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EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
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Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

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Design, Observation, Surprise! A Test of Emergence

Design, Observation, Surprise! A Test of Emergence

Chapter:
(p.287) 16 Design, Observation, Surprise! A Test of Emergence
Source:
Emergence
Author(s):

Edmund M. A. Ronald

Moshe Sipper

Mathieu S. Capcarrère

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.003.0019

This chapter illustrates how the concept of emergence has become a great attention grabber due to the striking behaviors demonstrated in artificial life experiments. Emergence has been called upon conveniently whenever the unexpected intrudes into the visual field of the experimenter, consequently requiring or justifying an economy of explanation. This abuse of the term will eventually devalue its significance and put the concept of emergence itself under a bad light. In the absence of an acceptable definition, researchers in the field would be better off adopting an emergence certification mark that would garner approval from the ALife community. This standardization is the motivation behind the proposed “emergence test,” a set of criteria through which one can justify conferring the emergence.

Keywords:   emergence, artificial life experiments, emergence certification mark, ALife community, standardization, emergence test

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