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The Engine of Complexity: Evolution as Computation

John E. Mayfield

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July, 2013
Cloth, 416 pages, 77 figures and 8 tables
ISBN: 978-0-231-16304-0
$34.50 / £24.00

The concepts of evolution and complexity theory have become part of the intellectual ether permeating the life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and, more recently, management science and economics. In this book, John E. Mayfield elegantly synthesizes core concepts from multiple disciplines to offer a new approach to understanding how evolution works and how complex organisms, structures, organizations, and social orders can and do arise based on information theory and computational science.

Intended for the intellectually adventuresome, this book challenges and rewards readers with a nuanced understanding of evolution and complexity that offers consistent, durable, and coherent explanations for major aspects of our life experiences. Numerous examples throughout the book illustrate evolution and complexity formation in action and highlight the core function of computation lying at the work’s heart.

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About the Author

John E. Mayfield is professor emeritus of genetics, development, and cell biology at Iowa State University. He has also taught at the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie-Mellon University, and Harvard University Biological Laboratories. His research focuses on the development of a generalized theory of evolution that relates naturally and easily to fundamental mathematical and physical principles.

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