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Transdisciplinarity Enabled

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Table 1 Innovation milestones throughout the evolution of the Earth

From: Inventive processes in nature: from information origin in chemical evolution to technological exhaustion

Physical information representation Small organics Polymers RNA DNA DNA, neural, technological
Exploration method,
Far search
Molecular noisy search Molecular noisy search Molecular noisy search, high frequency mutations Low frequency mutations Neural experimentation through neural noisy search, numerical mutation operators in AI
Exploitation method,
Near search
None Information addition (polymerisation), horizontal chemical information exchange Old information addition (polymerisation)
+ horizontal gene transfer
Old information addition (polymerisation)
+ horizontal gene transfer + sexual information crossover
Thought experimentation, numerical crossover in AI
Invention diffusion method Diffusion in liquid solvent Parallel chemistry, solvent diffusion Replication, solvent diffusion Replication by heredity, solvent diffusion Offspring,
industrially manufactured copies
Dominant exergy source Radiation (UV) + planetary dynamics UV + some metabolic UV + metabolic UV + visible + metabolic Metabolic (+ nuclear, solar…)
  1. From left to right, small organics primarily based on solar ultraviolet (UV) light and thermal noise are the first carriers of information concerning the first experimental outcomes. The next process, where previously stored information is added in small molecules, involves polymerisation or elongation. RNA is the next major evolutionary step in the information selection method. RNA facilitates horizontal gene transfer and replicates to diffuse information. After the appearance of metabolism, inventions tended to be oriented towards an increasingly elaborated protection schema. A great advance in horizontal information exchange was gained by the invention of sexual DNA reproduction by the systematic crossing of previously known inventions at reduced mutation rates and provided a mechanism against deleterious mutation accumulation (enabling reduced mutations). Moreover, within intelligent, neural beings, inventive processes have arguably ascended to another level, much more advanced than the solely genetic level, into a higher realm of thought experimentation. In humans, perhaps we see an even higher level evolved, that of consciously directed thought experiments