Epigenesis in cellular automata

The genome is regarded today as blueprint of the organism. Despite  the great hopes in the “Book of Life” it turned out to be no more intelligent than a telephone directory or better the yellow pages, which tell you who is doing what but fail to reveal how it is done.

Unfortunately the Book of Life does not  indicate how the complexity of the organism is generated. Biologists distinguish therefore between two realms: genetics or the blueprint, and epigenesis, where complexity emerges. While the first may be investigated by reduction, epigenesis can be understood only  phenomenologically (which is explained in the other thread).

All this is bad for business, which had  embraced Book-of-Life-start-ups with love. Soon disenchantment with the Book of Life drove bio-stocks downward. In order to save their business  companies  created   new buzzwords, e.g.,  epigenetics and proteomics. Methylation which is the hallmark of epigenetics is a new way to control genes which is not determined by heredity. True, it is a first step to a new level of complexity but a very modest one. Despite the similarity of the names epigenetic and epigenesis they are utterly different from each other.  

Their difference may be illustrated  with simple CA systems. A CA rule and its initial conditions might be regarded as CA-gene. Yet once you iterate, you are actually practicing epigenesis. Even better, you might regard the set of CA rules as system genes, while their initial conditions are no more than their epigenetics.

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