[permaculture] The Rainbow And The Worm - Sent using Google Toolbar

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Wed Apr 27 12:38:33 EDT 2011

Mae Won Ho has done amazing, groundbreaking work in evolutionary biology. I've been a big fan for decades. If, as people say, that her book is as groundbreaking as Schrodinger's "What is Life," its going to be significant. I definitely want to read it. Permaculture is about living organization, too, so there's going to be a lot of overlap.

BTW, "What is LIfe?" is a short book and still a very good read, not too technical and since it's off-copyright you can download it. Schrodinger used what he knew about physics--which was just about everything--and applied it to biology. WIL set the path for the next 60 years of biology. Erwin was was a sharp boy; had a solid knowledge of philosophy and Buddhism that he applied to physics. So Mae Won Ho is in fast company.


On Apr 27, 2011, at 9:03 AM, Lawrence London wrote:

> Toby Hemenway: What do you think of this book? It looks to be an important work.
> ...maybe not much of a stretch to say that it should reinforce one's
> beliefs in the Gaia concept.
> The Rainbow And The Worm
> http://www.i-sis.org.uk/rnbwwrm.php
> "Probably the most important book for the paradigm change" now
> reprinted with CDs featuring stunning video images of live organisms.
> Buy now at the ISIS online store.
> Third Edition Available Now
> The Rainbow And The Worm
> The Physics of Organisms
> by Mae-Wan Ho
> Director, Institute of Science in Society
> <>
> About the Author
> After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry, Hong Kong University, Mae-Wan
> Ho embarked on a distinguished research career that included a
> postdoctoral fellowship in Neurosciences, University of California at
> San Diego, Fellowship of the National Genetics Foundation, USA. Senior
> Research Fellow in Biochemistry, University of London, Lecturer in
> Genetics then Reader in Biology, Open University. Her research evolved
> through biochemistry to molecular genetics, non-Darwinian evolution,
> and since 1988, the physics of living organization, defining a new
> field with the present book, widely acclaimed by serious scientists
> across the disciplines and by non-scientists alike.
> A serious, in-depth enquiry into Schrödinger's question, "What is
> Life?" and at the same time, a celebration of life itself
> A voyage of discovery through many areas of contemporary physics from
> non-equilibrium thermodynamics to quantum optics in order to
> understand the problem of life
> A rare and exquisite view of the organism, giving novel insights, not
> only into the physics, but also "the poetry and meaning of being
> alive"
> Contents:
>    What is It to be Alive?
>    Do Organisms Contravene the Second Law?
>    Can the Second Law Cope with Organized Complexity?
>    Energy Flow and Living Cycles
>    How to Catch a Falling Electron
>    Towards a Thermodynamics of Organized Complexity
>    Sustainable Systems as Organisms
>    The Seventy-Three Octaves of Nature’s Music
>    The Coherent Excitation of the Body Electric
>    The Solid State Cell
>    “Life is a Little Electric Current”
>    How Coherent is the Organism? The Heartbeat of Health
>    How Coherent is the Organism? Sensitivity to Weak Electromagnetic Fields
>    Life is All the Colours of the Rainbow in a Worm
>    The Liquid Crystalline Organism
>    Crystal Consciousness
>    Liquid Crystalline Water
>    Quantum Entanglement and Coherence
>    The Ignorance of the External Observer
>    Time and Freewill
> Readership: General
> <>
> Reviews and Quotes
> "A very original survey of how biology may be linked to physics
> through the concepts of coherence and of coupled processes. Although
> deeply serious, the writing has a pleasant touch of gaiety, due to the
> author’s sense of excitement in the central problem: What constitutes
> ‘being alive’?"
> K.G. Denbigh, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry, Queen
> Elizabeth College, and distinguished author of many books on
> non-equilibrium thermodynamics
> "The layman may not understand half of this book, but he will
> understand more than he expects to or may feel he has any right to.
> The author, whether discussing ‘quantum en-entanglement’ or
> ‘energy-flow’, ‘dynamic order’ or life as ‘collective response to weak
> signals’, has the gift of making the reader dream."
> P.N. Furbank, Emeritus Professor of English, Open University and
> author of many scholarly books and biographies
> "..an excellent introduction to the more physically motivated
> approaches to understanding biological complexity. And there’s not a
> gel in sight."
> Douglas B. Kell, Trends in Biochemical Sciences
> "It is high time a good book was available to not only teach
> biologists some physics, particularly bioenergetics, but make them sit
> up and think a bit more deeply about it. This little volume is more
> readable than other drier and much weightier books on the subject."
> Cell Biology International
> "The book is the coming together of many highly exciting ideas of
> contemporary physics…one that draws on a range of experiment and
> theory, and illuminates Ho’s definition of life as a ‘process of being
> an organizing whole’."
> American Scientist
> "…’what is life?’ Mae-Wan Ho presents an interconnected system of
> proposals, experimental results and conjectures which go a large way
> towards proving an entirely new answer to this question. It is based
> on research which is mainstream in its theoretical physical
> foundations, though innovatory in some of its techniques. This makes
> the book highly important, and if she is right it would be
> revolutionary."
> Network
> "…a fascinating excursion towards and beyond the limits of physical
> science fifty year on from Schrödinger’s classic."
> David Llyod, Binary-Computing in Microbiology
> "…a truly stimulating and beautifully written book, full of new
> perspectives and researchable ideas."
> Ervin Laszlo, author of many books including The Whispering Pond
> "..a remarkably eclectic work, joyously written and a joy to read. I
> certainly learned a lot from it."
> Geoffrey Sewell, Professor of Physics, and author of Quantum Physics
> of Collective Phenomena
> "…the author clearly understands the "whys" of the world at a depth
> and breadth which no one else approaches ….clinical medicine requires
> this kind of insight."
> Walter Bortz, MD, author of Dare to be 100
> "The book is recommended to all scientists who are interested in
> understanding life….Fifty years after Schrödinger’s "What is Life?",
> this book is a worthy instalment, since it intensifies the original
> matter of Schrödinger."
> Fritz-Albert Popp, International Institute of Biophysics, Germany
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