Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life is inevitable

Karl Friston. Life as we know it. J. R. Soc. Interface 6 September 2013 vol. 10 no. 86 20130475

Abstract: This paper presents a heuristic proof (and simulations of a primordial soup) suggesting that life—or biological self-organization—is an inevitable and emergent property of any (ergodic) random dynamical system that possesses a Markov blanket. This conclusion is based on the following arguments: if the coupling among an ensemble of dynamical systems is mediated by short-range forces, then the states of remote systems must be conditionally independent. These independencies induce a Markov blanket that separates internal and external states in a statistical sense. The existence of a Markov blanket means that internal states will appear to minimize a free energy functional of the states of their Markov blanket. Crucially, this is the same quantity that is optimized in Bayesian inference. Therefore, the internal states (and their blanket) will appear to engage in active Bayesian inference. In other words, they will appear to model—and act on—their world to preserve their functional and structural integrity, leading to homoeostasis and a simple form of autopoiesis.


  1. let's not all make too big claims and least of all take this thing too seriously

    if you want the science and the mechanics sure all systems are ergodic or however else you want them to be modelled

    [the in out question cannever be resolved so these scientists being in the in cannot talk about it]

    i can pause and stay silent and prove the biggest claim

    but unfortunately i'm prone to blabbering today

  2. "heuristic proof"? man we re moving into such terminology?
    that's a soft hard cheese a silver gold
    that's all a tabloid needs it cuts off the 'heuristic' and runs with it

    "we found the proof of life!"

  3. i hope "the Royal journal" is not the tabloid of journals

    1. To answer that question I think you need to look on page 6.