Emergence (biology)/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Emergence (biology).
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  • Jogalekar A. (2012) The Higgs boson and the future of science. Scientific American Online July 23, 2012.
    • Yet as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, it is clear that reductionism as a principal weapon in our arsenal of discovery tools is no longer sufficient. Consider some of the most important questions facing modern science, almost all of which deal with complex, multifactorial systems. How did life on earth begin? How does biological matter evolve consciousness? What are dark matter and dark energy? How do societies cooperate to solve their most pressing problems? What are the properties of the global climate system? It is interesting to note at least one common feature among many of these problems; they result from the buildup rather than the breakdown of their operational entities. Their signature is collective emergence, the creation of attributes which are greater than the sum of their constituent parts. Whatever consciousness is for instance, it is definitely a result of neurons acting together in ways that are not obvious from their individual structures. Similarly, the origin of life can be traced back to molecular entities undergoing self-assembly and then replication and metabolism, a process that supersedes the chemical behavior of the isolated components.
  • O'Connor, Timothy and Wong, Hong Yu (Feb 28, 2012). Edward N. Zalta, ed,:Emergent Properties. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
  • Morowitz HJ. (2002) The Emergence of Everything: How the World became Complex. Oxford University Press. ISBN 019513513X. | Book Full-Text. | Book Description; Author Information; Reviews.
    • We are clearly at the beginning of viewing science from the new perspective of emergence. I believe that it will provide insights into the evolutionary unfolding of our universe, our solar system, our biota, and our humanity.
    • "Morowitz has provided the first state-of-the-art overview of the theory of emergence across the scientific disciplines." —Philip Clayton, Harvard University
    • This book has a pronouncedly theological cast as evidenced, for example, by this quotation (far from unusual): "If we identify the immanent God, the mysterious laws of nature, with God the father, then emergence will be the efficient operation of that God, which Christianity views as the Holy Spirit. We will come back to these ideas in more detail later." Morowitz, (pp. 23-24)
  • Holland JH.(1998) Emergence: From Chaos to Order. Perseus Books. ISBN 0-201-14943-5.
    • This book will demonstrate again and again that a small number of rules or laws can generate systems of surprising complexity. Moreover, this complexity is not just the complexity of random patterns. Recognizable features exist, as in a pointillist painting. In addition, the systems are animated-dynamic; they change over time. Though the laws are invariant, the things they govern change. The varying patterns of the pieces in a board game, or the trajectories of baseballs, planets, and galaxies under Newton's laws, show the way. The rules or laws generate the complexity, and the ever-changing flux of patterns that follows leads to perpetual novelty and emergence. Indeed, in most cases we will not understand these complex systems until we understand the emergent phenomena that attend them.