Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being (Hardcover)
The Marginalian Favorite Books of 2023
An electrifying introduction to complexity theory, the science of how complex systems behave, that explains the interconnectedness of all things and that Deepak Chopra says, "will change the way you understand yourself and the universe."Nothing in the universe is more complex than life. Throughout the skies, in oceans, and across lands, life is endlessly on the move. In its myriad forms--from cells to human beings, social structures, and ecosystems--life is open-ended, evolving, unpredictable, yet adaptive and self-sustaining. Complexity theory addresses the mysteries that animate science, philosophy, and metaphysics: how this teeming array of existence, from the infinitesimal to the infinite, is in fact a seamless living whole and what our place, as conscious beings, is within it. Physician, scientist, and philosopher Neil Theise makes accessible this "theory of being," one of the pillars of modern science, and its holistic view of human existence. He notes the surprising underlying connections within a universe that is itself one vast complex system--between ant colonies and the growth of forests, cancer and economic bubbles, murmurations of starlings and crowds walking down the street.The implications of complexity theory are profound, providing insight into everything from the permeable boundaries of our bodies to the nature of consciousness. Notes on Complexity is an invitation to trade our limited, individualistic view for the expansive perspective of a universe that is dynamic, cohesive, and alive--a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Theise takes us to the exhilarating frontiers of human knowledge and in the process restores wonder and meaning to our experience of the everyday.
About the Author
Neil Theise is a professor of pathology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Through his scientific research, he has been a pioneer of adult stem cell plasticity and the anatomy of the human interstitium. He is also a longtime student of Zen Buddhism. Dr. Theise's studies in complexity theory have led to interdisciplinary collaborations in fields such as integrative medicine, consciousness studies, and the science-religion dialogue. He lives in New York City.