4):313-317.
  33. Mark A. Bedau (2012). A Functional Account of Degrees of Minimal Chemical Life. Synthese 185 (1):73-88.
    This paper describes and defends the view that minimal chemical life essentially involves the chemical integration of three chemical functionalities: containment, metabolism, and program (Rasmussen et al. in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 2009a ). This view is illustrated and explained with the help of CMP and Rasmussen diagrams (Rasmussen et al. In: Rasmussen et al. (eds.) in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 71–100, 2009b ), both of which represent the key chemical functional dependencies among containment, metabolism, and (...)
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  34. Mark A. Bedau (2012). Introduction to Philosophical Problems About Life. Synthese 185 (1):1-3.
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  35. Hugues Bersini, Pasquale Stano, Pier Luigi Luisi & Mark A. Bedau (2012). Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Emergence. Synthese 185 (2):165-169.
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  36. Anita L. Allen, Stephen Bates, Mark A. Bedau, Jessica Berg, Nicole Deming, Ryan Blum, Benjamin Boltin, Nancy Berlinger, Harold Braswell & Daniel Callahan (2011). Following is the Comprehensive Index for Volume 41 of the Hastings Center Report, Covering All Feature Material From 2011. Letters Have Not Been Included. Ffl Complete Issues Are Available for Volume 41 (2011) and May Be Purchased From Wiley-Blackwell; E-Mail: Cs-Journals@ Wiley. Com. [REVIEW] Hastings Center Report 41.
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  37. Mark Bedau (2011). Weak Emergence and Computer Simulation. In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge.
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  38. Mark A. Bedau (2011). The Intrinsic Scientific Value of Reprogramming Life. Hastings Center Report 41 (4):29-31.
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  39. Mark Bedau (ed.) (2010). The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives From Philosophy and Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together the latest scientific advances and some of the most enduring subtle philosophical puzzles and problems, this book collects original historical and contemporary sources to explore the wide range of issues surrounding the nature of life. Selections ranging from Aristotle and Descartes to Sagan and Dawkins are organised around four broad themes covering classical discussions of life, the origins and extent of natural life, contemporary artificial life creations and the definition and meaning of 'life' in its most general form. (...)
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  40. Mark A. Bedau (2010). 3 Weak Emergence and Context-Sensitive Reduction. In Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge. 6--46.
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  41. Mark Bedau & Carol Cleland (eds.) (2010). The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives From Philosophy and Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together the latest scientific advances and some of the most enduring subtle philosophical puzzles and problems, this book collects original historical and contemporary sources to explore the wide range of issues surrounding the nature of life. Selections ranging from Aristotle and Descartes to Sagan and Dawkins are organised around four broad themes covering classical discussions of life, the origins and extent of natural life, contemporary artificial life creations and the definition and meaning of 'life' in its most general form. (...)
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  42. Mark A. Bedau (2009). Living Technology Today and Tomorrow. Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 7 (2):199-206.
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  43. Mark A. Bedau, Richard Crandall & Michael J. Raven, Cryptographic Hash Functions Based on ALife. PSIpress.
    There is a long history of cryptographic hash functions, i.e. functions mapping variable-length strings to fixed-length strings, and such functions are also expected to enjoy certain security properties. Hash functions can be effected via modular arithmetic, permutation-based schemes, chaotic mixing, and so on. Herein we introduce the notion of an artificial-life (ALife) hash function (ALHF), whereby the requisite mixing action of a good hash function is accomplished via ALife rules that give rise to complex evolution of a given system. Various (...)
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  44. Mark A. Bedau (2008). Is Weak Emergence Just in the Mind? Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459.
    Weak emergence is the view that a system’s macro properties can be explained by its micro properties but only in an especially complicated way. This paper explains a version of weak emergence based on the notion of explanatory incompressibility and “crawling the causal web.” Then it examines three reasons why weak emergence might be thought to be just in the mind. The first reason is based on contrasting mere epistemological emergence with a form of ontological emergence that involves irreducible downward (...)
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  45. Mark A. Bedau (2004). A Case Study in Objectifying Values in Science. In Peter K. Machamer & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. University of Pittsburgh Press. 190.
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  46. Mark A. Bedau (2003). Artificial Life: Organization, Adaptation and Complexity From the Bottom Up. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (11):505-512.
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  47. Norman H. Packard & Mark A. Bedau (2003). Artificial Life. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group. 505-512.
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  48. Steen Rasmussen, Michael J. Raven, Gordon N. Keating & Mark A. Bedau (2003). Collective Intelligence of the Artificial Life Community on Its Own Successes, Failures, and Future. Artificial Life 9:207-235.
    We describe a novel Internet-based method for building consensus and clarifying con icts in large stakeholder groups facing complex issues, and we use the method to survey and map the scienti c and organizational perspectives of the arti cial life community during the Seventh International Conference on Arti cial Life (summer 2000). The issues addressed in this survey included arti cial life’s main successes, main failures, main open scienti c questions, and main strategies for the future, as well as the (...)
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  49. Mark A. Bedau (2002). Downward Causation and the Autonomy of Weak Emergence. Principia 6 (1):5-50.
    Weak emergence has been offered as an explication of the ubiquitous notion of emergence used in complexity science (Bedau 1997). After outlining the problem of emergence and comparing weak emergence with the two other main objectivist approaches to emergence, this paper explains a version of weak emergence and illustrates it with cellular automata. Then it explains the sort of downward causation and explanatory autonomy involved in weak emergence.
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  50. Mark A. Bedau (1998). Philosophical Content and Method of Artificial Life. In T. W. Bynum & J. Moor (eds.), The Digital Phoenix. Cambridge: Blackwell. 135--152.
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