The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution

The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution

A groundbreaking argument for why alien life will evolve to be much like life here on Earth We are all familiar with the popular idea of strange alien life wildly different from life on earth inhabiting other planets. Maybe it's made of silicon! Maybe it has wheels! Or maybe it doesn't. In The Equations of Life, biologist Charles S. Cockell makes the forceful argument that A groundbreaking argument for why alien life will evolve to be much like life here on Earth We are all familiar with th...

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Title:The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution
Author:Charles S. Cockell
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:1541617592
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution Reviews

  • Yzabel Ginsberg
    Jun 17, 2018
    [I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.] Well, that was a pretty informative read. A little difficult to get into at times (although I suspect half of it was because I was trying to read it when I was too tired), but definitely informative. To be honest, I?m not that we...
  • Shawn
    Aug 30, 2018
    The last paragraph is a nice summary of the book: " Around us is a biosphere of limitless and wonderful detail, but in its forms most simple. We see not a dreadful menagerie of three- and five-legged beasts, grotesquely fashioned in irregular shapes, a collection of creatures whose out...
  • Sara
    Jul 30, 2018
    This was my first book by the author and I found that my instincts were spot on in picking out this one. Cockell's main thesis is that evolution is constrained by physical science (definitely a chemical component- though physics does take center stage). So, he delves into a lot of ...
  • Gendou
    Mar 28, 2019
    This is an important book that everyone should read. At least everyone interested in the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. But skip the first half (I'll explain why below). It asks important questions about Earth life: * Why is water the solvent of life? * Why is life cellu...
  • Terry
    Dec 31, 2018
    This book is a neat look into the interface of biology and physics. Each chapter outlines a physical phenomenon and reviews our attempts at making sense of it and creating a simple mathematical relationship. Along the way, the author discusses how physics causes convergent evolution as...
  • Charlene
    Dec 11, 2018
    This book is everything. Historically, humans have treated physics and biology as if they are completely separate. That is not because scientists and the rest of society are stupid. It is because trying to understand our world, understand the universe outside our world, and how the law...
  • Armen Shirvanian
    Apr 21, 2019
    Wonderful professor from the University of Edinburgh Enjoyable to speak with, and his book explains the equations behind some of evolution Astrobiological mindset Interview with Professor Cockell at: Episode 205 with Professor Charles Cockell ...
  • Ted Barnett
    Sep 03, 2018
    An excellent science book Connecting physics and biology through astrobiology is a great way to learn about all three sciences. Well-documented and easy enough to follow. Highly recommended. ...
  • Daniel
    Dec 31, 2018
    Cockell is a Professor of Astrobiology in Edinburgh, a new field combining space and biology. This gives him the unique ability to ask truly fundamental questions such as: will aliens look completely different from us, or will they be similar to us? He posits that evolution of all livi...
  • Steve
    Sep 22, 2018
    Well done book about the constraints of physics on the evolution of life and the implications for the possibilities of life among the stars. ...
  • Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
    Jan 10, 2019
    Life is not magic. The physical becomes alive by following the laws that regulate the universe and those laws cannot be violated. The rules for life are fundamental and universal. As are the laws (rules) of physics and chemistry. There is no need for an elan vital, teleology or mystici...
  • Dan Graser
    Feb 22, 2019
    Any book on the convergence of modern physics and evolutionary biology is bound to be interesting as this new volume from Charles Cockell certainly is. While most people who read in this area implicitly accept that of course physics has great impact on biology, the discussion usually i...
  • Erica
    Nov 01, 2018
    Caveat- I listed to the audiobook version of this. Listening to him read off really long equations was kind of painful and it seemed like something that would be much better to read. He also pronounced some scientific words in a really weird way (example, when talking about codons he s...
  • Tim Dugan
    Sep 14, 2018
    Had potential but proved dull It said ?how physics shapes evolution ? but really not much about evolution per se His definition of life includes ?evolves? which seems wrong. We knew about life before we knew about evolution. Maybe some life forms stopped evolving? Are the...
  • Jeff Rudisel
    Jan 18, 2019
    Gaining more and more insight and understanding of the fabulous intricacies of biological evolution is the most wonderful of hobbies. Another delicious treat! ...
  • Karla
    Nov 21, 2018
    This book started off very slowly for me, but I did enjoy the last 1/3. I think the problem was that many of my questions about the author?s assumptions weren?t answered until the last few chapters. A major assumption of physicists is that all elements and the rules of physics work...
  • Tim
    Apr 28, 2019
    Well worth the read and very interesting. ...
  • David Stormblade
    Sep 04, 2018
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  • Jeremy
    May 25, 2018
    Note: I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. I thought this book was written well and explored a lot of topics. While it's called The Equations of Life, it only deals with a few equations, though that didn't bother me. I found that the author is great at explaining how simpl...
  • Muskan
    May 24, 2019
    This book is beautiful! I have enjoyed reading this book so much. It should be given to anyone who is curious about the world. ...
  • Diego Souza
    Apr 24, 2019
    "Na verdade, não existem leis da Biologia ou mesmo da Física; existem apenas leis que determinam como o Universo funciona. Estas leis são inseparavelmente operacionais para todas as formas de matérias. Nos chamarmos de 'biólogos' ou de 'físicos' é um tribalismo infeliz." (Um ...
  • David Wineberg
    May 10, 2018
    Is biology universal? Sitting under my rock as I do, I had no idea there were astrobiologists. For a couple of decades now, apparently. One of them, Charles Cockell has written a book called The Equations of Life. Not only does it examine extraterrestrial life, but it firmly places...
  • JQAdams
    Aug 21, 2019
    This book generally concerns how physical processes like the second law of thermodynamics constrain biology, at various levels. It starts with chapters about the whole organism (any creature that does mole-like things will probably end up mole-shaped) and works its way down to the inne...
  • Tracy Griffin
    Jul 22, 2019
    This a mind-blowing interesting read! ...
  • Shawn
    Oct 12, 2018
    instead of thinking that evolution can create unimaginable things, Mr. Cockell purposes to ivestigate into the chemical and physical make up, atoms and forces, chemicals and gravity. to study the different factors below that of biology that shape organisms. ...
  • Jo
    Apr 19, 2018
    Powerful! The ideas and theories are amazing and the author added the references. Great book and excellent candidate for any library from colleague to university. ...
  • MiglÄ—
    Nov 21, 2018
    This book is organized around a central idea (you can see the idea in the title: physics shapes evolution). It's informative and full of interesting examples, but it felt like the book was a bit undecided what it wanted to be. I really liked examples or 'case studies' about actual ...
  • Anmar
    Oct 22, 2018
    Evolution proceeds along a defined optimisation algorithm to maximise survivability, bounded by both chemical and physical properties of the organism and modified by the interaction with the environment. In contrast to the view of Stephen J Gould the author asserts that determinism ra...
  • Hans Fritz
    Jun 06, 2019
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  • Todd R
    Aug 03, 2019
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