VI. Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies
With strong evidence in place for an organic conducive ecosmos (Part III), its independent, genome-like, complex self-organization (Part IV) and an evolutionary development (Part V), this multi-faceted Part VI will document how each Earthly spatial and temporal phase can be seen as a similar exemplary manifestation. It opens with a Universal Principles section gleaned from latest findings about an archetypal generative source which reiterate in kind everywhere. Nested Gestation of Communal Creatures then arrays into eight subsections from fractal geology to phenomenal peoples. Subsequent modules evince cerebral, cognitive, behavioral, talkative, individual autonomy, and ontogeny = phylogeny occasions.
A. A Further Report of Common Principles
By a 2020 wiseworld philoSophia view, many references cited in Parts III: Organic Universe, IV: Cosmomic Code and V: A Systems Evolution describe by an array of approaches and various terms an invariant presence of self-organized, network, complementary patterns and processes everywhere. This section serves to gather more reports which attest to a natural genesis by way of an independent, mathematic, one code system composed of certain dual agency/relation, node/link, member/group complements. In this manner, the universal naturome (cosmome to geonome) double duty becomes manifestly exemplified at each and every procreative stage. From protein webs to desert biotas, human cultures, microbes to a metropolis, onto the interstellar raiment, one same triality repeats over and over. We next post, for an example, a 2019 mission statement of the Santa Fe Institute.
SFI researchers endeavor to understand and unify the underlying, shared patterns in complex physical, biological, social, cultural, technological, and even possible astrobiological, worlds. Our global research network of scholars spans borders, departments, and disciplines, unifying curious minds steeped in rigorous logical, mathematical, and computational reasoning. As we reveal the unseen mechanisms and processes that shape these evolving worlds, we seek to use this understanding to promote the well-being of humankind and life on earth.
2020: As Universality Affirmations above and other places have reported and confirmed, by this binocular, bicameral year an archetypal complementarity within an integral triality has been found in relative kind everywhere. From digital + analog = source program, node + link + network, feminine + masculine = family, and proceeds ever on. In a self-similar ecosmos one universally iterated code is in effect and rises from particle + wave = light, left + right brain = cognizant knowledge all the way to me + We = US. In regard, we seek to enter and center this momentary fulfillment of our historic decipherment endeavor as a premier EarthMost accomplishment.
Asllani, Malbor, et al. A Universal Route to Pattern Formation. arXiv:1906.05946.
Caetano-Anolles, Derek, et al. Evolution of Macromolecular Structure. arXiv:1805.06487.
Coen, Enrico. Cells to Civilizations Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Earnest, Tyler, et al. Simulating Biological Processes: Stochastic Physics from Whole Cells to Colonies. Reports on Progress in Physics. 81/5, 2018.
Frey, Erwin, et al. Protein Pattern Formation. arXiv:1801.01365.
Garcia-Ruiz, Ronald and Adam Vernon. Emergence of Simple Patterns in Many-Body Systems from Macroscopic Objects to the Atomic Nucleus. arXiv:1911.04819.
Kelso, Scott and David Engstrom. The Complementary Nature. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.
Norris, Vic. What Properties of Life Are Universal? Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. Online March, 2015.
Ramstead, Maxwell, et al. Answering Shrodinger’s Question: A Free-Energy Formulation. Physics of Life Reviews. Online September, 2017.
Schwab, Julian, et al. Concepts in Boolean Network Modeling. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. March, 2020.
Sinha, Saurabh, et al. Behavior-related Gene Regulatory Networks: A New Level of Organization in the Brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/23270, 2020.
Tao, Terence. E pluribus unum: From Complexity, Universality. Daedalus. 141/3, 2012.
Yang, Ruochen and Paul Bogdan. Controlling the Multifractal Generating Measures of Complex Networks. Nature Scientific Reports. 10/5541, 2020.
View the 148 Bibliographic Entries
B. Nested Gestation of Communal Creatures
At this outline stage, we survey the sequential, multilevel scale of animate entities from their geobiological substrate to homo sapience. (For a self-regulating bioplanet see Earth Alive above.) A theme which holds for each phase such as Microbial Colonies or Dynamic Ecosystems is that a broad paradigm shift has occurred whence its prior elemental content been reconceived and joined by way of the independent self-organizing, complex network system principles. By this notice, the common presence of one bicameral, bigender code everywhere continues to gain veracity.
1. Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere
This encompassing land, sea and sky Earthscape realm would not likely seem to be influenced by or express any self-organizing, fractal, network complexities, which was the case in 2000. But as these scientific fields grew in interdisciplinary veracity, endeavors in geophysics, atmospheric studies, soil science and more began to find that they indeed are equally at formative effect. (But as ultimately organic-genomic in naturomic effect, it would seem they must be in actual effect everywhere.) Into the 2010s, a broad array of local, bioregion, continental and global areas are seen as formed and guided by invariant, self-organized topologies. As the references cite, rivers, deltas, coastlines, mountain aretes, earthquakes, rainfalls, droughts and onto stormy weather patterns. See the Global Climate as a Complex Dynamical System section for more reports.
