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Artificial Worlds: Computers, Complexity, and the Riddle of Life cover
  • ISBN: 9780306460029
  • ISBN10: 0306460025

Artificial Worlds: Computers, Complexity, and the Riddle of Life

by Morris, Richard

  • List Price: $25.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Plenum Publishing Corporation
  • Publish date: 01/01/2002
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Description
At the cutting edge of discovery, an exciting, new branch of research, called the "sciences of complexity, offers novel ways to explore such provocative questions.

This fascinating book shows that complexity scientists have been experimenting with complex chemicals displaying some of the characteristics of life, and have created electronic computer-virus-like life-forms that are born, die, reproduce, mutate and evolve. Through these artificial worlds they have actually been able to monitor evolution as it happens, since it takes place at a much more rapid pace within a computer. Among the phenomena that these scientists hope to observe are the evolution of multicellular life-forms, and possibly even the evolution of electronic intelligence. Could it be that life itself is an emergent property that arises spontaneously when a chemical system attains a certain degree of complexity?

Richard Morris makes this major field of inquiry accessible to a popular readership as never before, while he reveals its potential to solve the greatest of all questions to puzzle humankind: what is life?

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