(PDF) The Demon in the Machine


10 thoughts on “(PDF) The Demon in the Machine

  1. says: review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    review The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Physicists have a habit of dabbling in biology and perhaps surprisingly biologists tend to be uite tolerant of it I find it

  2. says: review The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download (PDF) The Demon in the Machine I'll at least take a look at this one when the library gets a copy The author is a cosmologist and Nature's reviewer compares Davies' effort to Erwin Schrodinger's classic What is Life? 1943 Davies claims that life’s defining characteristics are better understood in terms of information This is not as absurd as it may seem reviewer is a biologist This strikes me as a reasonable argument by Davies Energy is abstract yet we have

  3. says: (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Paul Davis made an amazing combination of physics chemistry biology and information theory in this book which gave readers a lot of information This book explains the mesmerizing effects of uantum mechanics in a wonderful way at the atomic l

  4. says: (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    review The Demon in the Machine (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download This book brings together the latest findings in physics and biology in an attempt to answer the uestion what is life? with a small side order of what is consciousness? Information Theory and Computational Theory offer a tantalisin

  5. says: Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine A book which look at life through the lens of a physicist The central euation is matter information life He essentially treats the ge

  6. says: review The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine review The Demon in the Machine It was heartening to learn that there are new approaches to understanding the processes of life in general and consciousness in particular and Paul Davies has a particular gift of insight and understanding into how the universe is put together

  7. says: review The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Read this book for a really entertaining account of the way life operates at the level of a cell to process information from a bestiary of truly fascinating creatures that make life what it is If there is a comprehensive account of the cell in eually accessible language then I want that on my reading list I also learned a number of unexpecte

  8. says: (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine This is a difficult book to rate as at times I felt like I was experiencing an interesting incipit to a completely new way of thinking about life other times I felt bombarded with unnecessary detail and a hopeless abandonment of the great pr

  9. says: (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download

    review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download Very interesting book with a lot of cool information about information It really conveyed the point that it is not enough to think about biological life in purely chemical or physical terms but informational terms as well the analogy being that the chemical components are life’s hardware while the information processing components are life’s software It also did a good job of going beyond the standard account of genetics as an inform

  10. says: (PDF) The Demon in the Machine

    (PDF) The Demon in the Machine Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download This is an update long overdue to the age old uestion What is life? In this book Paul Davies delivers to the reader the latest research and insights There are two parts to this book the first being the development of information theor

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review The Demon in the Machine

Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies Free download The Demon in the Machine ã PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free 'A gripping new drama in science if you want to understand how the concept of life is changing read this' Professor Andrew Briggs University of OxfordWhen Darwin set out to explain the origin of species he made no attempt to answer the deeper uestion what is life For generations scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental uestion Life really does look like magic even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it And yet huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decade. Physicists have a habit of dabbling in biology and perhaps surprisingly biologists tend to be uite tolerant of it I find it hard to believe the reverse would be true if biologists tried to do physics Perhaps one reason for that tolerance is Schr dinger s lecture series and book What is Life which had a huge impact on molecular biology and with a reference to which not surprisingly Paul Davies begins his fascinating book At the heart of the The Demon in the Machine we ll come back to that demon in a moment is the relationship between life and information In essence Davies points out that if we try to reduce life to its simple physical components it is like trying to work with a computer that has no software The euivalent of software here is information not just in the best publicised aspect of the information stored in the DNA but on a far broader scale operating in networks across the organismThis information and its processing gives life its emergent complexity which is why Davies suggests Dawkins style reductionism to the gene level entirely misses the point What s the biological setup provides a particularly sophisticated relationship between information and the physical aspects of the organism because the information can modify itself it s as if a computer program could redesign itself as it went alongThe subtitle how hidden webs of information are solving the mystery of life probably over promises As Davies makes clear we still have no idea how life came into being in the first place However by bringing in this physicalinformation aspect we at least can get a better grip on the workings of the molecular machines inside organisms and how biology can do so much with so little Here s where the demon in the title comes in This is Maxwell s demon the hypothetical miniature being dreamed up by the great nineteenth century Scottish physicistMaxwell s demon has the remarkable ability to tweak the second law of thermodynamics allowing for example heat to flow from a colder to a hotter body or to put it another way providing a mechanism for entropy the measure of disorder in a system to spontaneously decrease Entropy has a strong negative relationship with information and Davies shows how miniature biological systems act in a demon like fashion to effectively manage informationThere s lots to like here from the best explanation I ve seen of the relationship of information and entropy to fascinating coverage of how far we ve gone beyond the selfish gene This is not just about basic epigenetic processes operating outside of genes switching them on and off and so on but how for example the electric field of a biological cell apparently has a role to play in sculpting the physical structure of an organismMy only real complaint is that in part of the chapter Enter the Demon dealing with information engines and most of the chapter The Logic of Life describing the relationship between living organisms and computation Davies fails to put across clearly just what is going on I read it but didn t feel I gained as much information ironically as I needed from it There was also one very odd statistic We re told the information in a strand of DNA contains about 2 billion bits than the information contained in all the books in the Library of Congress There are about 32 million books in the Library of Congress so that gives us on average 625 bits per book Unless those are very short books some information has gone astrayReally interesting then from a transformed understanding of the importance of information in living organisms through to Davies speculation on whether biological systems need new physical laws to describe them But expect to come away feeling you need to read it again to be sure what it said

