Monday, September 16, 2013

Complexity and the Arrow of Time, by Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C.W. Davis, and Michael Ruse

Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781107027251, August 2013

In recent years, a new scientific discipline has begun to grow around the concept of complexity. It's still very new, and even definitions and measurements are still up in the air, with no general agreement. It's further complicated by the fact that physicists and biologists, the two disciplines most interested in complexity, have very different perspectives on it.

This book is in essence a symposium on the subject, with physicists and biologists approaching it from a variety of different angles.

Does complexity have a direction as entropy has a direction--does it inevitably increase over time? How does complexity increase in the inanimate physical universe? How does it increase in biological systems? Do we have any sensible way to arrive at an agreed measure of complexity in living beings and systems?

It's a fascinating subject, and this is a challenging and very interesting read, with contributions from a wide range of perspectives on complexity.


Book trailer:

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.