CHAPTER 1: EXPLAINING COMPLEXITY Due to space limitations, the endnotes in the published volume were abbreviated. A version with more…
Adams, David G., Birgitta Bergman, Sandra A. Nierzwicki-Bauer, Paula S. Duggan, Amar N. Rai, and Arthur Schüßler. 2013. Cyanobacterial-Plant Symbioses.…
@World Scientific, 2018 DESCRIPTION Synergistic Selection takes us on a synergy-guided tour of the history of life. As Corning puts…
We must begin with the problem of how to define politics. Unfortunately, there has never been a consensus even on how this important social phenomenon should be characterized, much less how to explain it.
If we are going to get serious about recycling, and about reducing our consumption of natural resources, why not recycle ourselves?
The “synergism hypothesis,” and the closely related concept of “synergistic selection,” involves a theoretical frame shift. The theory proposes that cooperative functional effects (synergies) of various kinds have provided selective advantages over time and has driven the evolution of complexity; the theory is concerned with the benefits and costs of various forms of cooperation.
Fodor is only the latest in rogues’ gallery of people with personal agendas of one kind or another who have used, or abused, Darwin’s theory. Darwin had the formidable challenge of trying to convey a very subtle idea to a largely ignorant and deeply prejudiced audience, and it seems that things haven’t changed very much since then.
In a scholarly but readable book that should have set alarm bells ringing, literally around the world, the distinguished geoscientist Richard B. Alley warned us recently that the accumulating scientific evidence points to the likelihood, in the not too distant future, of an ecological equivalent of 9-11. Or worse.
During the course of an informal workshop that I attended recently on the long-term prospects for the planet Earth, a lively exchange was initiated by an astronomer/futurist who expressed the view that the impending development of “smart machines” represents a potential threat to humankind.
There is much ado in evolutionary biology and some of the social sciences these days about an imperialistic paradigm known as “universal Darwinism,” and the related concept of “memes.” Memes, it seems, are the “new, new thing” (to quote the title of a best-selling book on the high technology boom and Silicon Valley).