Books by Brights
Complexity Science: Tackling the Difficult Questions We Ask about Ourselves and about Our Universe
Author: Vinod Wadhawan, Ph. D.
To Purchase: Amazon.com
This book discusses scientific answers to three very basic questions we all ask: How did our universe arise and evolve? How did life emerge out of nonlife? How does ‘consciousness’ emerge? It is argued that the question about the emergence of life out of nonlife is the easiest of the three questions, and there is nothing supernatural about the appearance of life on Earth. Emergence of life was, in fact, an inevitable consequence of the ever-present self-organization feature of thermodynamically open complex systems.
The book also explains how intelligence arises in systems comprising of non- intelligent individuals or components, and how cultural complexity arises and evolves.
Surely, we do not have all the answers yet, but the recurrent themes in complexity science point the way to comprehension. This book gives you a glimpse of these recurring themes in a fairly nontechnical language. It helps you understand statements like the following: ‘Flowers are examples of what purposeless and unpredictable evolution of complexity can produce. They are works of art, but there is no artist involved.’
Understanding and managing complexity is of critical importance for finding ways to face challenges like global warming, and for building a civilization that will not destroy itself through conflict and war. This book helps the educated public acquire the basic essential familiarity with the subject of complexity. It has also been translated into Polish by a Bright (Ms. Ma gorzata Koraszewska); the Polish edition is scheduled to appear in October 2010.
About the Author
Dr. Vinod Wadhawan holds the prestigious Raja Ramanna Fellowship at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. His areas of specialization are: condensed- matter physics, crystallography, crystal growth, crystal physics, phase transitions, ferroic materials, smart structures, and complexity. The important notion of ‘latent symmetry’ was introduced by him. He has authored books on ferroic materials and smart structures. Dr. Wadhawan is a strong proponent of naturalism, and has been selected as an ‘Enthusiastic Bright’ by Brights Central. He has been very active in spreading the message of science, emphasizing the fact that the origin of life, and of much else, has a rational and natural (rather than supernatural) explanation in terms of the evolution of complexity in Nature.