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Mark Adam Bedau

Professor of Philosophy & Humanities

Phone: 503.517-7337


Artificial life, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind

Media Experience

Bedau has extensive media experience in both print and broadcast media. Visit for a full list.


Bedeau studies the living and mental system's capacity to adapt to unpredictable circumstances. He is the author of numerous papers on how artificial life will enrich and unify scientific and philosophical understanding of emergence, evolution, life and mind. Additionally, he is the editor of Artificial Life Magazine and wrote the artificial life entry in the "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy."

Bedeau is a member of the PACE (programmable artificial cell evolution) consortium of scientists who explore the creation of artificial life. In 2004, the consortium was awarded a $10.5 million grant from the European Commission to investigate the creation of artificial cells that are intelligent, self-reproducing, and self-maintaining chemical systems. Bedeau is one of three PACE researchers from the United States, and the only one from an institution of higher education.

He studies the nature of emergence, especially dynamic emergence; the nature of life; the source and structure of evolutionary creativity and evolvability; the adaptationist program; the evolution of technology as reflected in the patent record; empirical and quantitative measures of evolutionary dynamics; evolutionary design of self-assembling chemical systems; and the social and ethical implications of protocell research and development.


B.A., Reed College. M.A. and Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley. There, he earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. Bedeau has taught at Reed College since 1991.