At Home in the Universe

by Stuart A Kauffman
New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 336 pages.

"The emerging sciences of complexity begin to suggest," Kauffman writes, "that the order [of the biological world] is not at all accidental, that vast veins of spontaneous order lie at hand. Laws of complexity spontaneously generate much of the order of the natural world. ... Such veins of spontaneous order have not been entirely unknown, yet they are just beginning to emerge as powerful new clues to the origins and evolution of life." Stephen Jay Gould wrote, "Kauffman has done more than anyone else to supply the key missing piece of the propensity for self-organization that can join the random and the deterministic forces of evolution into a satisfactory theory of life's order."