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Paradoxical Life


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About the Author

Andreas Wagner is a professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Zurich and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. Educated at Yale University and at the University of Vienna, Wagner focuses his research on the evolution and evolvability of biological systems. He lives in Zurich.


"[A] highly unusual, stimulating, and comprehensive book about paradoxical concepts intrinsic to biological systems, nature, and knowledge itself."-J. N. Muzio, Choice -- J. N. Muzio Choice "From Godel's theorem in mathematics to the wave-particle duality of quantum physics, the appearance of paradox in science often points the way to the deeper understanding of our natural world. The same holds true for the life sciences, as Professor Wagner entertainingly illustrates in his wide-ranging exploration of paradoxical behavior in biological systems. Skillfully written for the non-expert, Paradoxical Life examines the tension between apparently contradictory phenomena-altruism and selfishness in evolving species, for example-and concludes that such tension not only plays a critical role in biology, but may also hold the key to the human power of choice, a power that gives us a unique place in the biosphere."-Frank T. Vertosick, Jr., M.D., author of The Genius Within: Discovering the Intelligence of Every Living Thing -- Frank T. Vertosick "Andreas Wagner weaves together biology and philosophy in this lovely meditation on the many paradoxes of living systems, demonstrating that it is precisely life's stark contradictions that make it, paradoxically, understandable and meaningful."-Melanie Mitchell, Portland State University and Santa Fe Institute, author of Complexity: A Guided Tour -- Melanie Mitchell "The full-blooded, dynamical thinking of a scientist at the height of his creative powers, this is a breathtakingly original and intellectually exciting synthesis of all that biology has taught us of how science relates to the world."-Gunter Wagner, Yale University -- Gunter Wagner "Wagner presents a new way of looking at the relationship between science and ourselves, and of thinking about some very old arguments. This is a book for readers of Douglas Hofstadter, Karl Popper, and Richard Dawkins."-Jonathan Kaplan, Oregon State University -- Jonathan Kaplan Silver medal winner of the ForeWord Magazine 2009 Book of the Year Award in the Philosophy category, presented by ForeWord -- Book of the Year Award ForeWord Magazine Gold Medal winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award in the Science category -- Independent Publisher Book Award Independent Publisher

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