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 : 55. 14 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.

Humanity In A Creative Universe

Author : Stuart A. Kauffman
ISBN : 9780199390472
Genre : Science
File Size : 73. 17 MB
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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. 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."

At Home In The Universe

Author : Stuart Kauffman
ISBN : 9780199761852
Genre : Science
File Size : 30. 7 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 : 41. 3 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.

Big History And The Future Of Humanity

Author : Fred Spier
ISBN : 9781444339437
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 81 MB
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Big History and the Future of Humanity presents an original theoretical approach that makes “big history” – the placing of the human past within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe -- accessible to general readers while revealing insights into what the future may hold for humanity. Provides an accessible and original overview of the entire sweep of history that places human history within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe Features an original theory of “big history” which explains all of history and opens up an entirely new interdisciplinary research agenda Offers new insights into the future of humanity by better understanding the past Presents a new approach to complexity studies, which takes into account the greatest galaxy clusters as well as the tiniest sub-atomic particles

A Third Window

Author : Robert E. Ulanowicz
ISBN : 159947154X
Genre : Nature
File Size : 53. 3 MB
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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, A Third Window, 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 A Third Windowa 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.

The Cradle Of Humanity

Author : Mark Maslin
ISBN : 9780198704522
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 16 MB
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POPULAR SCIENCE. Humans are rather weak when compared with many other animals. We are not particular fast and have no natural weapons. Yet Homo sapiens currently number nearly 7.5 billion and are set to rise to nearly 10 billion by the middle of this century. We have influenced almost every part of the Earth system and as a consequence are changing the global environmental and evolutionary trajectory of the Earth. So how did we become the worlds apex predator and take over the planet? Fundamental to our success is our intelligence, not only individually but more importantly collectively. But why did evolution favour the brainy ape? Given the calorific cost of running our large brains, not to mention the difficulties posed for childbirth, this bizarre adaptation must have given our ancestors a considerable advantage.

Humanity S Future The Next 25 000 Years

Author : Tom Kando
ISBN : 1537176196
Genre :
File Size : 25. 28 MB
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The story evolves from mundane, early twenty-first century contemporary politics to a cosmic apotheosis. The first chapters examine the struggles of current nation states, with a special focus on the United States: Presidential successions, immigration, the economy, the energy crisis, the war on terrorism, etc.History advances through the constant ebb and flow of progress and retrogression, taking one step back for every two steps forward. In the near future, the US and the Western Hemisphere suffer great decline. However, there occurs a Renaissance - the Great Awakening. The Western Hemisphere, a new confederacy called Hispaniola, once again will provide renewed leadership and inspiration to the world.Gradually, there is world unification, and expansion into space. In time, there is a federated Earth - Gaia - which expands into the Solar System - Solaria. There are many ups and downs and tragedies, even in the distant future. However, bit by bit, war between nations becomes something of the past and humankind relies increasingly on true science.Scientific progress means space travel, the conquest of space, super communication networks, and above all: the science of the mind. True science is not mechanistic. It is the science of consciousness.Humanity is a forward moving intelligence. It moves towards perfect knowledge - what primitive cultures have called "God." Humanity becomes a unified macro-organism, now called Solaria. In addition, there is A.I. (Artificial Intelligence).Throughout this history, dozens of figures appear. They are major historical figures, some bad, some good, some related to each other in long dynasties. They are society's political and scientific leaders and protagonists. They help humanity to overcome conflict, wars and other challenges.Solaria is the leading anti-entropic life-force in the galaxy and ultimately in the universe, counteracting the universe's relentless race towards ultimate entropy and oblivion.The narrative culminates in an apotheosis when, in the late twenty-fifth millennium, Solaria begins to expand into the galaxy in order to humanize it. Because of Solaria/humanity, the universe becomes self-aware. Humanity evolves towards the Omega point, the point in infinity where total knowledge is achieved.

Journey Of The Universe

Author : Brian Thomas Swimme
ISBN : 9781365617515
Genre : Science
File Size : 78. 30 MB
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"An expanded creation story of the cosmos but an expanded look into the evolution of our own consciousness. I cannot imagine a more urgent book to read as we enter this revolutionary moment on the planet. It is an illuminated manuscript, a prayer book of wonder and awe for our time." --Terry Tempest Williams, author of "Finding Beauty in a Broken World"--Terry Tempest Williams (02/24/2011) "What's most striking about Swimme and Tucker's work is a simple but beautiful assumption: a cosmological orientation opens the human mind to wonder, gratitude, humility, and creativity."--Mitchell Thomashow, "Orion"--Mitchell Thomashow "Orion " "Strikingly, . . . the co-authors managed to fit 14 billion years of grandeur along with humanity's most fundamental questions into small spaces. . . . Perfectly tailored for classroom use . . . offering a common ground for discussion among people of myriad points of view."--Julianne Lutz Warren, "Journal of Environmental Studies and Science"

The New Universe And The Human Future

Author : Nancy Ellen Abrams
ISBN : 9780300167320
Genre : Cosmology
File Size : 76. 81 MB
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"Most people assume either that Earth was created as-is a few thousand years ago, or else that it's a lonely rock in endless space--although both assumptions are wrong. Meanwhile, global problems like climate destabilization, economic chaos, religious-justified violence, and exhaustion of planetary resources are escalating. These facts are connected. The new universe picture described in this book provides a believable new origin story and cosmic context, which help us to think for the first time on large enough time and size scales to see how to keep Earth and the human species healthy long into the future"--

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