Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

University of Chicago Press, 15. aug. 2010 - 504 sider
In recent years, evolutionary theorists have come to recognize that the reductionist, individualist, gene-centered approach to evolution cannot sufficiently account for the emergence of complex biological systems over time. Peter A. Corning has been at the forefront of a new generation of complexity theorists who have been working to reshape the foundations of evolutionary theory. Well known for his Synergism Hypothesis—a theory of complexity in evolution that assigns a key causal role to various forms of functional synergy—Corning puts this theory into a much broader framework in Holistic Darwinism, addressing many of the issues and concepts associated with the evolution of complex systems. Corning's paradigm embraces and integrates many related theoretical developments of recent years, from multilevel selection theory to niche construction theory, gene-culture coevolution theory, and theories of self-organization. Offering new approaches to thermodynamics, information theory, and economic analysis, Corning suggests how all of these domains can be brought firmly within what he characterizes as a post–neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis.

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Part II Bioeconomics and Evolution
Part III From Thermodynamics and Information Theory to Thermoeconomics and Control Information
Part IV Evolution and Ethics

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Side 236 - Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio.
Side 91 - From the earliest traceable cosmical changes down to the latest results of civilization, we shall find that the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous, is that in which Progress essentially consists.
Side 388 - More: Yes, What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?
Side 388 - It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department. We accept and welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but...
Side 381 - Animals also render more important services to one another: thus wolves and some other beasts of prey hunt in packs, and aid one another in attacking their victims. Pelicans fish in concert. The Hamadryas baboons turn over stones to find insects...
Side 202 - From the beginning, pressure of population has been the proximate cause of progress. It produced the original diffusion of the race. It compelled men to abandon predatory habits and take to agriculture. It led to the clearing of the Earth's surface. It forced men into the social state ; made social organization inevitable ; and has developed the social sentiments. It has stimulated to progressive improvements in production, and to increased skill and intelligence.
Side 266 - A social indicator may be defined to be a statistic of direct normative interest which facilitates concise, comprehensive and balanced judgments about the condition of major aspects of a society. It is in all cases a direct measure of welfare and is subject to the interpretation that, if it changes in the "right" direction, while other things remain equal, things have gotten better or people are "better off.

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Om forfatteren (2010)

Peter A. Corning is director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems. He is the author of The Synergism Hypothesis and Nature's Magic, among other books.

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