These guys argue that it’s possible to measure the complexity of life and the rate at which it has increased from prokaryotes to eukaryotes to more complex creatures such as worms, fish and finally mammals. That produces a clear exponential increase identical to that behind Moore’s Law although in this case the doubling time is 376 million years rather than two years.
That raises an interesting question. What happens if you extrapolate backwards to the point of no complexity–the origin of life?
Putting the paper’s compelling implications for extra-solar genesis aside for a moment, I find it fascinating how our view of humanity and life evolves alongside technology.
Thousands of years ago people saw themselves in relation to their gods. Hundreds of years ago we saw ourselves as living machines. In the last few decades, we became living computers.
What’s the next technological paradigm we’ll use to frame our understanding of humanity?