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Into the Cool
Into the Cool is a scientific tour de force showing how evolution, ecology, economics and life itself are organized by energy flow and the laws of thermodynamics. There are natural, animate and inanimate systems like hurricanes and life whose complexity are not the result of conscious human design, nor of divine caprice, nor of repeated, computer-like functions. The common key to all organized systems is how they control their energy flow. Scientists, theologians, and philosophers have all sought to answer the questions of why we are here and where we are going. Finding this natural basis of life has proved elusive, but in the eloquent and creative Into the Cool Eric D. Schneider and Dorion Sagan look for answers in a surprising place: the second law of thermodynamics...

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Featured Review
In Into the Cool, the authors unravel the intricacies of cosmology, meteorology, chemistry, ecology and even the mysteries of human aging in an unexpected but accessible and entertaining manner.  It's all very simple.  It's all very complex.  The book careens between these poles like a pinball in urgent play, until the reader is forced, willy-nilly, to think in terms of energy flow, gradients, and The Second Law. Read more >

When you light a candle, the flame flares up but quickly settles into a steady state, burning as long as there is wick and wax. Life is a similar phenomenon-a controlled burning, a pattern of energy flow. This is not just an analogy: animals derive their energy from oxygen reacting with hydrogen-rich compounds... Read more >
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