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The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (Penguin Press Science) epub

by Jack Cohen


The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (Penguin Press Science) epub

ISBN: 0140178740

ISBN13: 978-0140178746

Author: Jack Cohen

Category: Science

Subcategory: History & Philosophy

Language: English

Publisher: Penguin Books (April 1, 1995)

Pages: 512 pages

ePUB book: 1316 kb

FB2 book: 1999 kb

Rating: 4.4

Votes: 182

Other Formats: txt mbr lrf lrf





The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) is a book about complexity theory and the nature of scientific explanation written by biologist Jack Cohen and mathematician Ian Stewart.

The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) is a book about complexity theory and the nature of scientific explanation written by biologist Jack Cohen and mathematician Ian Stewart. In this book Cohen and Stewart give their ideas on chaos theory, particularly on how the simple leads to the complex, and conversely, how the complex leads to the simple, and argue for a need for contextual explanation in science as a complement to reduction.

Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year. I was pleased to learn that most of the things I thought I knew were wrong' - Terry Pratchett. Jack Cohen is an internationally known reproductive biologist. Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.

The Collapse of Chaos book. The Collapse of Chaos is the first post-chaos, post-complexity book, a groundbreaking inquiry into how simplicity in nature is generated from chaos and complexity. Rather than asking science's traditional question of how to break the world down into its simplest components, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart ask something much more interesting: why does simplicity exist at all? Their story combines chaos and complexity and - surprisingly - derives simplicity from the interaction of the two.

In their preface, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart describe this book as "a streamlined introduction to the central preoccupations of modern science.

We are therefore living in a chaotic world full of events we do not understand, but we choose to explain a very small proportion of the chanced events which happen to fit our perceived laws. In their preface, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart describe this book as "a streamlined introduction to the central preoccupations of modern science.

The Collapse of Chaos is the first post-chaos, post-complexity book, a groundbreaking inquiry into how simplicity in nature is generated from chaos and complexity. Rather than asking science's traditional question of how to break the world down into its simplest components, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart ask something much more interesting: why does simplicity exist at all? Their story combines chaos and complexity and - surprisingly - derives simplicity from the interaction of the tw. he Collapse of Chaos is composed of two parts. The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year

Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. Do we live in a simple or a complex universe? Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'.

This book was written by a world-wide renowned Austrian geodesic physicist Helmut Moritz (see his homepage). It encompasses biology (sensu strict) physics and medicine.

The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) is a book about . Jack Cohen, FRSB is a British reproductive biologist also known for his science books and involvement with science fiction

The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) is a book about complexity theory and the nature of scientific explanation written by biologist Jack Cohen and mathematician Ian Stewart. Jack Cohen, FRSB is a British reproductive biologist also known for his science books and involvement with science fiction. A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

Either principle brings about a collapse of chaos. Basically, what they are saying is that you can't simply map a lower level of organization, say, the DNA code, into a living organism

Either principle brings about a collapse of chaos. Basically, what they are saying is that you can't simply map a lower level of organization, say, the DNA code, into a living organism. There is instead a dynamic in which content and context are critical. The argument is fine. However, had the authors avoided cutesy neologisms, visits to another planet, and other textural distractions, their many useful examples and well-taken points might have been even better taken. THE COLLAPSE OF CHAOS: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World. By. Get weekly book recommendations

Science, Science, Complexity (Philosophy), Simplicity (Philosophy). Books for People with Print Disabilities.

Science, Science, Complexity (Philosophy), Simplicity (Philosophy). inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by abowser on November 1, 2011. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

The first half of this book is a witty primer, a guided tour of the Islands of Truth that maps out everything you need to know about science from Newton to the present. The second half dives into the Oceans of Ignorance that surround what is known. Filled with anecdotes, diagrams, and colorful everyday examples, it is certain to make people look at the world in a new way.
In their preface, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart describe this book as "a streamlined introduction to the central preoccupations of modern science." The concepts of chaos, complexity, and simplicity are central to the book; they are presented without jargon and with marvelous analogies and examples. Much of the discussion of complexity focuses on life, especially human life and human intelligence. An especially useful concept they introduce is the "brain pun," the human brain's tendency to see similarity (bird wings and bat wings) and infer causality or relationship.

This book is remarkable in how much it teaches the intelligent layperson. For example, frog DNA is more complicated than ours because it incorporates so many instructions to the tadpole on how to mature under a wide range of temperature conditions. Human embryos don't need an instruction book with a huge chapter entitled "Coping with Temperature Changes," because we initially grow in the marvelously temperature-controlled environment of the womb. Did you know that? I didn't.

Speaking of instruction books - Cohen and Stewart clearly show that the instruction book metaphor for DNA is flawed. Only a fraction of human DNA is meaningful; the rest is "junk." (Same for other species - it's life, not just us.) But junk DNA replicates, too. Also, for most species in the real world, a wide variety of gene patterns produce pretty much the same animal. Did you know any of this? I didn't.

