How the Biosphere is Organized

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Science  10 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5447, pp. 2091
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5447.2091

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Fragile Dominion Complexity and the Commons. Simon Levin. Helix (Perseus), Reading, MA, 1999. 264 pp. $27, C$40. ISBN 0-7382-0111-1.

Writing for a general audience, Levin argues that the biosphere is a complex adaptive system, which exhibits self-organization, diversity, non-linear interactions among parts, and feedback flows. He finds our challenge is to harness the forces that organize the biosphere rather than fruitlessly try to resist them.