2020: A universally encoded pattern and process has even been found in effect across all manner of geologic landforms, oceanic seas and atmosphere phenomena. The benefit of these wiseworld mathematical findings would be better information and knowledge to understand, mitigate, and manage. Active examples are earthquake studies, forest fire control, drought prevention, and so on.
Bickford, Marion, ed. The Web of Geological Sciences. Geological Society of America: Boulder, CO, 2013.
Bonetti, Sara, et al. Channelization Cascade in Landscape Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/1375, 2020.
Fallah, Bijan, et al. Emergence of Global Scaling Behaviour in the Coupled Earth-Atmosphere Interaction. Nature Scientific Reports. 6/34005, 2016.
Ferreira, Douglas, et al. Long-range Correlation Studies in Deep Earthquakes Global Series. Physica A. Online August 27, 2020.
Hazen, Robert, at al. Mineral Evolution. American Mineralogist. 93/1693, 2008.
Hunt, Allan and Stefano Manzoni.Networks on Networks: The Physics of Geobiology and Geochemistry.< Online: Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2015.
Phillips, Colin and Douglas Jerolmack. Self-Organization of River Channels. Science.> 352/694, 2016.
Rak, Rafal, et al. Universal Features of Mountain Ridge Networks on Earth. Journal of Complex Networks. May, 2019.
Tsonis, Anastasios and James Elsner, eds. Nonlinear Dynamics in Geosciences. Berlin: Springer, 2007.
View the 75 Bibliographic Entries
2. The Origins of Life
In the 1960s when I began my readings, an opaque discontinuity stood between the presence of organic Earth life and the extant physical cosmos. In the years since and especially the last decade this disconnect has been bridged by deep biological rootings in a conducive materiality, whence by turns condensed matter has come to have innate, active spontanities. Researchers have reconstructed many primordial components and sequential steps such as replicator biomolecules and protocell vesicles. Origin studies have often divided into two schools as to whether RNA replicators or metabolisms came first (Iris Fry). Three main features are now said to define living systems – a vital metabolism, bounded compartments, and informational programs. In the later 2010s as a unified understanding is being worked out, nature’s self-organizing network dynamics have additionally been factored in (Sara Walker, et al) in a guise of autocatalysis, hypercycles, autopoiesis, and so on.
2020: Across some 160 entries, our late recreation of the precursor biochemical, replicant, metabolic, protocellular, autocatalytic occasions of life, senses and evolvement is well along. By any light, a spontaneous, oriented fertility seems to occur wherever possible on its incarnate own. Into the 21st century, animate life, developmental gestation, and our Earthomo presence becomes deeply rooted in an increasingly conducive ecosmos. Current projects involve a novel factoring in independent self-organizing agencies and network topologies.
As a further consolidation, life’s common cellular makeup has been distilled into three main metabolic, replicative and compartmental features. The two camps of RNA or metabolism first are likewise combining their views. From mid 20th century glimpses over an opaque gulf between universe and human, these robust affirmations find living systems, their birthings and blossomings, and our late Gaian witness to trace a quickening continuity.
Barge, Laura, et al. Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium, Evolution. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. Online June, 2016.
Camprubi, Eloi, et al. The Emergence of Life. Space Science Reviews. 215/56, 2019.
Cardoso, Silvana, et al. Chemobrionics: From Self-Assembled Material Architectures to the Origin of Life. Artificial Life. 26/3, 2020.
Cronin, Leroy and Sara Imari Walker. Beyond Prebiotic Chemistry. Science. 352/1174, 2016.
Deamer, David. Assembling Life: How Can Life Begin on Earth and Other Habitable Planets?. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
Goldenfeld, Nigel, et al. Universal Biology and the Statistical Mechanics of Early Life. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Vol. 375/Iss. 2109, 2017.
McFarland, Ben. A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Menor-Salvan, Cesar. ed. Prebiotic Chemistry and Chemical Evolution of Nucleic Acids. International: Springer, 2018.
Preiner, Martina, et al. The Future of Origin of Life Research. Life. 10/3, 2020.
Ruelle, David. The Origin of Life Seen From the Point of View of Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. arXiv:1701.08388.
Walker, Sara Imari and Cole Mathis. Network Theory in Prebiotic Evolution. Menor-Salvan, Cesar, ed. Prebiotic Chemistry and Chemical Evolution of Nucleic Acids. International: Springer, 2018.
