In the book, :"The Vital Question, Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life." Nick Lane explores the processes that lead from primordial bacteria to te complex cells that make up all life. In this course, this book will be used as a reference to focus discussion on how the universe can build higher levels of complexity. Students will spend time on evolution but augment that with the emergent process that is at the heart of creativity. Reading Lane's book is not required but will enhance class discussion.