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Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical (Paperback)
Groundbreaking mathematician Gregory Chaitin gives us the first book to posit that we can prove how Darwin’s theory of evolution works on a mathematical level.
For years it has been received wisdom among most scientists that, just as Darwin claimed, all of the Earth’s life-forms evolved by blind chance. But does Darwin’s theory function on a purely mathematical level? Has there been enough time for evolution to produce the remarkable biological diversity we see around us? It’s a question no one has yet answered—in fact, no one has attempted to answer it until now. In this illuminating and provocative book, Gregory Chaitin elucidates the mathematical scheme he’s developed that can explain life itself, and examines the works of mathematical pioneers John von Neumann and Alan Turing through the lens of biology. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Proving Darwin makes clear how biology may have found its greatest ally in mathematics.
About the Author
Gregory Chaitin is widely known for his work on metamathematics and for his discovery of the celebrated Omega number, which proved the fundamental unknowability of math. He is the author of many books on mathematics, including "Meta Math! The Quest for Omega." This is his first book on biology. Chaitin was for many years at the IBM Watson Research Center in New York. The research described in this book was carried out at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where Chaitin is now a professor. An Argentine-American, he is an honorary professor at the University of Buenos Aires and has an honorary doctorate from the National University of Cordoba, the oldest university in Argentina.
“One of the great ideas men of mathematics and computer science.” —New Scientist
“Strange and marvelous. . . Disarmingly funny, but also thrillingly clear.” —The Guardian
“[Chaitin’s] enjoyment of the topics of his own research is infectious.” —The Times Higher Education Supplement
“Call him Omega Man. . . . In the rarefied world of pure mathematics, Gregory Chaitin is indeed something of a venerated superhero.” —Waterloo Region Record
“[Chaitin is] enthusiastic and extremely readable. . . . Amazing. No wonder [he] chose mathematics over physics.” —New Scientist
“The musings of a great mind on a subject beyond most of us.” —Ottawa Citizen
“Provocative. . . . Stimulating. . . . Credit the author for a lively style, lots of useful historical references and an appendix that includes von Neumann’s prescient essay on self-reproducing automata.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Gregory Chaitin has devoted his life to the study of mathematics. . . . A great mind.” —The Victoria Times Colonist
“[Chaitin] is a creative genius.” —Tucson Citizen