Quantum Evolution : Life in the Multiverse Paperback
Quantum Evolution presents a revolutionary new scientific theory by asking: is there a force of will behind evolution?
In his astonishing first book, Johnjoe McFadden shows that there is. 'McFadden's bold hypothesis that quantum physics plays a key role in the origin and evolution of life looks increasingly plausible.
The weird behaviour of matter and information at the quantum level could be just what is needed to explain life's astonishing properties.
If these ideas are right, they will transform our understanding of the relationship between physics and biology.' PAUL DAVIES In this brilliant debut, Johnjoe McFadden puts forward a theory of quantum evolution.
He shows how living organisms have the ability to will themselves into action.
Indeed, such an ability may be life's most fundamental attribute.
This has radical implications. Evolution may not be random at all, as recent evolutionary theories have taught: rather, cells may, in certain circumstances, be able to choose to mutate particular genes that provide an advantage in the environment in which the cell finds itself.
This 'will' - described by McFadden as 'the life force' - has startling implications. It is at the root of consciousness and free-will and provides a new understanding of the origins of life and the purpose of death.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages, 10 b/w illus, Index
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 02/10/2000
- Category: Popular science
- ISBN: 9780006551287
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Review by P_S_Patrick
I picked this book up after becoming fascinated with the quantum world, as painted by Roger Penrose in his 2 teriffic books on its relevance to consciousness. This book does briefly cover consciousness towards the end, but is mainly about the role of quantum effects on evolution, which I was eager to understand. I found the book fairly easy going, nothing too technical, and it should be suitable for people not in the science discipline. A lot of what is in this book, while being interesting, was not new to me. Of the bits that were new, the authors opinions on how adaptive evolution occurs through quantum coherance was the least credible. He supposes quantum coherence affects DNA, and replicating molecules, to guide evolution, I found this, while not being completely untenable in theory, to be very unlikely, based on the overwhelming number of factors which would be constantly causing decoherance. The other thing which was new to me was the quantum Zeno effect, which was interesting, but again, I think his theory of its involvement is wrong. There is some good popular science material in here, and I'm sure many light readers would enjoy the book for it's content, but for the serious reader I don't think it will provide enough. The revolutionary ideas that try to expose the hidden side of evolution are, I think, while interesting, wrong. The bit about consciousness is short, though better, and does not redeem the book. The book will serve as a good introduction into quantum physics to those who have a biological leaning, but there is nothing too in depth for those with an existing understanding in both fields.