Get two Nobel laureates, put them in a room, try to shake them up, fail, and
get a lot of visionary thinking about stars, planets, living things, people
-- plausible new theories of how all this developed from the maelstrom of the
early universe. In a universe where ultimate disorder is the operative
principle, (the second law of thermodynamics), Complexity and Emergence are
two powerful theories that purport to explain just how billions of years of
random history have produced ever more order and structure in a universe
inevitably headed toward disorder.
Life is a little bit of aggregated order in the midst of a continuing tendency to disorder.
Biologist, President, Caltech
The last half of the 20th century saw the explosion of molecular biology,
the technique of studying the component parts of cells and biologically active molecules in order to see how they work. Yet the study of Complexity (KT Complex Adaptive System) recognizes that only by studying the interactions between these elements and their environment can the true behavior of the system be seen, understood, and predicted.
David Baltimore takes his prodigious knowledge of biology and details how
the DNA molecule's complexity is integral to producing and maintaining an
ordered living organism.
Murray Gell-Mann, whose long distinguished career includes the theory of
elementary particles and the discovery of the quark (both of which form the
bedrock of particle physics), discusses emergence with all the joy of a
scientist making his first original discovery. "The wonderful thing about
emergence is you don't need something new to get something new!" Get
enough things interacting with each other and something new naturally
Why is there order in the universe? Complexity and Emergence, which twenty
years ago sat on the peripheral of scientific explanations, may now be the
only way to explain the universe and all that is in it.
Delve deeper into this episode’s content.
David Baltimore, Ph.D.
Nobel Laureate, Medicine ,President, Caltech
David Baltimore speaks about the laws of biology.
Murray Gell-Mann, Ph.D.
Nobel Laureate, Physics, Co-Chairman, Science Board, Santa Fe Institute
Gell-Mann discusses why he became a scientist.