Anand CV Mallaya

The future of biological evolution

In evolution, life, science on November 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Evolution of man (Image courtesy:

The theory of biological evolution, the radical theory that changed the way humans looked at themselves and solved lot of our philosophical struggles, is one of the obvious facts of  life. Despite its ground-breaking revelations, the theory is still struggling to get itself accepted by the large public outside scientific communities and intellectuals. The reason is nothing but the fact that it challenges the basic belief systems, that are millennia old, of what we are and how we came to existence. As we, the currently alive organisms, are the latest of those ever lived on earth in its history, this is an effort to identify what is next and thereby designing the future and our role in building it.

The macro-organism, the man-machine hybrid society

We now know that all organisms evolved from simple cell like organisms millions or billions of years back, though we are in a process of understanding how the earliest of them came in to existence. From single celled organisms(Eukaryotes), life evolved in to multi-celled organisms(Prokaryote) leading to our(humans) very own form. We are nothing but millions of living cells bound together by synergy. And we along with other social animals have developed a higher dimensional synergetic entities called societies. Social entities include ant colonies, animal herds, flocks of birds, human families, cities…

In the same line if we can extend, we can see a bigger organism forming. A macro-organism of global scale. Many call it gaia, biosphere, noosphere etc. As most organisms matures( growth process is peaked or stabilized) , it reproduces. So how is this gaia/noosphere/biosphere is reproducing? Answer may be planetary seeding. The humanity, the cells of the macro-organism,bounded by the pressures of  the shrinking resources have long started looking for them out side our planet. The ever increasing interest in space missions and research is clear evidence for this. So noosphere/gaia/biosphere , although complex with in itself, will act like a eukaryote splitting in to two as we will find a habitable environment in other planets or stellar systems. Latest researches hints life could have been reached from outside our planet through meteorites or comets. Rockets and spaceships are like pollen/sperm carrying seeds away from the parent.

Mars rover (image courtesy

Silicon based life forms?

As evolution is through changes in all directions, another notable phenomenon is the development of brain and the ability to use tools. These features are not limited to humans. In fact numerous animals show some levels of intelligence and tool using abilities- crows, dolphins, chimpanzees, octopuses and other cephalopods etc. One of the remarkable tool invented by human collective intelligence is the computers and the Internet. This is amazingly analogous to the neural networks of animal brains. And the fractal expansion of the simpler to complex evolution process is happening in the Internet and world wide web aw well. We are in a process of creating a complex man-machine hybrid society that complements each others functions. The spawn of artificial intelligence is most likely will be in this hybrid society as a collective intelligence rather than the conventional notion of a single machine surpassing human intelligence. Though both are simultaneously possible.

The basic element powering the computers and other electronics is the element Silicon. As we know that Carbon is the basic element of the foundation of all living organisms on earth, the rise of Silicon and an artificial intelligence like the one humans are creating on earth in the form of Internet and world wide web is a striking shift in the evolutionary process of a Carbon based life form learning about the evolutionary process and uses the lessons and spawning a silicon based life form further in the chain. This is not exactly like the concept of Silicon Biochemisty




Collective consciousness

Collective Intellignece


Gaia spore



Is the Human Species Entering an Evolutionary Inflection Point? 

Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity

Here is an interesting talk about the human evolution :

Is DNA a Turing machine?

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Answer by Anand Mallaya:

DNA may not be a Turing machine, but it can,very much likely, be part of a Turing Machine.

A Turing machine consists of
1. A Tape – A tape divided in to cells. Each cell capable of holding a symbol from a finite set of alphabets.
2. A Head – Which can move left or right through the tape and read the alphabets in the tape.
3. A State Register – A register which stores the state of the machine.
4. An Instruction Table – Which based on the state of the machine and the alphabet on the cell in which the head is currently reading, performs one of the set of predetermined actions.
Examples of instructions can be like
        Write an alphabet on the cell
        move the head right or left
         stay on the same cell etc.

If you compare this with a biological cell, we can find many interesting features of the cell which can be related to a turing machine.
         Tape <=> DNA
         Head <=> Ribosome
         State Register <=> RNA
         States <=> Amino acid
         Instruction Table <=> DNA codon table
         Ouput Tape <=> Proteins

Formal Definition of Turing Machine

A (one-tape) Turing machine can be formally defined as a 7-tuple


  • is a finite, non-empty set of states

  • is a finite, non-empty set of tape alphabet symbols

  • is the blank symbol (the only symbol allowed to occur on the tape infinitely often at any step during the computation)

  • is the set of input symbols

  • is a partial function called the transition function, where L is left shift, R is right shift. (A relatively uncommon variant allows "no shift", say N, as a third element of the latter set.)

  • is the initial state

  • is the set of final or accepting states.

The Function
The function being performed is finite time and is the  Protein biosynthesis


The Instruction Set

Notable differences are

  1. The head only moves in one direction.
  2. The output tape is different from the input tape

Is DNA a Turing machine?

Is there an evolutionary reason as to why the fingerprints are unique?

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Answer by A Quora admin:

Good question. As far as I know, there are no explanations yet.

My wild guess is that it could be a mathematical characteristic than an evolved trait. Morphology and Morphogenesis, the branch of biology which study about the form and structure of organisms are getting more associated with mathematics , so is Developmental biology.
Recent studies[1][2] confirm old theory proposed by mathematician Alan Turing on how patterns arise from simple reactions [3]. The patterns formed like stripes of zebra and tigers were able to explain by this model. Since finger prints are similar in nature, I strongly believe that it may be emerging from similar reactions which may not need to have to be beneficial if not harmful. The cellular division and the formation of skin may have similar dynamics which leads to the signature patterns. Since the DNA is unique, it may be affecting the reaction parameters indirectly.

[1] Page on
[2] Reaction Diffusion Equations and Animal Coat Patterns
[3] The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis – Alan M. Turing

Is there an evolutionary reason as to why the fingerprints are unique?


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