According to H.von FOERSTER and G. PASK, neither the organism, nor the environment can be identified with classical automata because, in this case neither can undergo any change. In such an algorithmic straight jacket, adaptation and evolution would be utterly impossible, as all possible interactions would have to be strictly predetermined.
The mechanistic paradigm produced mechanistic models, strictly deterministic, which could only "read" in nature very simple causes to effects relations. These models pervaded much of the conceptual outlook in living and in human systems, at least until 1960, and are still in some cases blocking a better understanding of truly complex systems.
The thermodynamics of irreversible systems faraway from equilibrium, the catastrophe theory and the theory of chaos seem to suggest that non-rigorously predetermined innovation remains always possible, even within the frame of algorithms formerly constructed by previous evolution and learning.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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