Complexification of Eukaryote Phenotype: Adaptive Immuno-Cognitive Systems as Unique Gödelian Block Chain Distributed Ledger


Paper prepared for Special Issue on Biological Computation for the journal BioSystems 


The digitization of inheritable information in the genome has been called the ‘algorithmic take-over of biology’. The McClintock discovery that viral software based transposable elements that conduct
cut-paste (transposon) and copy-paste (retrotransposon) operations are needed for genomic evolvability underscores the truism that only software can change software and also that viral hacking by internal and external bio-malware is the Achilles heel of genomic digital systems. There was a paradigm shift in genomic information processing with the Adaptive Immune System (AIS) 500 mya followed by the Mirror Neuron System (MNS), latterly mostly in primate brains, which reaches its apogee in in human social cognition.  The AIS and MNS involve distinctive Gödelian features of self-reference (Self-Ref) and offline virtual self-representation (Self-Rep) for complex self-other interaction with prodigious open-ended capacity for anticipative malware detection and novelty production within a unique block chain distributed ledger (BCDL).

The role of self-referential information processing, often considered to be central to the sentient self with origins in the immune system ‘Thymic self’, is shown to be part of the Gödel logic behind a generator-selector framework at a molecular level, which exerts stringent selection criteria to maintain genomic BCDL.  The latter manifests digital and decentralized record keeping where no internal or external bio-malware can compromise the immutability of the life’s building blocks and no novel blocks can be added that is not consistent with extant blocks. This is demonstrated with regard to somatic hypermutation with novel anti-body production in the face of external non-self antigen attacks.

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