Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Start by marking “Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical” as Want to Read:

# Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical

Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin’s theory of evolution works on a mathematical level.

For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth’s life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has t ...more

For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth’s life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has t ...more

Hardcover, 144 pages

Published
May 8th 2012
by Pantheon
(first published January 1st 2012)

## Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book,
please sign up.

## Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about
Proving Darwin,
please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Proving Darwin

This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
Add this book to your favorite list »

## Community Reviews

(showing
1-30
of
198)

I bought this book because I thought it would be interesting to see a mathematical model of evolution. In DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA: EVOLUTION AND THE MEANINGS OF LIFE , Daniel Dennett proposed that evolution was an algorithmic process. I believe that he is correct, so when I saw a book claiming that evolution could be modeled and proven to be inevitable by mathematics, I was excited.

However, this book is not written by someone knowledgable of e ...more

Dec 21, 2015
DrosoPHila
rated it
did not like it

Recommends it for:
No-one

Recommended to DrosoPHila by:
No-one

A quick glance at the references are enough to pick up big problems with this work. A well-referenced book might lie anywhere on the awful-amazing spectrum, but a badly-referenced book is inevitably awful because it reveals that the author simply hasn't thought through his thesis.

Anyone needs to do sufficient background reading before claiming to be knowledgeable - but especially when it is outside your field of training (in the author's case, mathematics). This would, I contend, be rather more ...more

Anyone needs to do sufficient background reading before claiming to be knowledgeable - but especially when it is outside your field of training (in the author's case, mathematics). This would, I contend, be rather more ...more

As thin as the book is, it constantly manages to state small ideas repeatedly, and every time at the same shallow level with astonishing amount of redundancy (mostly consisting of chit-chat and self congratulations).

Meanwhile, a number of snobbish self-celebrating side notes have been sprinkled here and there, such as how the author (and maybe his good friend some big name) have collected some ancient books by Newton. ...more

But I have more to say about the presentation :)

Content:

The toy model he presents strikes me as (1) not novel, and (2) not rich enough to found a whole new field, and (3) not relevant enough to real-world constraints to draw the conclusions he does.

(1) Plenty of people have played with computer simulations of evolution and with mathematical abstractions of such simulations. Maybe his specifi ...more

This effort does seem to make a more hig ...more

As per the writing style, it's smooth and written conversationally. It's as though he were discussing his work at the dinner table. Consequently, it's great for me (a mathematician, not a biologist).

Now, regarding the

*beliefs*Chaitin espouses. I find his take interesting. Ultimately, Chaitin argues DNA is the important thing in life, and life is marked by evolution.

He then pursues the standard machine learning approach to thi ...more

Wow. I've only skimmed through a dozen pages and all I've noticed are the numerous exclamation points.

That just doesn't strike me as a convincing literary piece.

I picked the book up because of the title, thinking it would actually go in depth with the theory, but only reading the first two chapters I am disappointed with this book and I wouldn't even bother reading it.

Non sono d'accordo su ...more

There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Be the first to start one »

## Goodreads is hiring!

Gregory Chaitin is widely known for his work on metamathematics and for his discovery of the celebrated Omega number, which proved the fundamental unknowability of math. He is the author of many books on mathematics, including Meta Math! The Quest for Omega. Proving Darwin is his first book on biology. Chaitin was for many years at the IBM Watson Research Center in New York. The research described
...more

More about Gregory Chaitin...
## Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Propongo che si misuri il valore di una nazione in base alla sua creatività, alla produzione di nuove idee scientifiche, artistiche, tecnologiche o sociali, non in termini di denaro."...

"Le nazioni muoiono quando diventano rigide e inflessibili, quando la loro burocrazia domina tutto e ristagnano, quando hanno un'opinione troppo alta di loro stesse."

Gregory Chaitin in Darwin Alla Prova.”
—
1 likes

More quotes…
"Le nazioni muoiono quando diventano rigide e inflessibili, quando la loro burocrazia domina tutto e ristagnano, quando hanno un'opinione troppo alta di loro stesse."

Gregory Chaitin in Darwin Alla Prova.”