Sans les mathématiques on ne pénètre point au fond de la philosophie.
Sans la philosophie on ne pénètre point au fond des mathématiques.
Sans les deux on ne pénètre au fond de rien. — Leibniz

[Without mathematics we cannot penetrate deeply into philosophy.
Without philosophy we cannot penetrate deeply into mathematics.
Without both we cannot penetrate deeply into anything.]

Tribute to Leibniz: Essay on Leibniz, Complexity and Incompleteness

NOTICE: This website is being gradually phased out. My new website is hosted by Academia.
Please visit Gregory Chaitin Academia website. Thanks for your interest!
However the LISP software for my three Springer books will not be moved to Academia.
We intend to freeze this website, not remove it. — GJC, 22 January 2014

METABIOLOGY: Programming without a Programmer

Darwin's theory of evolution has been described as "design without a designer." Instead we study "programming without a programmer," that is, the evolution of randomly mutating software. We propose a toy model of evolution that can be studied mathematically: the new field of metabiology, which deals with randomly evolving artificial software (computer programs) instead of randomly evolving natural software (DNA).

[Note on George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950): The first use of the term metabiology of which I am aware is in Shaw's 1921 play Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch. A better play of Shaw's that is also on evolution is his 1903 Man and Superman. Shaw's idea-filled plays, which feature lengthy prefaces, were originally meant to be read rather than performed.]

Ursula Molter, Gregory Chaitin and Hernán Lombardi opening the Buenos Aires Mathematics Festival (Argentina, May 2009)

G J Chaitin Home Page

Gregory Chaitin is well known for his work on metamathematics and for the celebrated Ω number, which shows that God plays dice in pure mathematics. He has published many books on such topics, including Meta Math! The Quest for Omega. His latest book, Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical, attempts to create a mathematical theory of evolution and biological creativity. His least technical book is Conversations with a Mathematician.

Chaitin is a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and an honorary professor at the University of Buenos Aires, and has honorary doctorates from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina and the University of Maine in the United States. He is also a member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences (Brussels) and the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften (Berlin).

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, 1970. Photo by Peter Albrecht


Latest Book Covers

Selected Papers

Videos of Lectures

List of All Books

LISP Software

Virginia Home Page

Bit Bang: The Birth of Digital Philosophy

Bit Bang. La nascita della filosofia digitale: An important book just published in Italy by the theologian Andrea Vaccaro (with G. O. Longo). Highly recommended!

The Search for the Perfect Language argues that God cannot be a mathematician, because there is no perfect language for expressing mathematical reasoning (Gödel, 1931), but He could be a programmer, because there are perfect languages for expressing mathematical algorithms (Turing, 1936). Going beyond Turing, algorithmic information theory identifies the most perfect, the most compact, most expressive, such algorithmic languages.

Latest Book Covers



Selected Papers

Videos of Lectures


LISP Software for Springer Books

The Limits of Mathematics (1998)



The Unknowable (1999)



Exploring Randomness (2001)

Part I—Introduction

Part II—Program-Size

Part III—Randomness

Part IV—Future Work

\[ \Omega = \sum_{\text{program $p$ halts}} 2^{-(\text{size in bits of $p$})} \] \[ \Omega_U = \sum_{\text{$U(p)$ halts}} 2^{-|p|} \] \[ \Omega' = \sum_{n \,=\, 1,\, 2,\, 3,\, ...} 2^{-H(n)} \]