Complexity and Evolution

Tomas Veloz, Francis Heylighen, and Olaf Witkowski

Entropy 2023, 25(2), 286

Understanding the underlying structure of evolutionary processes is one the most important issues of scientific enquiry of this century. In the twentieth century, scientific thinking witnessed the overwhelming power of the evolutionary paradigm. It not only solidified the foundations of diverse areas, such as cell-biology, ecology, and economics, but also fostered the development of novel mathematical and computational tools to model and simulate how evolutionary processes take place.
In addition to the application of the evolutionary paradigm and the discovery of the evolutionary features for processes of diverse nature, there is another interesting aspect which touches upon the emergence of novel evolutionary processes. Namely, the emergence of an evolutionary process requires a complex transition between a prior form where no evolutionary process is undergoing and a posterior form where the evolutionary process has been triggered.
Theoretical methods to describe the emergence of evolutionary processes require the consideration of complex systemic notions, such as self-organization, resilience, contextuality, among others. Therefore, complexity and evolution became intertwined notions: evolution not only leads to but also depends on the development of increasingly complex forms and functions.
In this Special Issue, we put together eight articles, mostly of interdisciplinary nature, that explore from recent advances in the modeling of complex systems, as well as of the increasing modeling power and growth of databases associated to evolutionary processes.

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