In this critically acclaimed book, first published in 1988 and now reprinted in paperback, scientist and author Paul Davies explains how recent scientific advances are transforming our understanding of the emergence of complexity and organization in the universe.
Melding a variety of ideas and disciplines from biology, fundamental physics, computer science, mathematics, genetics, and neurology, Davies presents his provocative theory on the source of the universe's creative potency. He explores the new paradigm (replacing the centuries-old Newtonian view of the universe) that recognizes the collective and holistic properties of physical systems and the power of self-organization. He casts the laws in physics in the role of a "blueprint," embodying a grand cosmic scheme that progressively unfolds as the universe develops.
Challenging the viewpoint that the physical universe is a meaningless collection particles, he finds overwhelming evidence for an underlying purpose: "Science may explain all the processes whereby the universe evolves its own destiny, but that still leaves room for there to be a meaning behind existence."
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Paul Davies is professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University. His research has spanned the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes and the origin of the universe. He is currently working on the problem of the origin of life and the search for life on Mars. He is a well-known author, broadcaster, and public lecturer and has written over twenty-five books. Among his better-known works are God and the New Physics, The Mind of God, About Time, The Fifth Miracle, and How to Build a Time Machine. In recognition of his work as an author, he was elected as fellow of The Royal Society of Literature in 1999.
His contributions to science have been recognized by numerous awards, including the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize by the Royal Society and the 2001 Kelvin Medal and Prize from the U.K. Institute of Physics. In April 1999 the asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies in his honor. His most significant award was the 1995 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the world’s largest prize for intellectual endeavor.From Library Journal:
Science expositor and physics professor Davies has written a fascinating book in which he examines the centuries-old conflict between holism and reductionism: What is the source of the universe's creative potency? He argues that the basic stuff of the universematter and energyis not simply inert, but has the ability to self-organize. Drawing on recent discoveries from biology, fundamental physics, cosmology, and brain research, Davies argues that the universe is developing an essential, unfolding pattern and order. While highly debatable, this is a provocative book that should be widely read. Strongly recommended for public libraries. Robert Paul, Dickinson Coll., Carlisle, Pa.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Unwin Paperbacks. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, VERY GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, edgewear, tanned edges, 232 pages. Scientists have just begun to understand how complexity and organization can emerge from featurelessness and chaos. Is the way the universe is now in some sense predetermined? Is there, in other words, a "cosmic blueprint"? This book argues in favour of the idea of the creative universe, which recognizes the innovative character of physical processes, and suggests that the universe as a whole possesses a tendency to develop towards progressively higher levels of complex organization. Investigating some scientific discoveries, the author shows how the study of complexity reveals certain common holistic principles. Bookseller Inventory # 15137