Rasmus Feldberg, Carsten Knudsen, Steen Rasmussen

Paper #: 92-07-035

We propose a novel class of formal dynamical systems, which are referred to as self-programming or constructive. We believe that these systems form natural models for functional self-organization in prebiotic and proto-biological systems. We shall use the computer as a “test-tube” to follow the dynamics of these systems and in particular investigate their emergent functional properties. Using the computer as a simulation laboratory is in this context based on two fundamental assumptions: (i) that the logic, e.g., the dynamics and the functional organization, of a physical and in particular a living system can be described in terms of mathematics and hence can be studied independently of the molecular hardware that carries these dynamics, and (ii) that the properties of structures and organizations emerging from the dynamics of self-programming systems reflect aspects of the organizing principles of prebiotic and proto-biological systems. We shall show that, for instance, the emergence of complex cooperative structures is part of the natural dynamics of self-programming systems.