|Image||Title, author, date and description
|Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life by (2005)|
Scientists, theologians, and philosophers have all sought to answer the questions of why we are here and where we are going. Finding this natural basis of life has proved elusive, but in the eloquent and creative Into the Cool, Eric D. Schneider and Dorion Sagan look for answers in a surprising place: the second law of thermodynamics. This second law refers to energy's inevitable tendency to change from being concentrated in one place to becoming spread out over time. In this scientific tour de force, Schneider and Sagan show how the second law is behind evolution, ecology,economics, and even life's origin. Working from the precept that "nature abhors a gradient". Into the Cool details how complex systems emerge, enlarge, and reproduce in a world tending toward disorder. From hurricanes here to life on other worlds, from human evolution to the systems humans have created, this pervasive pull toward equilibrium governs life at its molecular base and at its peak in the elaborate structures of living complex systems. Schneider and Sagan organize their argument in a highly accessible manner, moving from descriptions of the basic physics behind energy flow to the organization of complex systems to the role of energy in life to the final section, which applies their concept of energy flow to politics, economics, and even human health.
|The Purpose of Life by (2011)|
What is the purpose of life? Some say it's to reproduce, others to glorify God, but behind these and other proposed purposes lies a scientific purpose. In The Purpose of Life, science writer Dorion Sagan and biophysicist Eric D. Schneider lay out the fascinating evidence for life's natural purpose -its function in an energy-driven cosmos. New evidence shows that the evolution of life on Earth over the past three-and-a-half billion years has not been random but has a clear direction, and its direction is related to life's function as a natural system. Indeed, life shares its function -its purpose -with that of certain other complex natural systems. Although the answer is simple and not exclusive -life may have other purposes -its profound implications may change the way we see ourselves, our relationships to other living beings, and our future on this shared, energy-driven planet. Sagan and Schneider provide a striking alternative to both scientific and religious views of this age-old question. Engaging recent bestsellers such as Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life and Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Finding Your Life's Purpose, The Purpose of Life goes beyond popular science, weaving literature, philosophy, and spirituality into a highly readable narrative.
|Evolution As Entropy by (1988)|
By combining recent advances in the physical sciences with some of the novel ideas, techniques, and data of modern biology, this book attempts to achieve a new and different kind of evolutionary synthesis.