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Paul Grobstein's picture

Emergence, Week 2

Welcome to the on-line forum associated with the Biology 361 = Computer Science 361 at Bryn Mawr College. Its a way to keep conversations going between course meetings, and to do so in a way that makes our conversations available to other who may in turn have interesting thoughts to contribute to them. Leave whatever thoughts in progress you think might be useful to others, see what other people are thinking, and add thoughts that that in turn generates in you.

As always, you can leave whatever thoughts occurred to you this week. But if you need something to get you started ...

The Game of Life shows that indeed simple things interacting in simple ways can yield surprisingly complex outcomes. And Langton's Ant shows that things we think of as complex may in fact emerge from simple interactions of simple things. What other simple interactions of simple things might surprise us? What things we think of as complex might turn out to be simple things interacting in simple ways? Is there a new way of thinking about science here? of doing science?  Compare and contrast some model from the Netlogo library with Langton's Ant on Serendip ... does either better help make sense of emergence, and if so why?

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