May 9, 2003
Most of the examples in A New Kind of Science look at things easily represented by images, such as leaf patterns. Can NKS be used to model other tasks, such as biochemical pathways?
The things I’ve studied in great detail are large-scale morphological features like, for example, shapes of leaves. So when it comes to looking up mollusc pigmentation, I look at a pattern and it’s very easy to see what class of programs [are appropriate]. It turns out you can also look at networks with simple programs. You might end up with [a visual pattern] that represents some operation such as phosphorylation or some other biochemical pathway. I’m talking about networks of chemical reactions rather than about the morphological layout of things.