Self-Organization in Biological Systems: (Anglais) Broché – 2 septembre 2003
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Self-organization refers to a broad range of pattern-formation processes in both physical and biological systems, such as sand grains assembling into rippled dunes (Figure 1.1), chemical reactants forming swirling spirals (Figure 1.3a), cells making up highly structured tissues, and fish joining together in schools. Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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The strenght of this book lies in its rigorous introductions to the relevant theoretical concepts in self-organization, followed up by a general debate of self-organization versus competing explanations. The book spends many chapters looking at particular natural phenomena in detail, and examines possibilities for self-organization in these. In spite of the fact that these chapters have different authors, they follow each other well. The book is unusually well put together for this kind of collection of works by multiple authors.
The majority of the case study chapters involve studies of social insects, which narrows the topic a little in comparison with the more ambitious title. Self-organization also occurs elsewhere in biology, and personally I am a little dissapointed that a wider range of case studies were not chosen for the book. This could have spawned more interest and further work in other areas of the field.
However, the book is definitely well worth reading for biologists and other scientists interested in self-organization, and represents a major step towards establishing studies of self-organization in biology as a serious field.
Otherwise, this is a very interesting text, well worth it.
Another property I found very valuable, as someone interested in emergence and complexity in human systems, is the description of other kinds of organizational processes that, while many may not appear in cellular slime molds, may occur more routinely in human society. For instance, one of the chapters on wasps (I believe it was on nest construction) discussed the role of stigmergy (response to work done) in the construction of nests, which would be different than the common multi-agent self-organizing processes assumed for many of the models. This further suggests the intellectually responsible methodology of the authors. Excellent book and a fun read!
I wish there was an e book version I ould have gotten though, my eyes are just not what they once were, and I admit to having really gotten addicted to the increase font function on computers and e readers!
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