View the 164 Bibliographic Entries
3. Microbial Colonies
In 2000, an initial paper about biological phenomena was published in the Advances in Physics (49/4) journal, in print since 1952, namely Cooperative Self-Organization of Microorganisms by Eshel Ben Jacob, the late Israeli physicist, with Inon Cohen and Herbert Levine. The second lively paper in that physics publication was Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics by Barbara Drossel (50/2). As the image description notes, bacteria are no longer seen to exist in isolation but as communal exemplars of naturomic self-organizing, network forces. A notable trait is known as quorum sensing via chemical and/or electrical signals by which bacterial colonies of infinite kind “decide” what to do when perturbed or on the move (Bonnie Bassler).
2020: This substantial, omnipresent prokaryote, biofilm phase lately gains all manner of organismic, environmental, human microbiome, medical status. Since circa 2000 it has become studied and quantified as an iconic occasion of life’s universal, self-organizing, fractal, complexifying dynamics. Life’s baslc cellular phase is no longer composed of isolate bacteria but distinguished by the same scientific integration as everywhere else. In regard, bacterial activities are seen to epitomize how colonies survive and thrive by quorum sensing, symbiotic assemblies, a relative intelligence (slime molds) and more.
Allen, Rosalind and Bartlomiej Waclaw. Bacterial Growth: A Statistical Physicist’s Guide. Reports on Progress in Physics. 82/1, 2018.
Ben Jacob, Eshel. Social Behavior of Bacteria: From Physics to Complex Organization. European Physical Journal B. 65/3, 2008.
Cunha, Danilo, et al.Bacterial Colonies as Complex Adaptive Systems. Natural Computing. Online June, 2018.
Hahn, Aria, et al. The Information Science of Microbial Ecology. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 31/209, 2016.
Hussa, Elizabeth and Heidi Goodrich-Blair. It Takes a Village: Ecological and Fitness Impacts of Multipartite Mutualism. Annual Review of Microbiology. 67/161, 2013.
Lan, Ganhui and Yuhai Tu. Information Processing in Bacteria: Memory, Computation, and Statistical Physics. Reports on Progress in Physics. 79/5, 2016.
Sapp, Jan. The New Foundations of Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
View the 85 Bibliographic Entries
4. Cellular Holobiont Symbiogenesis
As a first comment, in the early 2000s any notice of self-organizing forces in unicellular biology was rare. As initiated by Tom Misteli and others, a recognition and acceptance grew that the formation and activity of life’s cellular milieu could be much attributed to these developmental network agencies. By our 2020, scientific cell studies, such as cancer occurrence and mitigation, normally assume a central place and role for nature’s internal spontaneity. But this revision has not yet formally registered with a machinery term often in use. This is another aim of Natural Genesis.
When this section went online in 2004, the presence of a bacterial symbiosis was relegated to the sidelines, and questioned whether it was there at all. As entries here, in Systems Evolution and throughout attest, since circa 2012 symbiotic unions across life’s evolutionary whole biology and sociality have become well known as a primary, integrative facilitator of a nested emergence, aka a constant symbiogenesis.
In the later 2010s, due to Scott Gilbert, Jan Sapp, Seth Bordenstein, Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg and Eugene Rosenberg, Joan Roughgarden and others, a further perception of organisms, and indeed human selves, arose as our bacterial, micorbiome multitudes were factored in so as to compose a whole viable unity. These symbiotic selves have been dubbed holobionts, with a relative hologenome, to note their communal membership. See also the Anthropocene section for wider, ecosphere visions (Anna Tsing, et al) of s symbiotic and autopoietic vitality.
2020: Since circa 2000, the study of life’s central stage and mode of nucleated eukaryotic cells within metabolic organisms has seen several paradigm shifts. With the 2011 passing of Lynn Margulis, the pioneer advocate of beneficial symbiotic unions, her 40 year contribution has at last become well proven, accepted and applied. As a further corollary, a novel sense of creaturely and our human individual organism arose. While still underway, the somatic inclusion of a resident bacterial microbiome has been dubbed a “holobiont” to denote this altogether composite selfhood.
Another bidecadal advance with regard to cellular formations and whole organisms has been the persistent proof that mathematic self-organizing processes indeed have a primary generative role. The collegial NIH scientist Tom Misteli is a leading researcher in this regard. In addition, the anatomy and physiology presence of dynamic network topologies to dynamically interconnect all the prior parts is now being included. Nathalie Gontier, a University of Lisbon biophilosopher, well describes this reticulate propensity.
And into the 2020s, a century after Russian proposals in this regard, a “Universal Symbiogenesis” is lately being allowed and admitted to be in primary effect from astronomic realms to life’s origin onto all stages of a nested evolutionary, selves in societies, development. As entries herein by N. Gontier, P. Slijepcevic,, A, Igamberdiev and others attest, nature’s archetypal complementarity and familial triality is lately found to be in vivifying effect from UniVerse to WumanVerse.
