Cellular Automata

Here is a science article on how the helix structure of ionized dust (at least in theory) can replicate itself

I was reminded of the cellular automata: a mathematical game where from a few simple rules, elegant complexity can be derived, including what look to the eye like stable formations.


I have heard that mathematicians cannot predict the outcomes of cellular automata any faster by calculation than it would take for the automation to run: in other words, the simplest way to find the end-state of a game like this is to let it run. I am not sure if that statement is true or not, but if it is, it has peculiar and interesting implications on the limitations of human knowledge. My Determinist friends who think the human brain is just a meat machine would be put in the situation of admitting that, while, theoretically one could predict every thought process of a self-aware entity, in fact one could not do so except by creating a copy of that person so exact that the copy would be a person, as awake and as self aware as the original.