Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the by Peter A. Corning

By Peter A. Corning

In contemporary years, evolutionary theorists have come to acknowledge that the reductionist, individualist, gene-centered method of evolution can't sufficiently account for the emergence of complicated organic structures over the years. Peter A. Corning has been on the vanguard of a brand new new release of complexity theorists who've been operating to reshape the principles of evolutionary idea. popular for his Synergism Hypothesis—a concept of complexity in evolution that assigns a key causal function to varied sorts of practical synergy—Corning places this conception right into a a lot broader framework in [img]Holistic Darwinism[/img], addressing some of the matters and ideas linked to the evolution of complicated structures. Corning's paradigm embraces and integrates many similar theoretical advancements of contemporary years, from multilevel choice thought to area of interest development conception, gene-culture coevolution concept, and theories of self-organization. supplying new techniques to thermodynamics, info idea, and financial research, Corning indicates how all of those domain names might be introduced firmly inside of what he characterizes as a post–neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis.

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"This is an extremely bold and critical booklet that proposes to alter the best way so much folks have thought of 'Darwinism' and evolutionary methods. Corning achieves this aim in lots of methods, yet such a lot successfully via integrating either his personal various paintings in recent times and quotation of virtually everybody who has performed an incredible position in scholarly discussion on evolutionary biology and behaviour over the past generation." - Roger D. Masters. Dartmouth College"

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Extra resources for Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

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As the benefits of cooperation increase, so may the costs of not cooperating. Wholes may then become obligatory survival units, one consequence of which may be that a decrement in the performance of the whole might result in the demise of the parts. An example can be found in a longterm study by Jeon (1972, 1983). A strain of Amoeba proteus was initially infected with bacterial parasites that were resistant to the hosts’ digestive enzymes. After two hundred generations, or eighteen months, a mutualistic relationship had become established, and after ten years the symbionts had developed complete interdependence.

Here we can observe a wide range of cooperative relationships that can only be accounted for in bioeconomic, cost-benefit terms. Kinship is largely irrelevant. Indeed, many types of symbioses—such as the Holistic Darwinism 25 estimated 20,000 species of lichen partnerships involving approximately 300 different genera of fungi and algae, or the rhizobia and similar bacteria that form root nodules with some 17,500 species in 600 genera of plants— reflect a plethora of independent inventions. In other words, many different species may discover and utilize the same functionally advantageous cooperative relationships.

Sperry was fond of using as an illustration the metaphor of a wheel rolling downhill—its rim, all of its spokes, indeed all of its atoms, are compelled to go along for the ride. We will use the term here in a slightly different sense. Downward causation in this context refers to the selective influences that have shaped the evolution of cooperative phenomena generally and complexity in particular. Why do selfish genes cooperate in ways that produce teamwork, which, in turn, leads to interdependency?

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