A new theory of development: the generation of complexity in ontogenesis
Published 8 February 2016.DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0148
Today there is a very wide consensus on the idea that embryonic development is the result of a genetic programme and of epigenetic processes. Many models have been proposed in this theoretical framework to account for the various aspects of development, and virtually all of them have one thing in common: they do not acknowledge the presence of organic codes (codes between organic molecules) in ontogenesis. Here it is argued instead that embryonic development is a convergent increase in complexity that necessarily requires organic codes and organic memories, and a few examples of such codes are described. This is the code theory of development, a theory that was originally inspired by an algorithm that is capable of reconstructing structures from incomplete information, an algorithm that here is briefly summarized because it makes it intuitively appealing how a convergent increase in complexity can be achieved. The main thesis of the new theory is that the presence of organic codes in ontogenesis is not only a theoretical necessity but, first and foremost, an idea that can be tested and that has already been found to be in agreement with the evidence.
One contribution of 21 to a theme issue ‘DNA as information’.
Accepted August 1, 2015.
© 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
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