Evolution can be seen as a process in which, starting from basic autonomous systems as the main building blocks, reorganization processes allow for strong cooperative types of behavior. Some of these new types of behavior, provided that differentiation and coordination of the building blocks are developed in a balanced and robust way, can lead to a novel, globally integrated form of autonomous systems. By incorporating new hierarchies of dynamically detached domains and regulatory controls this trend can proceed even further, producing new forms of autonomy capable of creating more complex, flexible, and diversified functional interactions with the environment. This is what makes a big difference with respect to colonies, societies, and even primitive multicellular organisms, whose cohesion relies more on self-organization than on specific regulatory control mechanisms. Whereas the increase in complexity of associations of self-organized, distributed systems hits apparent ceilings or bottlenecks, regulatory control development allows for an open-ended increase in the complexity of autonomous organizations.
Alvaro Moreno is full Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in San Sebastian / Donostia, Spain. Founder of the Philosophy of Biology Group at the UPV/EHU 20 years ago, he is an internationally renowned specialist in the areas of the philosophy of biology, artificial life, complex systems, and cognitive science. Dr. Moreno has authored more than 100 scientific publications (including 2 monographs and 4 edited volumes) and almost as many papers in national and international conferences. He has been the principal investigator in more than twelve funded projects (funding institutions include the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, the Basque Government, the University of the Basque Country) and is Review Expert in the evaluation of RTD proposals submitted to the European Commission for the funding of projects in the area of Cognitive Science. He has been a member of the organizational and/or program committee of more than 20 international conferences, and he is since many years a regular member of the program committee of the Artificial Life conferences (ALIFE) and the European Conferences on Artificial Life (ECAL). He supervised 6 PhD theses, all of them having obtained the highest marks. His work has received a wide and growing international recognition. Dr. Moreno is also actively involved in the dissemination of science, and he led the project for the creation of the Museum of Science in San Sebastian.