On the Evolution of Chemical Organizations

Naoki Matsumaru, Pietro Speroni di Fenizio, Florian Centler, Peter Dittrich (2006)
On the Evolution of Chemical Organizations
in: S. Artmann, P. Dittrich (Eds.), Proc. 7th German Workshop on Artificial Life, p. 135-146
paper (pdf)


Chemical evolution describes the first step in the development of life, such as the formation of complex organic molecules from simpler (in-)organic compounds. A deeper understanding of this period requires not only a refinement of our chemical knowledge but also improved theoretical concepts that help to explain how complex chemical systems evolve in principle. Here we investigate how chemical evolution appears in the light of chemical organisation theory. We identify two main dimensions of chemical evolution: the “actual evolution” of the reaction vessel and the “organisational evolution” of the set of molecular species reachable from the actual set of chemical species present in the vessel. The organisational evolution can be described precisely as a movement through the set of chemical organisations. We describe three types of such movements: upwards, downwards, and sidewards. The concepts are illustrated by simulation studies on a constructive artificial chemistry.