A third window: natural life beyond Newton and Darwin
Templeton Foundation Press, 1 kwi 2009 - 196
Thus far, the dominant paradigms through which modern scientists have viewed nature have been structured primarily around Newtonian and Darwinian approaches. As theoretical ecologist Robert E. Ulanowicz observes in his new work, A Third Window, neither of these models is sufficient for explaining how real change-in the form of creative advance or emergence-takes place in nature. The metaphysical foundations laid by these great thinkers centuries ago are ill suited to sustain today's search for a comprehensive description of complex living systems. Ecosystem dynamics, for example, violate each and every one of the Newtonian presuppositions. Hence, Ulanowicz offers his titular "third window"-a new way of understanding evolution and other natural processes beyond the common mechanistic or materialistic philosophies of nature. Drawing on the writings of Walter Elsasser, Karl Popper, Gregory Bateson, Robert Rosen, and Alfred North Whitehead, as well as his own experience as a theoretical ecologist, Ulanowicz offers a new set of axioms for how nature behaves. Chance and disarray in natural processes are shown to be necessary conditions for real change. Randomness is shown to contribute richness and autonomy to the natural world. The metaphysical implications of these new axioms will lend A Third Windowa wide appeal not only among scientists, but also among philosophers, theologians, and general readers who follow the science and religion dialogue. Ulanowicz's fresh perspective adds a new voice to the discussion.
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The culmination of Fisher's labors was his "Fundamental Theorem of Natural
Selection," whereby the fitness (reproduction) of gene frequencies is said to be
maximized, just as entropy was maximized in Boltzmann's scenario. Fisher noted
But what is the cause of this striving? To say that the drive is encoded in the
organisms genes explains nothing. The reductio ad absurdum of such a
suggestion is revealed in a cartoon from the series Kudzu by Doug Marlette (Jan.
Dawkins (1976), for instance, attempted to generalize the notion of "genes" to
apply to larger-scaled systems in the guise of what he called "memes." Memes
are the fundamental unit of cultural transmission or the units of imitation that ...
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LibraryThing ReviewRecenzja użytkownika - BillHall - LibraryThing
Ulanowicz is a systems ecologist whose work I generally admire. This book, "A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin" tries to look at life from a viewpoint that is neither reductionist ... Przeczytaj pełną recenzję
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