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At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity Description:

A major scientific revolution has begun a new paradigm that rivals Darwin s theory in importance At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems from the origin of life to the workings of giant corporations to the rise and fall of great civilizations And more than anyone else this revolution is the work of one man Stuart Kauffman a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity Now in At Home in the Universe Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos

Rating: 3.38 out of 5

Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion

Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion Description:

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Rating: 3.71 out of 5

The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution

The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution Description:

Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology physics chemistry and mathematics The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems It focuses on the concept of self organization the spontaneous emergence of order widely observed throughout nature Kauffman here argues that self organization plays an important role in the emergence of life itself and may play as fundamental a role in shaping life s subsequent evolution as does the Darwinian process of natural selection Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self organization into evolutionary theory The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt remain poorly understood as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully This book explores these themes It shows how complex systems contrary to expectations can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order and how this order in turn is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology and other major issues Indeed the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biologicalscience itself will evolve The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences

Rating: 3.77 out of 5


Investigations Description:

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Rating: 3.28 out of 5

Humanity in a Creative Universe

Humanity in a Creative Universe Description:

In the hard sciences which can often feel out of grasp for many lay readers there are great thinkers who go far beyond the equations formulas and research Minds such as Stephen Hawking philosophize about the functions and nature of the universe the implications of our existence and other impossibly fascinating yet difficult questions Stuart A Kauffman is one of those great thinkers He has dedicated his lifetime to researching complex systems at prestigious institutions and now writes his treatise on the most complex system of all our universe br A recent Scientific American article claims that philosophy begins where physics ends and physics begins where philosophy ends and perhaps no better quote sums up what Kauffman s latest book offers Grounded in his rigorous training and research background Kauffman is inter disciplinary in every sense of the word sorting through the major questions and theories in biology physics and philosophy Best known for his philosophy of evolutionary biology Kauffman coined the term prestatability to call into question whether science can ever accurately and precisely predict the future development of biological features in organisms As evidenced by the title s mention of creativity the book refreshingly argues that our preoccupation to explain all things with scientific law has deadened our creative natures In this fascinating read Kauffman concludes that the development of life on earth is not entirely predictable because no theory could ever fully account for the limitless variations of evolution Sure to cause a stir this book will be discussed for years to come and may even set the tone for the next great thinker br

Rating: 3.38 out of 5

Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA

Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA Description:

William Dembski Michael Ruse and other prominent philosophers provide here a comprehensive balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins a controversial dialectic since Darwin published The Origin of Species in Invariably the source of controversy has been design Is the appearance of design in organisms as exhibited in their functional complexity the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology Or does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology and if so is that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry Four main positions have emerged in response to these questions Darwinism self organization theistic evolution intelligent design The contributors to this volume define their respective positions in an accessible style inviting readers to draw their own conclusions Two introductory essays furnish a historical overview of the debate William A Dembski is an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University as well as a senior fellow with Seattle s Discovery Institute His most important books are The Design Inference Cambridge and No Free Lunch Rowman and Littleton Michael Ruse is Lucyle T Wekmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University He is the author of many books including Can a Darwinian Be a Christian The Relationship Between Science and Religion Cambridge

Rating: 3.61 out of 5

A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin

A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin Description:

Thus far the dominant paradigms through which modern scientists have viewed nature have been structured primarily around Newtonian and Darwinian approaches As theoretical ecologist Robert E Ulanowicz observes in his new work i A Third Window i neither of these models is sufficient for explaining how real change in the form of creative advance or emergence takes place in nature The metaphysical foundations laid by these great thinkers centuries ago are ill suited to sustain today s search for a comprehensive description of complex living systems Ecosystem dynamics for example violate each and every one of the Newtonian presuppositions Hence Ulanowicz offers his titular third window a new way of understanding evolution and other natural processes beyond the common mechanistic or materialistic philosophies of nature Drawing on the writings of Walter Elsasser Karl Popper Gregory Bateson Robert Rosen and Alfred North Whitehead as well as his own experience as a theoretical ecologist Ulanowicz offers a new set of axioms for how nature behaves Chance and disarray in natural processes are shown to be necessary conditions for real change Randomness is shown to contribute richness and autonomy to the natural world The metaphysical implications of these new axioms will lend i A Third Window i a wide appeal not only among scientists but also among philosophers theologians and general readers who follow the science and religion dialogue Ulanowicz s fresh perspective adds a new voice to the discussion

Rating: 3.26 out of 5

Complexity Science and World Affairs

Complexity Science and World Affairs Description:

Why did some countries transition peacefully from communist rule to political freedom and market economies while others did not Why did the United States enjoy a brief moment as the sole remaining superpower and then lose power and influence across the board What are the prospects for China the main challenger to American hegemony In i Complexity Science and World Affairs i Walter C Clemens Jr demonstrates how the basic concepts of complexity science can broaden and deepen the insights gained by other approaches to the study of world affairs He argues that societal fitness the ability of a social system to cope with complex challenges and opportunities hinges heavily on the values and way of life of each society and serves to explain why some societies gain and others lose Applying theory to several rich case studies including political developments across post Soviet Eurasia and the United States Clemens shows that complexity science offers a powerful set of tools for advancing the study of international relations comparative government and more broadly the social sciences

Rating: 3.29 out of 5

Scaling And Phase Transitions In Complex Systems

Scaling And Phase Transitions In Complex Systems Description:

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Rating: 3.49 out of 5