Deep Simplicity

Deep Simplicity : Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life

3.88 (688 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The world around us seems to be a complex place. But, as John Gribbin explains, chaos and complexity obey simple laws - essentially, the same straightforward principles that Isaac Newton discovered more than 300 years ago.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 30mm | 539.78g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0713996102
  • 9780713996104

Review Text

Noted science writer John Gribbin waited for ten years for someone to write a book explaining chaos theory. No one did, and it didn't go away, so he decided to do it himself. The result is Deep Simplicity: Chaos, Complexity, and the Emergence of Life. Gribbin, who previously tackled quantum theory in his book In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, realised that chaos and complexity obey the same laws discovered by Isaac Newton discovered over 300 years ago: that the sensitivity of a system to its starting conditions and its feedback are the two underlying ideas behind chaos theory. These laws, Gribbin argues, demonstrate long-established scientific practices and can be used to explain, but not predict, the inexplicable: weather, earthquakes, the stock market. "The study of chaos and the emergence of complexity from simple systems is now on the brink of explaining the origin of life," he writes. Don't let the new-age self-help title and packaging discourages you; Deep Simplicity doesn't necessarily require a background in science but it does require patience and pondering. Gribbin rips through the evolution of science and scientific theory in double-quick time, breaking down centuries' worth of complex theory and explanation and accessibly reiterating it for the general reader. It all boils down to cause and effect, the way the universe is built on simple components creating a sophisticated whole, explaining everything from the development and evolution of life and human adaptability to why one vehicle breakdown can cause a massive roadway pileup. An enlightening, educational work for anyone interested in the butterfly effect. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

688 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 27% (189)
4 41% (285)
3 25% (170)
2 5% (33)
1 2% (11)
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