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Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems$
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Richard Sole and Santiago F. Elena

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158846

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158846.001.0001

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Computer Viruses and Beyond

Computer Viruses and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.190) 8 Computer Viruses and Beyond
Source:
Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems
Author(s):

Ricard Solé

Santiago F. Elena

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158846.003.0008

The previous chapters considered the multiple facets of viruses, their structure and evolution, and how they explore their landscapes, strongly influencing the biosphere and the evolution of humans as species. But the concept of virus itself, as a parasitic entity able to propagate within and between living systems and self-perpetuating its information through a process of copying and infection, might be broader than imagined. With the development of a theory of cultural evolution, the possibility of defining a general form of propagating ideas, concepts, or symbols that were not supported by genetic material became a very appealing possibility. This chapter explores the application of key concepts associated to virus dynamics to other fields and determines how far the metaphors can be stretched.

Keywords:   viruses, computer virus, cultural evolution, virus dynamics, parasite

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