What is life? Where did it come from? Is life a thing or a process and can it emerge from nonliving forms? In this engaging and provocative book, Ian Stewart challenges the prevailing wisdom that genetics provides the sole key to life and presents a fascinating account of life's other secret: nature's mathematics. Drawing on a dynamic new area of research in science, Stewart shows how mathematics controls the growing organism and its response to genetic instructions. He explores innumerable mathematical patterns from the stunning, spiralling geometry of a seashell and the surface patterns of spiders' webs, to the artful ripples of angelfish scales and the complex symmetry in the seed-head of a sunflower. He considers complexity theory and how it may help explain the origin and evolution of life. Full of dazzling insights Life's Other Secret provides a fundamental new way of looking at the natural world.