Martedì, 27 Ottobre 2020 15:14

Essays on Life Sciences, with Related Science Fiction Stories

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essayThis collection of essays highlights, in a new, critical fashion, some of the classic questions in life science. These include “what is life?”; “what is death?”; “what is consciousness?”; “why is life cellular?”; and “why are enzymes macromolecules?”.

It also explores whether evolution is pre-determined, whether science and spirituality can harmonize with each other, whether artificial intelligence is at odds with the human spirit, and whether, and to what extent, we are genetically determined. In this text, some of the main conceptual tools used to tackle life’s many aspects are necessarily reviewed, such as the systems view of life, the notion of contingency, and the concept of autopoiesis.

Each of the three chapters of the book contains a number of short science fiction stories which discuss aspects of the present-day development of artificial intelligence.

 

 

Pier Luigi Luisi

Pier Luigi received his scientific education at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. In 1970, he became professor at the Institut für Polymere at the ETH-Zürich and since 2006 he is part of the biology department of the University of Roma Tre. As a biochemist, he pioneered an active research in the self-organization of synthetic and biological systems, the origin of life, and semi-synthetic cellular systems (the so-called "mininal life"). Interested in the interface between science and humanities, in 1985 he founded Cortona week, legacy to this Todi-week, and participated, in 1987, to the foundation of Mind and Life in Dharamsala, India, with Francisco Varela and the Dalai Lama.

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