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online discussion on complexity research and paleontology






The Chronicle of Higher Education is sponsoring a live,
online discussion with Stuart A. Kauffman, one of the founders
of complexity research, on Thursday, May 10, at noon,
U.S. Eastern time. Complexity research seeks to find broad
patterns to explain the behavior of groups, whether atoms,
people, or elephants. Complexity studies have earned
a following among some mathematicians, physicists,
and other scientists, but they have also drawn considerable
criticism.  Paleontologists, for example, have raised serious
objections to the hypothesis that self-organized criticality
can explain major  extinctions in the earth's past.

The Chronicle invites members of this list to read an article
about the disputes over complexity research, to join the
discussion with Dr. Kauffman, and to pose questions for
him (advance questions are encouraged and may be posted
now) at:

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/2001/05/complexity/chat.php3

A transcript of the discussion will be posted at that address
after the discussion is over.

Scott Jaschik
Editor
The Chronicle of Higher Education