Cosmic Blueprint

New Discoveries in Nature’s Creative Ability to Order the Universe

Paul C. W. Davies

In this critically acclaimed book, first published in 1988 and now reprinted in paperback, scientist and author Paul Davies explains how recent scientific advances are transforming our understanding of the emergence of complexity and organization in the universe.

Melding a variety of ideas and disciplines from biology, fundamental physics, computer science, mathematics, genetics, and neurology, Davies presents his provocative theory on the source of the universe's creative potency. He explores the new paradigm (replacing the centuries-old Newtonian view of the universe) that recognizes the collective and holistic properties of physical systems and the power of self-organization. He casts the laws in physics in the role of a "blueprint," embodying a grand cosmic scheme that progressively unfolds as the universe develops.

Challenging the viewpoint that the physical universe is a meaningless collection particles, he finds overwhelming evidence for an underlying purpose: "Science may explain all the processes whereby the universe evolves its own destiny, but that still leaves room for there to be a meaning behind existence."

Preface to the 2004 Edition / ix

Preface to the First Edition / xv

Chapter 1 Blueprint for a Universe / 3

Chapter 2 The Missing Arrow / 9

Chapter 3 Complexity / 21

Chapter 4 Chaos / 35

Chapter 5 Charting the Irregular / 57

Chapter 6 Self-Organization / 72

Chapter 7 Life: Its Nature / 93

Chapter 8 Life: Its Origin and Evolution / 107

Chapter 9 The Unfolding Universe / 121

Chapter 10 The Source of Creation / 138

Chapter 11 Organizing Principles / 152

Chapter 12 The Quantum Factor / 165

Chapter 13 Mind and Brain / 183

Chapter 14 Is There a Blueprint? / 197

References / 205

Further Reading / 211

Index / 215