Skip to main content

Evolution of complexity

The unifying principle underlying our worldview is that the universe has evolved step-by-step so as to produce ever more complex systems, from quantum fluctuations of the vacuum to elementary particles, atoms, molecules, networks of chemical reactions, primitive cells, and multicellular organisms, up to humans and socio-technological systems. These define levels of complexity that are superficially autonomous, but deeply connected by common principles. We call the emergence of a new level during evolution a “metasystem transition”. We approach this issue using insights from general systems theory, complexity science, cybernetics, self-organization and the theory of evolution. In this way, we continue the tradition initiated by the Principia Cybernetica Project, an international network co-founded by Francis Heylighen in 1990.

This research is being performed within the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition research group, directed by Francis Heylighen.