humanity in a creative universe

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Humanity In A Creative Universe

Author : Stuart A. Kauffman
ISBN : 9780199390458
Genre : Evolution (Biology)
File Size : 67. 24 MB
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Much of Stuart Kauffman's work in the philosophy of evolutionary biology has centered on the question of what he calls "prestatability" in evolution: that is, whether or not science can precisely predict the future development of biological features in organisms, using a singular "FinalTheory" of evolution. In this book, Kauffman argues that the development of life on earth is not prestatable, because no theory could ever fully account for the limitless variability of evolution. He believes that the biological universe's primary trait is that it is creative, and that acknowledgingthis creativity will lead to a radically different way in which humans view themselves and all other living beings. It is an argument against Reductive Materialism.Kauffman also asserts that man's Modern preoccupation to explain all things with scientific law has deadened our creative natures. In his words, he aims for the book to be "one that revises our scientific world view of the universe as entirely entailed by law." Instead, he advocates an approach toscience that accounts for "unprestatable" creativity, thus allowing humans to fully realize their creative selves. The book will build off the ideas developed in his last two works, Reinventing the Sacred and Investigations. Incorporating philosophers like Kant and Descartes, as well as the scienceof Newton and Darwin, Humanity in a Creative Universe is Stuart Kauffman's argument for a creative and unpredictable view of modern science.

At Home In The Universe

Author : Stuart Kauffman
ISBN : 019984030X
Genre : Science
File Size : 55. 33 MB
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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. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.

Reinventing The Sacred

Author : Stuart A. Kauffman
ISBN : 9781458722065
Genre :
File Size : 40. 7 MB
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Consider the complexity of a living cell after 3.8 billion years of evolution. Is it more awesome to suppose that a transcendent God fashioned the cell at a stroke, or to realize that it evolved with no Almighty Hand, but arose on its own in the changing biosphere? In this bold and fresh look at science and religion, complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman argues that the qualities of divinity that we revere - creativity, meaning, purposeful action - are properties of the universe that can be investigated methodically. He offers stunning evidence for this idea in an abundance of fields, from cell biology to the philosophy of mind, and uses it to find common ground between belief systems often at odds with one another. A daring and ambitious argument for a new understanding of natural divinity, Reinventing the Sacred challenges readers both scientifically and philosophically.

Human Universe

Author : Professor Brian Cox
ISBN : 9780008129798
Genre : Science
File Size : 76. 19 MB
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Top ten Sunday Times Bestseller ‘Engaging, ambitious and creative’ Guardian Where are we? Are we alone? Who are we? Why are we here? What is our future?

The Origins Of Order

Author : Stuart A. Kauffman
ISBN : 0195079515
Genre : Medical
File Size : 74. 55 MB
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Kauffman's thesis combines concepts of self-organization, integration with natural selection, and adaptation to explain the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems.

The Living Universe

Author : Duane Elgin
ISBN : 9781458777553
Genre :
File Size : 26. 53 MB
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Science has traditionally regarded the universe as mostly made up mostly of inert matter and empty space. At one time this point of view was liberating, part of the Enlightenment-born rationalism that helped humanity free itself from superstition and fear and achieve extraordinary intellectual and technological breakthroughs. But this paradigm has outlived its usefulness. It has led to rampant materialism and environmental degradation - if the universe is essentially dead and we are alive, then the inanimate stuff of the universe should be ours to exploit. But we now know that not only is the view of a dead universe destructive, it is also inaccurate and misleading. In The Living Universe, Duane Elgin brings together evidence from cosmology, biology, physics, and even his participation in NASA-sponsored psychic experiments to show that the universe is permeated by a living field and that we are always in communion with that field of aliveness whether we are conscious of it or not. This is a world-view that, as Elgin explains, is shared by virtually every spiritual tradition, and the implications of it are vast and deep. In a living system, each part is integral to the whole, so each of us is intimately connected to the entire universe. Elgin eloquently demonstrates how our identity manifests itself on a whole series of levels, from subatomic to galactic. We are, he writes, ''far more than biological beings - we are beings of cosmic connection and participation. ''to confront our ongoing planetary crisis of dwindling resources and escalating conflict, we need to move past an ideology of separation, competition, and exploitation. Duane Elgin asks us to see humanity sharing in the same field of aliveness, to discover how to live sustainably and harmoniously within the living universe.

Journey Of The Universe

Author : Brian Thomas Swimme
ISBN : 9780300171907
Genre : Nature
File Size : 34. 26 MB
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The authors tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. This book is part of a larger project that includes a documentary film, educational DVD series, and Web site.

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