The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis – Alan Turing (1952)

Why isn’t Alan Turing more central in systems thinking/cybernetics?


Wikipedia article below and:

pdf –

slides about Turing –

Turing’s Theory of Morphogenesis: Where We Started, Where We Are and Where We Want to Go – Thomas E. Woolley, Ruth E. Baker, and Philip K. Main –

photos of the original paper –


Source: The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis – Wikipedia

The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Turing’s paper explained how natural patterns such as stripes, spots and spirals, like those of the giant pufferfish, may arise naturally.

The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis” is an article written by the English mathematician Alan Turing in 1952 describing the way in which natural patterns such as stripes, spots and spirals may arise naturally out of a homogeneous, uniform state.[1] The theory, which can be called a reaction–diffusion theory of morphogenesis, has served as a basic model in theoretical biology.[2]

Reaction–diffusion systems

Reaction–diffusion systems have attracted much interest as a prototype model for pattern formation. Patterns such as fronts, spirals, targets, hexagons, stripes and dissipative solitons are found in various types of reaction-diffusion systems in spite of large discrepancies e.g. in the local reaction terms. Such patterns have been dubbed “Turing patterns“.[3]

Reaction–diffusion processes form one class of explanation for the embryonic development of animal coats and skin pigmentation.[4][5] Another reason for the interest in reaction-diffusion systems is that although they represent nonlinear partial differential equations, there are often possibilities for an analytical treatment.[6][7][8]