Archibald, John. One Plus One Equals One: Symbiosis and the Evolution of Complex Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Bordenstein, Seth and Kevin Theis. Host Biology in Light of the Microbiome. PLoS Biology. Online August, 2015.
Bosch, Thomas and David Miller. The Holobiont Imperative: Perspectives from Early Emerging Animals. Switzerland: Springer, 2016.
Cornish-Bowden, Athel. Lynn Margulis and the Origin of the Eukaryotes. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 434/20, 2017.
Estrela, Sylvie, et al. Transitions in Individuality through Symbiosis. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 31/191, 2016.
Gilbert, Scott and Alfred Tauber. Rethinking Individuality: The Dialectics of the Holobiont. Biology & Philosophy. Online October, 2016.
Gontier, Nathalie, ed. Reticulate Evolution. Berlin: Springer, 2015.
O'Malley, Maureen. From Endosymbiosis to Holobionts. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Online March, 2017.
Roughgarden, Joan, et al. Holobiont as Units of Selection and a Model of Their Population Dynamics and Evolution. Biological Theory. Online September, 2017.
Sapp, Jan. The Symbiotic Self. Evolutionary Biology. Online March, 2016.
Singharoy, Abhishek, et al. Atoms to Phenotypes. Cell. 179/1098, 2019.
Yong, Ed. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. New York: Ecco Books, 2016.
View the 127 Bibliographic Entries
5. Multicellular Fauna and Flora Organisms
We next move to this subseguent extravagance of aquatic, amphibian, reptile, avian, mammalian, and primate creaturely complexity. As we have seen, once again impelled by self-organization and selection, unitary cells continued to clump together, divide labors and associate via symbiotic mergers into bounded multicellular animal and plant communities. Along the way, modular organs were formed which vivified and served unitary variegated, mobile, oxygen-breathing, sea to land-dwelling, airborne entities with nervous systems, brains and proactive behavior. A plethora of adaptive environmental vegetation, which contributed in necessary turn to a supportive atmosphere, similarly flourished everywhere it could.
2020: As some 100 entries convey, life’s developmental procession presses forward to a further phase of cellular, organelle, neuronal, genetic, mobile complex, cognizant organisms in viable groupings. From glimpses at century’s turn to this day, a persistent self-assembly of widely diverse, environmentally adapted cellular creatures is seen to have occurred several times. As this evolutionary emergence takes place wherever it can, this advance can again be viewed as another major emergent transition.
Arnellos, Argyris, et al. Organizational Requirements for Multicellular Autonomy. Biology and Philosophy. 29/6, 2014.
Brusalte, Stephen and Zhe-Xi Luo. Ascent of the Mammals. Scientific American. May, 2016.
Halatek, Jacob, et al. Self-Organization Principles of Intracellular Pattern Formation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol.373/Iss.1747, 2018.
Kapheim, Karen, et al. Genomic Signatures of Evolutionary Transitions from Solitary to Group Living. Science. 348/1139, 2015.
Larson, Ben, et al. Biophysical Principles of Choanoflagellate Self-Organization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/1303, 2020.
Libby, Eric and Paul Rainey. A Conceptual Framework for the Evolutionary Origins of Multicellularity. Physical Biology. 10/3, 2013.
Newman, Stuart, et al. The Vertebrate Limb: An Evolving Complex of Self-Organizing Systems. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 137/12, 2018.
Ruiz-Trillo, Inaki and Aurora Nedelcu, eds. Evolutionary Transitions to Multicellular Life. Berlin: Springer, 2015.
Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, et al. The Origin of Metazoa. Nature Reviews Genetics. 18/8, 2017.
Van Gestel, Jordi and Corina Tarnita. On the Origin of Biological Construction, with a Focus on Multicellularity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114/11018, 2017.
Wedlich-Soldner, Roland and Timo Betz. Self-Organization: The Fundament of Cell Biology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol.373/Iss.1747, 2018.
View the 100 Bibliographic Entries
6. Cooperative Societies
As multicellular animals evolved in somatic and cerebral intricacy, they proceeded due to the same agencies to gather, combine and bring diverse labors to social assemblies. A historic, overdue revision of evolutionary theory has then been the realization that a prior neoDarwinian emphasis on competitive survival is actually mediated by and secondary to a natural incentive for mutual cooperative value. The effect is variously known as quorum sensing, reciprocal altruism, symbiotic union and guided on a beneficial reciprocity of individual and community. As such metabolic and cognitive groupings proceed to gain some rudimentary properties of an organism, they are perceived as forming a new level of selection. Thus a tacit, active balance of conflict and accord, often along gender lines, is now seen to distinguish animal societies whether flock, herd, pod, colony and so on.
