Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Oct 1, 2002 - Science - 274 pages
4 Reviews

We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe.

This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A lightly quantitative, thermodynamics-oriented treatment of radiation, matter, life. Uses energy flow-rate density (ergs per second per gram) as a complexity measure for phenomena of all kinds and scales. Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

2010 Rethink Evolution
Life's Evolution Is The Mode Of Cosmic Evolution
Rethink Evolution
On Black Holes, Biosphere(s) And All Mass-Formats
Cosmic Evolution Simplified
(a recapitulation)
A. A black future
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/50326/title/A_black_future
Without destroying the Earth, the Large Hadron Collider might help humans explore the cosmos
B. On The Origin And Nature Of Cosmic Evolution:
It Is Space-Distance, Not Space-Time.
Life's Is The Ubiquitous Cosmic Evolution Mode.
The mode of a gene's response to organism-culture's feedback signal, i.e. "replicate without change" or "replicate with change" in case of proven augmented energy constrainment by the offspring, is the mode of Life's normal evolution, which is the mode of evolution universally.
Genes' Expression Modification
http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/200/122.page#3649
Again, the scope of of genes lifehood is not just the lifehood of genes.
Genes, and Life in general, are but one of the forms of mass, of constrained energy formats. The lifehood of genes is the foundation of the subject of evolutionary biology, which is a major component of the subject of life, which is a minute component of the subject of evolution of the universe, which is the subject for which humanity seeks a unified field theory.
Since the big-bang resolution of E/m superposition ALL the energy of the universe is destined for the galactic clusters expansion plus laying down of the gravity natrix for the eventual cosmic impansion, and ALL the mass is destined to revert to energy for these ends. The mass-to-energy reversion is resisted by the mass, this resistance being the archtype of selection for survival by all materials, including life. This resistance is due, exciting to us, to the fact that - as we know from everyday experience - formation of mass requires investment of energy, that dissipates when the mass disintegrates. And as we also know from everyday experience all energy forms other than gravity end up eventually as gravity energy. This is expected since ALL the contents of the universe are manifestations of the gravity energy freed at Inflation.
And again, a unified field theory is sought since unlike the evergrowing list of specific science/technology divisions drawn by the "scientists" trade-unions like the AAAS, the universe and Earth evolve as an integrated intertwined interrelated tangled whole and not as a collection of individual divisions.
C. Updated Physical Evolution Defintion
1. Three present definitions of physical evolution, at
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution
- a process of change in a certain direction.
- a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in their successive generations, and also the process described by this theory.
- a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena.
2. Suggested updated physical evolution definition, of Life's normal evolution and universal energy-mass evolution.
a theory, and the process described by it, that the whole universe changes in a progression of interrelated phenomena of mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, reverting of their mass to the cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion.
D. Black holes of ALL sizes are constrained-energy mass formats. Like biosphere(s) they require energy to survive temporarily, to avoid as long as possible their energy used to fuel the ongoing cosmic expansion.
Dov Henis
(Comments From The 22nd Century)
03.2010 Updated Life Manifest
http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/54.page#5065
28Dec09 Implications Of E=Total[m(1 + D)]
http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts
 

Contents

Overview of Cosmic Evolution
1
The Nature of Change
16
Matter
79
Radiation
101
Life
121
Evolution Broadly Considered
148
A Grand Synthesis
209
Symbols and Numerical Constants
227
Glossary
229
Notes
239
Works Cited
258
Further Reading
265
Index
271
About the Author
275
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Eric J. Chaisson is Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the H. Dudley Center for Innovative Science Education at Tufts University. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn, nominated for the National Book Award for distinguished science writing.

Bibliographic information