PhD Thesis - The Resilience Enigma

By Georgii KARELIN 


How well can enclosed ecosystems adapt to stress, and what do their responses reveal about the broader adaptability of life? Are these systems hard-wired for resilience or destined for fragility over time? These questions set the course for this research, a journey at the crossroads of computational biology, cognitive science, and astrobiology. The work also employs the perspectives of embodied, enacted, ecological, and extended cognitive science to dissect how alterations in environmental conditions influence the adaptability and resilience of life forms.

  • Stripping Complexity to Reveal Core Insights

Grounded in the principles of simplified models for planetary habitability, this research aims to make complex questions more approachable. By distilling intricate models down to their essential elements, the project exposes the underlying mechanisms that govern how systems adapt and become resilient. By sidestepping pre-defined environmental optima, the project seeks to discover novel facets of how organisms and their environments co-evolve to regulate their surroundings.

  • Extraterrestrial Implications and Earthly Applications

While the research starts with humble aims, its implications could be far-reaching. The insights derived could inform how life might adapt in otherworldly settings—an exciting possibility for future space exploration and Earth's own closed-loop habitats.

  • Memory, Selection, and Evolutionary Dynamics

Drawing inspiration from the concept of "Sequential Selection with Memory," the research suggests that some systems might have a statistical predisposition to improve over time. Intriguingly, it posits that oscillations in environmental resources, driven by population dynamics, could act as a safeguard against harmful mutations. This mechanism of dynamic equilibrium may help maintain optimal environmental conditions in the face of external disruptions.

  • Methodological Toolkit for the Future

Harnessing the power of high-performance computing and advanced neural networks for pattern recognition, the computational challenges in this ambitious project become manageable. A commitment to open-source protocols and reproducibility underpins the research, safeguarding its integrity and enhancing its cross-disciplinary relevance.

  • Smalls Steps Toward Solving Grand Puzzles

In its quest to unravel more substantial questions, the research touches upon the "Gaian bottleneck" and "inhabitant paradox," offering fresh perspectives on the likelihood of life's emergence and persistence both on Earth and beyond.

In summary, this research serves as a modest yet captivating inquiry into life’s abilities to adapt and flourish within a range of constraints. It blends elements from computational biology, cognitive science, and potentially astrobiology, driven by a curiosity about life’s astonishing resilience, no matter how confined or expansive its habitat.

Disclosure: it was written on collaboration with chatgpt.