2020: In most species, individual creatures live together in communal, communicative groupings for much survival advantage. By this view life moves on to still a further integrative transition. While 20th century evolution texts tended to view animal entities as engaged in rank, fittest, survivalist competitions, many studies as noted now find an equally present, more significant proclivity for mutually beneficial behaviors. As a result, a compete and cooperate version moves on to a preferred reciprocity of semi-autonomous members within a fluidly coherent assembly. Airborne bird flocks such as starlings are an iconic image, but this mutuality extends across Metazoan lineages even to invertebrates.
With this coherency in place, a crucial attribute can be observed. By many names such as competitive coherence, creative union, ubuntu village, and social protocell, at liberty entities within an interactive group membership reveals an optimum complementary balance. For our own Earthmost futurity it would behoove we peoples (as elections destructuvely pit me versus We) to appreciate and practice this universal, exemplar that serves life from microbes to ecovillages. Simply put, our very survival and futurity could depend on a wumanwise appreciation of me + We = US local and global communities.
Bahar, Sonja. The Essential Tension: Cooperation and Competition in Biological Evolution. Switzerland: Springer Frontiers, 2017.
Bourke, Andrew F. G. Principles of Social Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Cavagna, Andrea, et al. The Physics of Flocking. Physics Reports. Online December, 2017.
Couzin, Iain and Simon Levin, eds. Collective Behavior in Biological Systems. Journal of Statistical Physics. 158/3, 2015.
Deutsch, Andreas, et al. Multi-scale Analysis and Modelling of Collective Migration in Biological Systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. July 2020.
Dunbar, Robin, et al. Primate Social Group Sizes Exhibit a Regular Scaling Pattern. Biology Letters. 14/1, 2018.
Finn, Kelly, et al. Novel Insights into Animal Sociality from Multilayer Networks. arXiv:1712.01790.
Hofmann, Hans, et al. New Frontiers in the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 56/6, 2016.
Kappeler, Peter, et al. Social Complexity: Patterns, Processes, and Evolution. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 73/1, 2019.
Sterelny, Kim, et al, eds. Cooperation and Its Evolution. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013.
Wright, Colin, et al. Collective Personalities. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 73/3, 2019.
View the 207 Bibliographic Entries
7. Dynamic Ecosystems
Life’s diverse creaturely communities abide in active environments such as rainforests, prairies, coral reefs, to which they need adapt and cope with. Akin to each prior stage entered so far, in our transitional time even Darwin’s tangled bank has become amenable to complex systems science so to reveal a similar, endemic order. As ecological theories advance, biota and bioregions are no longer seen to seek an equilibrium balance, but actually reside in and exemplify a far-from-equilibrium, nested network and vital self-organization. These worldwise understandings of dynamic flora and fauna ecosystems guided by the same forces and forms as all else have are lately come to inform respectful mediations and to foster sustainabilities viabilities.
An iconic instance would be the career contributions of the University of Michigan system ecologists John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto, along with many international colleagues. Their 2017 work Ecological Complexity and Agroecology and a stream of papers (search) provide a fine example of how to combine deep understandings of nonlinear complexities with practical agriculture applications so to better manage pests and pathogens. In 2020 regard, their work adds a notice of synchronized chimera effects as this ecosmic bicameral reciprocity seems to hold everywhere
2020: As many citations attest, a prime essence of a one genetic-like code universality is that its self-organizing complex network system can be found in visual effect everywhere. Indeed, even Charles Darwin’s tangled bank metaphor for prolific diverse biotas has become amenable to this analysis. Across all environs from deserts to glaciers, equator to poles, all manner of vegetation densities, predator-prey, keystone species, coral reef, are now known to guided by and exhibit archetypal patterns and processes. From aboriginal vision, shamanic, indigenous sensitivities to infosphere 21st century insights, if we have a mindfulness to observe our environmental abide can appear and teach as a natural revelation.
Allen, Timothy and Thomas Hoekstra. Toward a Unified Ecology. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
Farnsworth, Keith, et al. Unifying Concepts of Biological Function from Molecules to Ecosystems. Oikos. 126/10, 2017.
Hagstrom, George and Simon Levin. Marine Ecosystems as Complex Adaptive Systems. Ecosystems. Online February, 2017.
Linquist, Stefan, et al. Yes! There are Resilient Generalizations (“Laws”) in Ecology. Quarterly Review of Biology. 91/2, 2016.
Meron, Ehud. Nonlinear Physics of Ecosystems. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015.
Nordbotten, Jan, et al. Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics of Interconnectedness and Modularity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115/750, 2018.
Peters, Debra, et al. An Integrated View of Complex Landscapes. BioScience. 68/9, 2018.
Shade, Ashley, et al. Macroecology to Unite All Life, Large and Small. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Online September, 2018
Tarnita, Corina, et al. A Theoretical Foundation for Multi-Scale Regular Vegetation Patterns. Nature. 541/398, 2017.
