Talking Points: Martin Rees on Complexity

Phenomena with different levels of complexity are understood in terms of different irreducible concepts—turbulence, survival, alertness, and so forth. The brain is an assemblage of cells; a painting is an assemblage of chemical pigment. But what’s important and interesting is the pattern and structure—the emergent complexity.—Martin Rees, Institute Trustee and frequent former Member in the School of Natural Sciences, in “Cosmic Thinker Worries about Ends of Science and Humanity,” Scientific American, March 12, 2018,