Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On Growth & Form

Nobel laureate Peter Medawar called On Growth and Form "the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue"

And he's right. Why? Because not only does D'Arcy Thompson write like an angel but he also applied mathematics to describe biological form. Using the Logarithmic spiral, he shows how the Nautilus shell expands into 3 space while at the same time, he uses non linear shearing transforms to depict how species can subtly differentiate from one another depending on how they adapt to their environment.

Chapters in his book include:

After reading this book, one's view of reality is forever changed.

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