Molecules and Thoughts

Pattern Complexity and Evolution in Chemical Systems and the Mind
                                     Yuri Tarnopolsky

                                        January, 2003


Pattern Theory is representation of complexity in terms of atom-like blocks and bonds between them, similar to chemical structures. The paper attempts to look at chemistry from pattern perspective, “patternize” some general ideas of chemical kinetics, and import them into the pattern representation of the mind. In particular, it is intended to complement the recent Patterns of Thought by Ulf Grenander [1], which is the main frame of reference for this paper.  The chemical concepts in question are: chemical complexity, transition state, catalysis, non-equilibrium systems, competition and selection of chemical species, and molecular evolution. Distinction is made between Ar-complexity (Aristotelian), which displays in the fixed generator space, and He-complexity (Heraclitean), which displays in the expanding generator space. The mind is regarded as an expanding configuration space, with the topology of a subset of the scale of sets (Bourbaki), where configurations compete for presence in consciousness. The concept is illustrated with computer simulations of building a He-system and spontaneous activity on some connectors.

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at: Pattern Theory Group page, Brown University