Adami's book is extraordinarily important. It represents a true landmark in the new field of Artificial Life, and will find a wide readership, ranging from university students to professional researchers. -- Prof. Dr. Heinz G. Schuster, University of Kiel, Germany, Author of Deterministic Chaos: An Introduction.
The book is an interesting and worthwhile contribution of a physicist who is intrigued by the special features of living and evolving systems. But what makes this book remarkable is the intellectual approach that the author advocates for research and, in fact, provides as software. -- Science, 8 May 1998.
From the Back Cover
This book and CD-ROM have been developed in a course taught at Caltech since 1995, and is based on Alife research conducted there. The courses are attended by an interdisciplinary group of students from backgrounds in physics,computer science and the computational neural sciences. The intended target audience is advanced undergraduate to beginning graduate students, who have mastered essential concepts of statistical physics, thermodynamics, and basic biology. Also, a familiarity with computer architectures and scientific computing is assumed. The subject matter represents an attempt to bring together the theoretical groundwork and an experimental platform necessary for understanding and testing ideas about the dynmaics of systems of self-replicating information, the most basic incarnation of life.