review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul DaviesThe Demon in the Machine

Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies Free download The Demon in the Machine ã PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free S have served only to deepen the mystery So can life be explained by known physics and chemistry or do we need something fundamentally newIn this penetrating and wide ranging new analysis world renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast moving that it lacks a name a domain where computing chemistry uantum physics and nanotechnology intersect At the heart of these diverse fields Davies explains is the concept of information a uantity with the power to unify biology with physi. A book which look at life through the lens of a physicist The central euation is matter information life He essentially treats the genome networks as computational units of an informationcommunications network and this is the basis of all life and it s not necessarily a reductionist paradigm there could be top down causation possible through some organizational informational rules that underly life Information processing and computation is how life regulates itself and this underlies systems biology He lays the thesis that cells and DNA are essentially Maxwell demons Using information as a resource it performs work and this provides the energy for life and hence all the amazing things that the underlying processes that give life carry out The faults that have appeared in Darwinian evolution particularly with epigenetic inheritance and adaptive and targeted evolution in cells show that Darwinian evolution and the whole theory of chance just does not describe the world and the theory needs refining The author thinks that will be some laws of information that will resolve this conundrum and they will dovetail with the known laws of physics It s a truly excellent book that asks some pertinent uestions concerning biology physics and even philosophy Along this journey he covers diverse topics such as uantum mechanics scientific philosophy computational theory information DNA systems biology complex chemistry and many I would recommend to anyone with a desire to understand physics the potential future of biology and a better understanding of some of the flaws with some of the scientific theories knows today

Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download

Paul Davies Õ 5 Free download review ´ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ Paul Davies Free download The Demon in the Machine ã PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Cs transform technology and medicine and even to illuminate the age old uestion of whether we are alone in the universeFrom life's murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies The Demon in the Machine is a breath taking journey across the landscape of physics biology logic and computing Weaving together cancer and consciousness two headed worms and bird navigation Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos opening a window on the secret of life itse. Read this book for a really entertaining account of the way life operates at the level of a cell to process information from a bestiary of truly fascinating creatures that make life what it is If there is a comprehensive account of the cell in eually accessible language then I want that on my reading list I also learned a number of unexpected new things about the evolutionary process which I found helpful and will use in future discussions For the uestion what is life however never mind the further uestion what is consciousness I am not sure that it is much help I m not a biologist I m a physicist and cosmologist so my approach to tackling big uestions is to dodge most of the technicalities and home in on the basic principles And that s what I do in this book I ve tried to focus on the puzzles and concepts that really matter in an attempt to answer the burning uestion what is life p1Well I disagree There are many concepts that matter in any discussion about either the nature of life or the nature of consciousness and I do not agree that Davies has reviewed them or even the most important of them Rather late in the book he does notice a context in the history of ideas and especially the early Enlightenment Physics as we know it developed in seventeenth century Europe which was in thrall to Catholic Church doctrine Although Galileo Newton and their contemporaries were influenced by Greek thought their notion of physical laws owed much to monotheism according to which an omnipotent deity ordered the universe in a rational and intelligible manner p210The Newtonian concept of a mathematical universe bound by fixed laws seems appealing to Davies when he writes if the emergence of life and perhaps mind are etched into the underlying lawfulness of nature it would bestow upon our existence as living thinking beings a type of cosmic level meaning p257 Either consciousness violates uantum mechanics or it is explained by it p207But at the same time he points to the ideas of Godel and of Turing to suggest that our universe may not be lawful in the way envisaged Physicists have traditionally clung to a very restrictive notion of laws dating from the time of Newton Since it was held that the law of the universe reflect the divine nature it followed that the laws must also be unchanging This idea has been around so long we scarcely notice what a huge assumption it is But there is no logical reuirement it must be so Indeed I have already discussed one well known example from fundamental physics in which the laws do change according to circumstances the act of measurement in uantum mechanics p210 G del s theorem tells us that the world of mathematics embeds inexhaustible novelty even an unbounded intellect a god can never know everything It is the ultimate statement of open endedness p70 Given that undecidability is enshrined in the very foundations of mathematics it will also be a fundamental property of a universe based on mathematical laws Undecidability guarantees that the mathematical universe will always be unbounded in its creative potential One of the hallmarks of life is its limitless exuberance its open ended variety and complexity p72Newton belongs to that Enlightenment tradition that Jonathan Israel calls the Moderate Enlightenment which takes up the insights of modern science starting with Galileo and especially Descartes without allowing them to call into uestion Christian beliefs or traditional authority This book s title is itself an obvious appeal to Cartesian dualism It is a pity he does not also refer us to the rationalist tradition which Israel calls the Radical Enlightenment for which Spinoza is the figurehead and the alternative concept of monism which rejects Cartesian dualism and insists that there is only a material natural world within which are organisms including humans with a capacity for thought self reflection and reasoning The dangerous point about Spinoza was that he pursued his line of reasoning without fear of the conclusions even while calling traditional beliefs into uestion Of course Spinoza did not anticipate uantum Mechanics Godel s incompleteness Theorem or Turing s concept of undecidability He did favour the idea of determinism as an unavoidable conseuence of relying on the laws of nature Then again his monism entailed a concept of the mind as a product of the sensory system which in turn could be explained as an entirely material physical apparatus For Spinoza and other Radicals the senses which enable us to notice and respond to our environment also enable us to notice and reflect upon ourselves so that in effect the mind is the self awareness of the body the body s nervous system activated by itself not the activity of a separate intangible soul or spirit These ideas are taken up and put to excellent use by Damasio a neuroscientist among others and would seem eminently useful for Davies topic Davies does offer some additional insights for this monistic model of reality not least in his excellent account of the problems of reductionism If we wish to account for the phenomenon of life and beyond that for the mind in terms of purely physical material processes then we will encounter serious limits to what is possible He describes the stimulus response process in the nervous system reacting to some event and notes that in passing signals along one or nerves there is a continual transfer of sodium and potassium ions between the axon and its environment where those ions move about chaotically and are not part of the nervous system itself until plucked out of the chaos or thrown into it That chaotic environment in turn must be accounted for but this entails a huge elaboration from an ostensibly simple process and becomes open ended always demanding information to complete the story until perhaps we account for the universe in its entirety which is just not a solution A hardnosed reductionist may point out that in principle a complete description of the stimulus response story will nevertheless be present at the atomic level of the systemEven in principle the cause effect chain we are trying to explain simply does not exist at that level p204In a case such as this it would seem that reductionism may not only yield an inferior explanation but may in practise be impossible This idea of a hierarchy of levels of analysis is not difficult or unusual He refers to without explaining it the notion of emergent properties which are properties that may be evident at a higher level but are not relevant to a lower one He also argues that we may operate at than one level something that I am less sure about The way the laws of physics are currently conceived leads to a stratification of physical systems with the laws of physics at the bottom conceptual level and emergent laws attached above them There is no coupling between levels When it comes to living systems this stratification is a poor fit because in biology there often is coupling between levels between processes on many scales of size and complexity causation can be both bottom up from genes to organisms and top down from organisms to genes p216 I am not sure that the argument is accurate We can talk about genes at different levels sometimes as chemical properties sometimes as information storage and transfer I don t know why that is coupling between levels rather than switching levels for different purposes In short I found Davies confusing on this topic which is a pity because what he seems to be arguing for is the sensible idea that many aspects of biology which are hard to understand and explain in the language of physics and chemistry may be readily understood in the language of information theory This does not mean that life or consciousness are explicable entirely in those terms but rather that it is an important aspect of what is taking place In the end the book is a collection of entertaining and sometimes important descriptions and concepts worth reading for their own sake but I do not think it succeeds in its stated objective of showing how webs of information are solving the mysteries of life Some mysteries yes but that is a modest claim

  • Hardcover
  • 272
  • The Demon in the Machine
  • Paul Davies
  • en
  • 08 February 2018
  • 9780241309599