The consequences

Specific versus unspecific attachment

click to enlarge

This distribution of control and memory has several consequences:

1. The execution time of a certain program increases because building up the connections between the many micro-controllers takes time.

2. Because of the recognition-procedure, absolute addressing becomes the exception. Long very-specific recognition sites are evolutionarily costly and sensitive to noise. Even with long recognition sites, copies of the molecules or micro-controllers will still exhibit exactly the same recognition site. This is a fundamental difference to standard programming. If a memory-location is copied, the address of the copy is per definition different than the source. This means:

a) There is no longer a clear distinction between copied code and its template.

b) When calling a subroutine, the caller has no assurance that the subroutine exhibiting this recognition-site is indeed the one the caller wants to execute.

c) If such a subroutine has been destroyed or corrupted, a chance still exists that a neighboring intact copy will be executed.

3. Even if a large fraction of the system is destroyed, the distributed algorithm might still function and the code survive in an evolutionary context.

4. Of course, with this distributed approach, the door is wide open for parasites e.g. viruses and exploiters of other kinds. This might even be an advantage for evolution, because parasites not only exploit the system but they also provide new information to the system and enable it to react more flexibly.

5. Recognition as such must be tunable, because, as can be seen in the picture (see above), without unspecific attachment the replication cycles remain small and sensitive to perturbations. A proliferation of successful replicates is then not possible. Switching between specific and unspecific recognition can be realized with different recognition-sites.

6. Several recognition-sites per molecule or micro-controller in addition allow for execution-starts in-middle of the programs (cf TATA-boxes in the interpretation of genetic information) which helps to simulate return-entry-points in the micro-controller-programs.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. Web managers: J. S. McCaskill, P. Wagler