Vandermeer, John and Ivette Perfecto. Ecological Complexity and Agroecology. London: Routledge, 2017.
Whitehead, Hal, et al. The Reach of Gene-Culture Coevolution in Animals. Nature Communications. 10/2405, 2019.
Wimberley, Edward. Nested Ecology: The Place of Humans in the Ecological Hierarchy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
View the 155 Bibliographic Entries
8. Multiple Ancestries of Homo Sapiens
Complex, network system perspectives are also being employed by the fields of primate studies, archaeology and anthropology to better explain how simians became hominids and onto phenomenal humans. This multi-faceted emergence is considered to occur through a co-evolution of increasing brain size, dexterous tool making and especially sociable interactions facilitated by language and know-how abilities. In reflective regard, Earth life can be seen adorn itself with a global species whom can altogether reconstruct the long, arduous course that got us here. No longer a linear march to homo sapiens, new fossil finds, along with paleogenetic analyses trace a chancy, meandering trek replete with dead ends, branchings and much interbreeding. Similar innovative advances have now allowed cultural, artifactual, knowledge content and migratory passages to be recovered. One may be prompted by a wide-screen curiosity to wonder about a self-revealing genesis universe which seems trying to describe and explain to itself by our nascent witness and co-creation.
2020: An historic, expansive revision with regard to our pedigree is occuring in the later 2010s by way of novel abilities to sequence ancient, hominid DNA, specifically reported in Paleogenomics. The familiar tree-like branchings based on fossil bones are being pruned and redrawn by way of Neanderthal cross-breedings and so on all the way to great ape primate origins. There are meanderings and dead ends but a main vectorial procession toward intelligence, awareness, knowledge gain by capable creatures in viable groupings is persistently evident.
Boughner, Julia, and Campbell Rolian, eds. Developmental Approaches to Human Evolution. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
Buskes, Chris. The Encultured Primate: Thresholds and Transitions in Hominin Cultural Evolution. Philosophies. 4/1, 2019.
Dunbar, Robin. Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Gamble, Clive. Settling the Earth: The Archaeology of Deep Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Hoffecker, John. The Information Animal and the Super-Brain.Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 20/1, 2013.
Laland, Kevin. The Cultural Animal. Scientific American. September, 2018.
Maslin, Mark. The Cradle of Humanity: How the Changing Landscape of Africa Made Us So Smart. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Migliano, Andrea, et al. Characterization of Hunter-Gather Networks and Implications for Cumulative Culture
. Nature Human Behavior. 1/0043, 2017.
Parmigiani, Stefano, et al. What Made Us Human? Biological and Cultural Evolution of Homo sapiens. Journal of Anthropological Sciences. Vol. 94, 2016.
Tibayrenc, Michel and Francisco Ayala, eds. On Human Nature: Biology, Psychology, Ethics, Politics, and Religion. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press, 2016.
Tylen, Kristian, et al. The Evolution of Early Symbolic Behavior in Homo Sapiens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.117/4578, 2020.
View the 136 Bibliographic Entries
C. Quickening Encephalization and Sensibility
The nested, recurrent stages of skeletal, anatomic complexity from life's deep origin to valiant, smart peoples are found to be distinguished by an oriented encephalization process whence the embryonic body gains a bilateral brain. Metazoan creatures across invertebrate, aquatic, amphibian, reptilian, avian and mammalian scales are now known to possess a mosaic, modular, multiplex neural capacity for enhanced communicative cognition, and proactive group behaviors. A significant aspect is the presence of a ramifying complementary bicameral faculty which is traced back to earliest neural casts.
As a consequence, all these animal forms and stages are seen to possess by familiar personal abilities and communal activities. A resultant arrow of integrated information and intelligence has become paired with a relative knowing consciousness which seems aimed at our phenomenal homo, anthropo, and Earthropocene phase. The four subsections about brains, behaviors, bilaterality, and a communicative ability from grunts and gestures to syntactic language will altogether illume an ascendency of brain over body, mind over matter.
2020: The import of this section is to report and convey a 21st century appreciation that life’s evolution is distinguished by emergent cerebral and cognitive abilities. In this regard, these features continue to define an oriented, developmental gestation. And once again, at each various stage and instance, the bigender naturome code is manifestly evident, especially with regard to bilateral brain complements.
1. The Evolution of Cerebral Form and Cognizance
While a general increase in bodily complexity and dexterity from trilobites to humans is admitted, what is in tandem process (and there really is something going on) is an essential ramification of cerebral capacities. By attributes of bilateral asymmetry, semi-specialized modules, which array in concerted and mosaic modes, crowned by a frontal lobe neocortex, brains evolve by much expanding the size of these components in place from the earliest neural stirrings. This steady course of life’s encephalization adds a further component to trace a central evolutionary axis and vector.
