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About this book
About this book
A look at the origins of life and the maintenance of order in complex biological systems. The author argues that the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution by natural selection must be extended to accommodate new information from molecular biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
1. Conceptual outline of current evolutionary theory; PART I: ADAPTATION ON THE EDGE OF CHAOS; 2. The structure of rugged fitness landscapes; 3. Biological implications of rugged fitness landscapes; 4. The structure of adaptive landscapes underlying protein evolution; 5. Self organization and adaptation in complex systems; 6. Coevolving complex systems; PART II: THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF LIFE; 7. The origins of life: a new view; 8. The origin of a connected metabolism; 9. Autocatalytic polynucleotide systems: hypercycles, spin glasses and coding; 10. Random grammars; PART III: ORDER AND ONTOGENY; 11. The architecture of genetic regulatory circuits and its evolution; 12. Differentiation: the dynamical behaviors of genetic regulatory networks; 13. Selection for gene expression in cell type; 14. Morphology, maps and the spatial ordering of integrated tissues
704 pages, 11 b/w photos, 262 line illus.
... an integrative book that will become a landmark and a classic as we grope towards a more comprehensive and satisfying theory of evolution. Stephen Jay Gould Stuart Kauffman's book ... is a global representation of a new field, that will greatly enhance our physical understanding of Nature ... A superb reading, not limited to physicists and biologists, having most important implications in natural philosophy. Manfred Eigen Here is a big book with a big purpose... The Origins of Order is the first book to be written by any of the complexity theorists themselves, and it presents Kauffman's view of the biological realm... The Origins of Order will be seen as a major work in the progression of biological theory. At the very least, Kauffman has made a persuasive case to have his bold hypothesis heard. Roger Lewin