Randomness and Diversity in Biology: Comparing Complexity and Functional Organization

Ouvert au grand public
19.11.2014 17:15 - 19:00

Abstract: The dynamic instability of living systems and the “superposition” of different forms of randomness will be viewed as components of the contingently changing, or even increasing, organization of life through ontogenesis or evolution. To this purpose, we first survey how classical and quantum physics define randomness differently. We then discuss why this requires, in our view, an enriched understanding of the effects of their concurrent presence in biological systems’ dynamics. Biological randomness is then presented as an essential component of the heterogeneous determination and intrinsic unpredictability proper to life phenomena, due to the nesting and interaction of many levels of organization, but also as a key component of its structural stability. We will note as well that increasing organization, while increasing “order”, induces growing disorder, not only by energy dispersal effects, but also by increasing variability and differentiation. Finally, we discuss a possible difference between biological complexity and organization, which may provide a tool for understanding some aspects of cancer.

Biography : Giuseppe Longo is Directeur de Recherche (DRE) CNRS at Centre Interdisciplinaire Cavaillès, (République des Savoirs, Collège de France et l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris) and Adjunct Professor,Department of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston Tufts University, Boston. He is a former Professor of Mathematical Logic and, later, of Computer Science at the University of Pisa. He spent 3 years in the USA (Berkeley, M.I.T., Carnegie Mellon) as researcher and Visiting Professor, in addition to several months visits in Oxford and Utrecht. He is a member of the Academia Europea since 1992. GL worked in Mathematical Logic and at various applications of Mathematical Logic to Computer Science. Since 1991, Longo is editor-in-chief of Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, a leading scientific journal of the Cambridge U.P. and (co-)authored more than 100 papers and a book, with A. Asperti, on Categories, Types and Structures (M.I.T. Press, 1991). He recently extended his research interests and work to the Epistemology of Mathematics and Theoretical Biology. Bailly and Longo’s book, Mathematics and the natural sciences: The Physical Singularity of Life(Imperial College Press, London, 2011) proposes a novel approach to cross-foundational analyses in Mathematics, Physics and Biology. Its consequences for more specific theoretizing in Biology are in joint book with Maël Montévil, Perspectives on Organisms: Biological Time, Symmetries and Singularities (Springer, Berlin, 2014). He currently directs a research project at IEA-Nantes (2014-17) on the concept of law, in human and natural sciences: http://www.di.ens.fr/users/longo/CIM/ProjetLongo2014-17.pdf
19.11.2014 17:15 - 19:00
Site PER 02 / Salle A140
Chemin du Musée 14, 1700 Fribourg
Dr Michèle Courant, Department of informatics
Prof. Giuseppe Longo, CNRS, Collège de France et Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris & IEA
Pièces jointes