2020: By our worldwise retrospective, Earth life’s viviparous developmental course is seen to proceed by a distinct, continuous ramification from earliest neural rudiments to sequentially complexify brain architectures, cognitive acumens and cooperative behaviors. Cerebral faculties are found to avail modular functions, an interplay of concerted orientation and mosaic diversity, relative neocortex abilities, along with altogether networking with each other.
Briscoe, Steven and Clifton Ragsdale. Homology, Neocortex, and the Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms. Science. 362/190, 2018.
Burkhardt, Pawel and Simon Sprecher. Evolutionary Origin of Synapses and Neurons. BioEssays. Online September, 2017.
Collins, Christopher. Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
Hopfield, John. Neural Networks and Physical Systems with Emergent Collective Computational Abilities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 79/2554, 2011.
Karten, Harvey. Vertebrate Brains and Evolutionary Connectomics: On the Origins of the Mammalian Neocortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 370/0060.2015, 2015.
Liebeskind, Benjamin, et al. Evolution of Animal Neural Systems Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 48/377, 2017.
Lyon, Pamela. The Cognitive Cell: Bacterial Behavior Reconsidered. Frontiers in Microbiology. Vol.6/Art.264, 2015.
Melchionna, M., et al. Macroevolutionary Trends of Brain Mass in Primates. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 129/1, 2020.
Montgomery, John and David Bodznick. Evolution of the Cerebellar Sense. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Murray, Elizabeth, et al. The Evolution of Memory Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Schmidt-Rhaesa, Andreas, et al, eds. Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Striedter, Georg. Building Brains that can Evolve: Challenges and Prospects for Evo-Devo Neurobiology. Metode. Vol. 7/9, 2017.
van Duijn, Marc. Phylogenetic Origins of Biological Cognition. Interface Focus. 7/3, 2017.
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2. An Emergent Bicameral Brain
2020: Still another 21st century discovery of much import is the steady presence of a bilateral, hemispheric, archetypal endowment across every Metazoan creature. This common property was unknown before 2000 but has since been robustly verified from our human double brain through mammalian, avian, reptilian, and aquatic kingdoms all the way to insects and invertebrates. It is surmised that a broad reciprocal ability to peck for seeds with the right eye which informs the left side while the left view which goes to the right brain scans for predators is optimum for evolutionary survival. In regard this binocular quality of characteristic dot focus and holistic image to left and right hemispheres seems to hold through all past and present instances. And as this optimum bigender complementarity reaches our homo to anthropo to Earthomo sapience, a true microuniverse could be seen to ordain our cerebral capacity.
Corballis, Michael and Isabelle Haberling. The Many Sides of Hemispheric Asymmetry. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 23/9-10, 2017.
Forrester, Gillian, et al, eds. Cerebral Lateralization and Cognition. Progress in Brain Research. Volume 238, 2018.
Frasnelli, Elisa, et al. Left-Right Asymmetries of Behaviour and Nervous System in Invertebrates. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 36/4, 2013.
Gunturkun, Onur and Sebastian Ocklenburg. Ontogenesis of Lateralization. Neuron. 94/2, 2017.
Levin, Michael, et al. Introduction to Provocative Questions in Left-Right Asymmetry. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol. 371/Iss. 1710, 2016.
Rogers, Lesley and Giorgio Vallortigara, eds. Lateralized Brain Functions: Methods in Human and Non-Human Species. Switzerland: Springer, 2017.
Vallortigara, Giorgio and Lesley Rogers. A Function for the Bicameral Mind. Cortex. Online December, 2019.
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3. Animal Intelligence and Sociality
2020: As the cover image bookends, a revolution has taken place since the early 1990s when animals were still seen as instinctive, dumb beasts. Today, as we well know, all great and small creatures are known to possess an intelligent sentience, personality, clever behaviors, quorum senses, empathy, salutary groupings and more. Rather then anthromorphic concerns as before, it seems that animals actually have a whole human-like array of cognitive and communal qualities. As references here and elsewhere convey, it could appear as if an independent, common cognitive and social repertoire extends through life’s evolutionary fauna and flora from the earliest neural occasion to our nascent personsphere.
Birch, Jonathan, et al. Dimensions of Animal Consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science. August 2020.
Carere, Claudio and Dario Maestripieri, eds. Animal Personalities: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
De Waal, Frans. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? New York: Norton, 2016.
Japyassu, Hilton and Kevin Laland. Extended Spider Cognition. Animal Cognition. 20/3, 2017.
Marino, Lori and Debra Merskin. Intelligence, Complexity, and Individuality in Sheep. Animal Sentience. Vol. 4, 2019.
Plotnik, Jousha and Nicola Clayton. Convergent Cognitive Evolution across Animal Taxa. Eric Margolis and Stephen Laurence, eds. The Conceptual Mind. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015.
Thornton, Alex, et al. Animal Minds: From Computation to Evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 367/2670, 2012.
