Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs: AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
News & Events: Public LectureEvolution of Biological Complexity
Thursday, 20 October 2005
1200 New York Avenue, NW,
It is often claimed that Darwin's theory of evolution is incomplete because it cannot account for the evolution of complex adaptive traits via the accumulation of mutations. At the same time, the concept of biological complexity itself--how it may be defined and whether complexity increases in evolution--is often perceived as controversial. In this talk, Dr. Adami will address both concerns: the definition of complexity and whether there is a trend in its evolution, as well as the mechanisms by which complex traits evolve that appear to be "irreducible". Evidence from experiments that study the evolution of complexity in a digital life form will be shared. These experiments show that complex adaptive traits do emerge via standard Darwinian mechanisms, and that this evolution is accompanied by an increase in a suitably defined measure of complexity.
Christoph Adami, Ph.D. , Professor of Applied Life Sciences, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)
James B. Miller, Ph.D., Senior Program Associate , Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)