SFI External Professor David Krakauer describes new SFI research that seeks to explain how 4 billion years of evolution produced complex multicellular life, culminating in intelligent, conscious humans "who are able to compose symphonies and answer complicated mathematical questions."
Watch the SFI video interview with David Krakauer (7 minutes)
"With Darwin's theory, all we should expect is a world populated with numerous microbes," says Krakauer. "Is there some ingredient that's missing that will help to explain why in addition to single-celled, simple organisms you have numerous, very complicated organisms capable of the kind of thought that we associate with intelligent life."
Krakauer goes on explore a hypothesis for the emergence of complex life on our planet and propose key ingredients of intelligence, present in many species we don't often think of as intelligent.
The "Evolution of Complexity and Intelligence on Earth" project is part of a three-year SFI research program, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, that seeks a deeper quantitative and theoretic understanding of the nature of complexity in the social and biological worlds.
More about SFI's "Principles of Complexity" research program supported by the John Templeton Foundation
The program also includes SFI research into "The Hidden Laws in Biological and Social Systems" (watch the video) and "The Emergence of Complex Human Societies" (watch the video) and development of a complex systems curriculum called the "Complexity Explorer."
Watch videos of lectures from SFI's 2012 scientific symposium on the "Principles of Complexity" (August 6, 2012)
Read an article in the Templeton Foundation's "Templeton Report" about SFI's research
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