Artificial Worlds: Computere Complexity And The Riddle Of Life

Artificial Worlds: Computere Complexity And The Riddle Of Life

by Richard Morris


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738208718
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 01/21/2003
Series: Computere Complexity and the Riddle of Life
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.42(d)

Table of Contents

1.What Is Life?1
What Is Life?4
Complexity versus Reduction, or What Happens when You Pull the Plug in the Bathtub7
What Is Complexity?11
Compute, Compute, Compute12
The Origin of Life15
Life in a Computer16
Complexity in the Laboratory17
New Horizons or Empty Promises?18
Laws of Complexity20
2.Creating Life in the Laboratory21
The Origin of Life22
Is Creating Life Really That Easy?24
Which Came First: RNA or Proteins?27
Creating Life29
Synthetic Life34
Two Outlooks on the Origin of Life37
Self-Replicating Proteins38
3.The Evolution of Complexity43
Defining Complexity46
The Cambrian Explosion50
The Burgess Shale51
The Permian Extinction54
Disparity versus Diversity55
Can the Sciences of Complexity Study the Emergence of Complexity?61
4.Fitness Landscapes63
Natural Selection65
The Problem of Heredity67
Mendel's Peas69
Genetics versus Natural Selection70
Is Natural Selection Everything?71
Darwin's Dangerous Idea74
A Real Muddle76
Fitness Landscapes77
A Throne Covered with Crocodile Skin81
5.Artificial Life85
Paleontologists versus Geneticists88
Don't Bother the Grownups90
Gould's Snails91
Revolutionary Theory or Minor Correction?92
Life inside a Computer95
Two Kinds of Evolution97
The Evolution of Complexity (Again)98
Is Artificial Life Really "Life"?101
6.Is Natural Selection the Whole Story?103
Cosmic Evolution and Biological Evolution104
A Short History of the Universe105
What about Biological Evolution?108
Back to Biology Again110
But What Does It Have to Do with Reality?114
A Little Organism with a Big Name117
Philosophical Differences119
7.Artificial Life on the Internet123
And What Does All This Have to Do with Evolution?127
Problems, Problems131
The Evolution of Complexity133
Intelligent Electronic Life135
Two Biodiversity Reserves137
Sons of Tierra138
Varieties of Artificial Life140
Research Using Swarm150
Swarm and Archaeology152
But What Does All This Have to Do with Life?154
The Fate of Creative Scientists156
9.The Promise of Complexity157
Scientific Success158
Artificial Life as Philosophy164
A Strange Kind of Science166
World Wide Web Resources179

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