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Evolution and Excess Complexity

PI(s): Willem Hordijk (SmartAnalytiX)
Start Date: 30-Sep-2012
End Date: 27-Oct-2012
Keywords: evolutionary theory, natural selection, computational modeling

A common view of evolution is that it increases complexity over time. However, there is evidence that evolution, or more precisely, evolutionary innovations, sometimes start out with an excess in complexity, which is subsequently reduced under selective pressure. We believe to have some concrete examples, both biological and computational, of such cases. Here, we propose to study, compare, and contrast these examples in more detail. If indeed true, this would provide an interesting and concrete example, and a convincing argument, for the existence of an aspect of evolutionary processes that goes against our normal view of evolution and increasing complexity.

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