This is an ideal book for the intelligent layperson whose taste runs to the "readable but accurate." At 443 pages plus notes in the paperback version, it's plenty long enough for a coast-to-coast flight, with some left over for the next day. Highly recommended; I can't wait to pass it on to friends.
I can't say I enjoyed this, hard as I tried. I think the basic point they're trying to make is rather simple, but it didn't come across that way. I've read lots of stuff by Dawkins, Pinker, Ridley and others, but for me, the explanations and analogies here didn't work, and the fun bits weren't especially fun. I don't know if that says more about me or the writers, but I won't be looking for more books by them.
This was the first book I bought for my Kindle and I started thinking I didn't like the reader, that I prefer paper books. Later purchases have shown me it's this particular book that was getting me down, not the machine.
Also, the number of typos and poor quality of diagrams here was really irritating.
Jack Cohen is a biologist and Ian Stewart is a mathematician. It is interesting to see the impact of chaos theory and complexity theory to their specialized areas. This book represents thoughts beyond the new science made popular by James Gleick in his far reaching book Chaos: Making a New Science, in which his description of Edward Lorenz's notion of Butterfly Effect dramatically altered the perception of many people from a orderly world to a chaotic world. The overwhelmingly numerous occurring phenomenon of chaos in nature was brought to the attention of the scientific circle. Chaos was found to be actually complexity beyond the comprehension of our mind but there is also naturally emerging simplicity out of the complexity. The collapse of chaos is the path of the development of our thinking from chaos/complexity towards simplicity. The opening of the book presents the intertwining phenomenon of complexity and simplicity.

The first half of the book is devoted to explaining the current reductionist paradigm by which cosmology, evolution and human intelligence are the consequences of lower level and simpler theories of quantum mechanics, chemistry and the genetic code. The content of the chapters on prevailing science is amazingly rich. It gives a concise and clear description of the foundation of modern science. Just these few chapters alone, before examining the authors' arguments on the collapse of chaos, make the money spent on the book worth.

On physics, it is Newton's laws of motion and gravity, Einstein's theory of relativity and also the basis of quantum mechanics, explaining in their own way the cosmos starting from the Big Bang and all the way down to atoms and sub-atomic matter.

On chemistry, it is Mendeleev's periodic table, supplemented by the explanation of electron shells, and also the versatility of the carbon atom which make up the complex hydrocarbon molecules: the origin of life.

On evolution, it's Darwin's natural selection, DNA and the genetic code, and in particular the interaction between genes and the environment.

These are strong illustrations of the complexity around us. The simple rules from our discovery of the laws of nature do not necessarily and adequately explain all the observed occurrences of natural phenomenon. We are therefore living in a chaotic world full of events we do not understand, but we choose to explain a very small proportion of the chanced events which happen to fit our perceived laws.

Science explains complexities as the interaction of a huge quantity of possibilities by finding simple causes which could produce a proportion of the predictable complex effects, and call them the laws of nature. The result is used to explain predicted large-scale simplicities observed, among the complexities. We think that the laws of nature represent the underlying simplicities, and therefore these simple causes produce simple effects, despite complexities involved. However, we ignore the reality that our laws also produce complexities which are not accordingly explainable.

Cohen and Stewart explain that reductionism, i.e. the use of reducing behavior to the interactions of the smallest entity, has brought forth great advances in biology, chemistry, and physics. They believe, however, that the potential of such scientific approach is exhausted.

Starting from the middle of the book, the authors expand the new science of chaos theory and complexity theory to show how inadequate our laws of nature in dealing with complexity which is all around us. Chaos theory, made popular by the butterfly effect on the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, shows that simple causes can produce complex unpredictable effects. Whereas complexity theory suggests the opposite, that complex causes can produce simple effects.

Here, there are two main features emerging from the style of the authors. First, owing to the biology background of Jack Cohen, there are detailed examples and explanations on the complexity of evolution, the embryological growth and the development of consciousness and intelligence. They are eye-openers. Second, the authors introduce a conversation between human: the spaceship crew, and the alien: inhabitants of another planet. The core of the conversation is the difference in culture and the laws of nature between lives in different world. It proposes that our world is not unique and life form in another world may be developed along a completely different path, including the atom composition and DNA composition. The conversation is quite inspiring and humorous. However, it attracted criticism from some reviewers who have expectation of more serious writing from a supposedly science book.

The interaction between simplicity and complexity gradually escapes the paradigm of reductionism and the authors introduce two new terms: simplexity and complicity.

Simplexity refers to the tendency of a simpler order to emerge from complexity. It is the emergence of large-scale simplicities as direct consequences of rules. It covers any features that emerge from sets of similar ground rules.

Complicity is a kind of interaction between co-evolving systems that supports a tendency toward complexity. It is more like convergent evolution: different sets of rules generating similar features. Both concepts of simplexity and complicity bring about a collapse of chaos.

The moral of the book is on the inadequacy of reductionism, building toward the two explanatory principles of simplexity and complicity. For example, one cannot simply map a lower level of organization, such as the DNA code, into a living organism. There is a dynamic in which both content and context are critical.
Dare to go to levels that can't be measured with anything we know. In the hundred years since global pornography has found new forms of infiltration, the expansion of the universe is accelerating as we discover more ways of being wrong about what causes our own observations. This book is daring, but electronic shifts in how anything can be communicated already leaped a ditch from rich to eldritch. Voodoo zombies ate the brain that tried to secularize religion with medical meddling.