Snowflakes. Credit: Nick Ford.

Life is like an eddy in the flow of chaos, according to scientists.

Jeremy England, an MIT physicist, studies the idea that life exists as an emergent property of thermodynamics.

From a Nautilus profile: "Somehow, from the churning of blind gears, something like purpose emerges. The pieces, individually obeying nothing more than the basic laws of physics, collectively accrue function."

Thirty years ago, Nobel-winning Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine held a similar view. .

Jan 11, 2017

Creatures, cities, and storms self-organize, with low-level rules giving rise to higher-level sophistication. Entirely new properties and behaviors “emerge,” with no one directing and no one able to foresee the new characteristics from knowledge of the constituents alone. The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Learn to spot emergence with 10 examples from NOVA.
↩︎ PBS
Jan 11, 2017
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