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The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature Paperback – October 18, 2001
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When speaking of the living world, Ball seeks to go beyond the theory of natural selection, which explains why we see certain characteristics (height, shape, camouflage), to find mechanisms that can explain how such characteristics come to be. Again, this is no easy task, but for those willing to follow his discussion, the elegance of nature is laid out in zebras' stripes, ivy leaves, and butterfly wings. Moving on to find the same patterns at work in the clouds of Jupiter and the cracks in the San Andreas fault give strength to the feeling that there are self-composing structures that guide everything in the universe toward a kind of order. The Self-Made Tapestry is a challenging look at the biggest issues in science, and well worth a thorough read. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've been curious about this question since my early grad school days, but for a long time the topic was thought at a minimum to be a rather eccentric one; many thought it simply unproductive, or even unscientific.
But the last twenty years has seen an explosion in the areas of complexity, chaos and other studies that go to the heart of asking why the world is structured (on a macroscopic scale) the way it is, and why there are so many parallels of structure between seemingly unrelated entities.
While there have been a great many books in recent years looking at that very question, "The Self-Made Tapestry" is this first really complete overview of the field and its history, and it's quite an accomplishment. Profusely illustrated, engagingly written, and marvelously clear, it's not only a wonderful reference book, it's marvelously entertaining to read as well.
If you've found yourself in recent times pouring over Glieck's "Chaos", or perhaps Stuart Kauffman's books on self-organization, or Waldrop's "Complexity", you'll delight in this book. It's a good reference for the academic, a fine introduction for the interested layman, and a treat for every interested reader.
FOR THE LAYMAN.
APPENDICES ARE NICE. PERHAPS MORE COULD HAVE BEEN SAID ABOUT SYMMETRY BREAKING.
BUT, OVERALL, GREAT BOOK. VERY WELL WRITTEN AND ENGAGING.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite books of all time. Detailed and head bending exploration of how patterns are formed in nature.Published 3 months ago by James Whitaker
Excellent and inspiring book, a must have for people interested in pattern formation in nature. Good referencesPublished 17 months ago by Wout Z.
This book is what all 'popular' science books should be: readable, interesting and not too dense, without sacrificing accuracy or or wandering of into unsubstantiated flights of... Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Hunter Washburne
Extremely well-written, easy to understand to scientists overview of patternas in nature. An elegant and enjoyable approach to complexity in nature and how it arises.Published on November 26, 2012 by Nicola Toto'
This is one of the finest affirmations of Emanationism of the Neoplatonists, i.e. that complexity in nature doesnt require Supernatural causes as exposited by Creationists. Read morePublished on May 9, 2007 by VeritasluxMea
This is one of the best books i have read. Clear, in depth, and intelligent. Academic and also well written!
I highly recommend it.