Stuart A. Kauffman





Stuart A. Kauffman

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born
September 28, 1939


About this author

Stuart Alan Kauffman (28 September 1939) is an American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher concerning the origin of life on Earth. He is best known for arguing that the complexity of biological systems and organisms might result as much from self-organization and far-from-equilibrium dynamics as from Darwinian natural selection, as well as for applying models of Boolean networks to simplified genetic circuits.


Average rating: 3.87 · 1,123 ratings · 88 reviews · 9 distinct works · Similar authors
At Home in the Universe: Th...
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 692 ratings — published 1995 — 15 editions
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Reinventing the Sacred: A N...
3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 226 ratings — published 2008 — 8 editions
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The Origins of Order: Self-...
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 118 ratings — published 1993 — 4 editions
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Investigations
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 71 ratings — published 2000 — 10 editions
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A Third Window: Natural Lif...
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0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2011
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A Third Window: Natural Lif...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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Molecular Evolution on Rugg...
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3.25 of 5 stars 3.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1990
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Scaling And Phase Transitio...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2006 — 2 editions
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Complexity Science and Worl...
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0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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“Pick up a pinecone and count the spiral rows of scales. You may find eight spirals winding up to the left and 13 spirals winding up to the right, or 13 left and 21 right spirals, or other pairs of numbers. The striking fact is that these pairs of numbers are adjacent numbers in the famous Fibonacci series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Here, each term is the sum of the previous two terms. The phenomenon is well known and called phyllotaxis. Many are the efforts of biologists to understand why pinecones, sunflowers, and many other plants exhibit this remarkable pattern. Organisms do the strangest things, but all these odd things need not reflect selection or historical accident. Some of the best efforts to understand phyllotaxis appeal to a form of self-organization. Paul Green, at Stanford, has argued persuasively that the Fibonacci series is just what one would expects as the simplest self-repeating pattern that can be generated by the particular growth processes in the growing tips of the tissues that form sunflowers, pinecones, and so forth. Like a snowflake and its sixfold symmetry, the pinecone and its phyllotaxis may be part of order for free”
Stuart A. Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

“If biologists have ignored self-organization, it is not because self-ordering is not pervasive and profound. It is because we biologists have yet to understand how to think about systems governed simultaneously by two sources of order, Yet who seeing the snowflake, who seeing simple lipid molecules cast adrift in water forming themselves into cell-like hollow lipid vesicles, who seeing the potential for the crystallization of life in swarms of reacting molecules, who seeing the stunning order for free in networks linking tens upon tens of thousands of variables, can fail to entertain a central thought: if ever we are to attain a final theory in biology, we will surely, surely have to understand the commingling of self-organization and selection. We will have to see that we are the natural expressions of a deeper order. Ultimately, we will discover in our creation myth that we are expected after all.”
Stuart A. Kauffman

“History enters when the space of the possible is vastly larger than the space of the actual.”
Stuart A. Kauffman, Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion



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