THE COMPLEXITY OF COMPLEXITY
Proud Biologist: “Life forms are more complex than stars”
Humble Astronomer: “You'd look simple too from a trillion miles away”
One of the central questions of evolutionary biology and cosmology is: is there a general trend towards increasing complexity? In order to answer that question, it would help to have a definition of complexity that can be quantified. Various definitions of complexity have been proposed (Gell-Mann, 1994, 1995; Kauffman, 1995; Adami, 2002; Gell-Mann & Lloyd, 2003; Fullsack, 2011). With useful oversight, Lloyd (2001) groups various conceptions of complexity into three groups based on (1) difficulty of description (measured in bits) (2) difficulty of creation (measured in time, energy or price) and (3) degree of organization (measured in…?…, we're not sure). For more details see: Weaver, 1948; Traub et al., 1983; Chaitin, 1987; Weber et al., 1988; Wicken, 1988; Bennett, 1988; Lloyd & Pagels, 1988; Zurek, 1989; Crutchfield & Young, 1989; McShea, 2000; Adami et al., 2000; Adami, 2002; Hazen et al., 2008; Li & Vitanyi, 2008; McShea & Brandon, 2010.