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The origins of life's complexity
Date(s) 03/28/2014 - 2:15 p.m.
Location Willard Conference Room, DePerno Hall
Presenter Leonore Fleming, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Description The origins of life's complexity

Life began simply.  While it is difficult to make any general claims about the entirety of evolutionary history, one thing can be said—complexity increases.  The fact that single-celled organisms have evolved into the immense diversity and complexity we see today is uncontroversial; however, the origin of life's complexity, and the cause of this continual increase in complexity over the history of life, is still very much an area of debate.  Since Darwin's fascination with the complex structure of the human eye, scientists have tried to explain the different routes through which complexity can emerge.  Most theories rely on the idea that complexity arises gradually through natural selection favoring more and more complex intermediates.  In other words, complexity is the result of step-by-step improvements driven by natural selection.  Against this, Professor Fleming presents the theory that complexity is due to a built-in tendency for life to become more complex over time, even in the absence of natural selection.  In other words, life's complexity is inevitable.

Nexus is a seminar series presented by Utica College faculty in which they discuss their research interests and scholarly pursuits. It is an opportunity for participants to explore new findings and viewpoints and share ideas with faculty, students, and the local community.
Cost Free

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