In Life Finds a Way, biologist Andreas Wagner reveals the deep symmetry between innovation in biological evolution and human cultural creativity. Rarely is either a linear climb to perfectioninstead, "progress" is typically marked by a sequence of peaks, plateaus, and pitfalls. For instance, in Picasso's forty-some iterations of Guernica, we see the same combination of small steps, incessant reshuffling, and large, almost reckless, leaps that characterize the way evolution transformed a dinosaur's grasping claw into a condor's soaring wing. By understanding these principles, we can also better realize our own creative potential to find new solutions to adversity.
Ultimately, Life Finds a Way offers a new framework for the nature of creativity, enabling us to better adapt, grow, and change in art, business, or sciencethat is, in life.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Cartography of Evolution 11
Chapter 2 The Molecular Revolution 33
Chapter 3 On the Importance of Going Through Hell 53
Chapter 4 Teleportation in Genetic Landscapes 81
Chapter 5 Of Diamonds and Snowflakes 101
Chapter 6 Creative Machines 115
Chapter 7 Darwin in the Mind 141
Chapter 8 Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost 157
Chapter 9 From Children to Civilizations 185
Epilogue: More than Metaphors 219
Figure Credits 295