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Stuart Kauffman



Stuart Alan Kauffman (28 September, 1939) is an American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher concerning the origin of life on Earth. He is best known for arguing that the complexity of biological systems and organisms might result as much from self-organization and far-from-equilibrium dynamics as from Darwinian natural selection.

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Contents

Biography

Kauffman presently holds a joint appointment at the University of Calgary in Biological Sciences and in Physics and Astronomy, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Philosophy . He is also an iCORE chair.

He graduated from Dartmouth in 1960, was awarded the BA(Hons) by Oxford University in 1963, and completed a medical degree (M.D.) at the University of California, San Francisco in 1968. After a brief medical career, he moved into developmental genetics, holding appointments first at the University of Chicago, then at the University of Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1995, where he rose to Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Kauffman held a MacArthur Fellowship, 1987-1992.

Kauffman rose to prominence through his association with the Santa Fe Institute (a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems), where he was faculty in residence from 1986 to 1997, and through his work on models in various areas of biology. These included autocatalytic sets in origin of life research, gene regulatory networks in developmental biology, and fitness landscapes in evolutionary biology.

In 1996, Kauffman started BiosGroup, a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based for-profit company that employs complex systems methodology to attempt to solve business problems. BiosGroup was acquired by NuTech Solutions[1] in early 2003. As of 2003, Kauffman was a director of NuTech.

Work

Kauffmann is best known for arguing that the complexity of biological systems and organisms might result as much from self-organization and far-from-equilibrium dynamics as from Darwinian natural selection.

Some fellow biologists working in Kauffman's area reserve judgement on Kauffman's claims about self-organization and evolution. A case in point is the introduction to the 2002 book "Self Organization in Biological Systems".[2]

See also

  • Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA

Publications

Kauffman has written several books and articles. Books, a selection:

  • 1993, Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution, Oxford University Press, Technical monograph.
  • 1995, At Home in the Universe. Oxford University Press.
  • 2000, Investigations. Oxford University Press.

Articles, a selection:

  • 1991, "Antichaos and Adaptation," in: Scientific American, August 1991.
  • 2004, "Prolegomenon to a General Biology", in William A. Dembski, Michael Ruse, eds., Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA, Cambridge University Press.
  • 2004, "Autonomous Agents", in John D. Barrow, P.C.W. Davies, and C.L. Harper Jr., eds., Science and Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology, and Complexity, Cambridge University Press.

About Stuart Kauffman:

  • Dana MacKinzie, "The Science of Surprise", Discover Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 2, 59-63, February 2002.

References

  1. ^ http://www.nutechsolutions.com/pdf/press_nutech_completes_biosgroup_acquisition.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.scottcamazine.com/personal/selforganization/SOMain.html
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stuart_Kauffman". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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