1. Elliott Sober & Mike Steel (forthcoming). Time and Knowability in Evolutionary Processes. .
    Historical sciences like evolutionary biology reconstruct past events by using the traces that the past has bequeathed to the present. Markov chain theory entails that the passage of time reduces the amount of information that the present provides about the past. Here we use a Moran process framework to show that some evolutionary processes destroy information faster than others. Our results connect with Darwin’s principle that adaptive similarities provide scant evidence of common ancestry whereas neutral and deleterious similarities do better. (...)
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  2. Wim Hordijk, Mike Steel & Stuart Kauffman (2012). The Structure of Autocatalytic Sets: Evolvability, Enablement, and Emergence. Acta Biotheoretica 60 (4):379-392.
    This paper presents new results from a detailed study of the structure of autocatalytic sets. We show how autocatalytic sets can be decomposed into smaller autocatalytic subsets, and how these subsets can be identified and classified. We then argue how this has important consequences for the evolvability, enablement, and emergence of autocatalytic sets. We end with some speculation on how all this might lead to a generalized theory of autocatalytic sets, which could possibly be applied to entire ecologies or even (...)
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  3. Elliott Sober & Mike Steel (2011). Entropy Increase and Information Loss in Markov Models of Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):223-250.
    Markov models of evolution describe changes in the probability distribution of the trait values a population might exhibit. In consequence, they also describe how entropy and conditional entropy values evolve, and how the mutual information that characterizes the relation between an earlier and a later moment in a lineage’s history depends on how much time separates them. These models therefore provide an interesting perspective on questions that usually are considered in the foundations of physics—when and why does entropy increase and (...)
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