Why, in a scientific age, do people routinely turn to
astrologers, mediums, cultists, and every kind of irrational
practitioner rather than to science to meet their spiritual needs?
The answer, according to Richard J. Bird, is that science,
especially biology, has embraced a view of life that renders
meaningless the coincidences, serendipities, and other seemingly
significant occurrences that fill people's everyday existence.
Evolutionary biology rests on the assumption that although
events are fundamentally random, some are selected because they are
better adapted than others to the surrounding world. This book
proposes an alternative view of evolving complexity. Bird argues
that randomness means not disorder but infinite order. Complexity
arises not from many random events of natural selection (although
these are not unimportant) but from the "playing out" of chaotic
systems -- which are best described mathematically. When we
properly understand the complex interplay of chaos and life, Bird
contends, we will see that many events that appear random are
actually the outcome of order.
Subjects: Biological Sciences, General Science, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
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