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1. The Change Ringing Cosmos

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Chapter Summary

The noble English art of change ringing consists of the ringing of a set of bells of different pitches, according to sequences that follow stable mathematical patterns. This chapter turns to the cosmic change ringing, constrained by the laws of nature. It discusses the “primeval atom,” a term introduced in 1827 by the Belgian astronomer, cosmologist and priest, Georges Lemaitre, to describe the primeval universe. The chapter employs algorithmic information theory to develop a measure of complexity and, using it, obtain numerical values for the complexity of physical structures and processes, organic structures and processes and for the complexity of the human brain and minding. It then explores certain mathematical principles of information and computation and proposes a universal measure of complexity applicable to any system, whatever the nature of its functions. The chapter also sketches some earlier attempts to define and measure complexity.

Keywords: algorithmic information theory; change ringing cosmos; human brain; primeval atom; primeval universe



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