Vonk, Jennifer and Todd Shackelford, eds. Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. International: Springer, 2019.
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4. Organisms Evolve Rhythmic Protolanguage Communication
As our Earthrise sapience expands its retrospective temporal and spatial compass, we can add a 2018 subsection to report novel recoveries of creaturely semiotic calls, gestures, signings for mating, subsistence, rank, and other needs in conspecific groupings. While Microbial Colonies cites quorum sensings via chemical means, here the subject matter involves visible motions and audible vocalizations across aquatic, reptilian, amphibian, mammalian, primate classes and onto proto-homo sapiens. Since Cultural Code covers human languages and conversation, here are studies about how our voluble literacy arose apace from evolution’s consistent cross-talk.
In this endeavor, many researchers find birdsong to be an iconic exemplar, Surely a disparate instance, it has yet revealed parallels with human alphabetic words and rhythmic prosody. Another notice is a sequential appearance over time with analogue song and dance preceeding and preparing for digitized, textual varieties. To serve this new field, an Oxford Journal of Language Evolution began in 2016. Special issues on the origins, evolution, and neuroscience of communicative language also appeared in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (24/1, 2017), Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (21/1, 2018), and Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Review (81/B, 2017). OK
2020 Our linguistic abilities are often seen as a definitive human quality. But into the 2010s by way of novel technigues aided by international efforts, akin to paleogenomic studies a precursor course across creature, primate, and hominids onto to early rudiments is now being recovered. A notable finding is that original occasions had a holistic, prosody, musical basis, aided by communal dance. This sequential phase predates later discrete, hieroglyph, alphabetic stages. Active studies consider gestural signs, meaningful utterances, how grunts became grammear and so on. If traced to bacterial quorum sensings by chemical and/or electrical means, there seems to be inherent propensity for Earth life’s evolution to gain to communicate by any and all means.
Balari, Sergio and Guillermo Lorenzo. Computational Phenotypes: Towards an Evolutionary Developmental Biolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Bichakjian, Bernard. Language Evolution: How Language was Built and Made to Evolve. Languages Sciences. Online March, 2017.
Everaert, Martin and Johan Bolhuis. The Biology of Language. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 81/B, 2017.
Fitch, W. Tecumseh. Special Issue on the Biology and Evolution of Language. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 24/1, 2017.
Hoeschele, Marisa. Preface to the Special Section on Animal Music Perception. Comparative Cognition and Behavior. Volume 12, 2017.
Kenneally, Christine. Talking through Time: The Role of Knowledge. Scientific American. September, 2018.
Massip-Bonet, Angels, et al, eds. Complexity Applications in Language and Communication Sciences. International: Springer, 2019.
Steels, Luc and Eors Szathmary. The Evolutionary Dynamics of Language. BioSystems. Online November, 2017.
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D. An Enhancement of Autonomous Individuality
As somatic complexity, proactive cerebral intelligence and represented knowledge proceeds in an evolutionary gestation, another directional attribute and quality becomes evident as each organism’s relative sense of self-awareness and personal identity. A corollary, as Cooperative Societies and elsewhere cite, is that a “semi-autonomous” state is best achieved as a symbiotic, reciprocal member of a viable grouping. From our global moment, the arc of an emergent genesis increasingly appears as an embryonic conception of an individual and collective selfhood. And lately we may have reached the verge of a global individuation and persona, as Systems History advises.
2020: As the section intro advises, from our Earthomo sapiens vantage the long arduous trajectory of an ecosmic evolutionary developmental genesis does take on the vectorial guise of a self-making, liberating, realizing individuation. As references attest, it is vital that entity members in communal groupings possess and enhance a semi-autonomous freedom for optimum survival. This reciprocity is in effect from slime molds to social insects, bird flocks, mammals and so on.
Agren, Arvid. Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Online November, 2013.
Bouchard, Frederic and Philippe Huneman, eds. From Groups to Individuals: Evolution and Emerging Individuality. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013.
Clarke, Ellen. A Levels-of-Selection Approach to Evolutionary Individuality. Biology & Philosophy. Online October, 2016.
Ferner, Adam and Thomas Pradeu. Ontologies of Living Beings. Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology. Volume 9, 2017.
Hanschen, Erik, et al. Individuality and the Major Evolutionary Transitions. Gissis, Snait, et al, eds. Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018.
Lidgard, Scott and Lynn Nyhart, eds. Biological Individuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Moreno, Alvaro and Matteo Mossio. Biological Autonomy: A Philosophical and Theoretical Enquiry. Berlin: Springer, 2015
Radzvilavicius, Arunas and Neil Blackstone. The Evolution of Individuality Revisted. Biological Reviews. Online March, 2018.
Rosslenbroich, Bernd. On the Origin of Autonomy. Heidelberg: Springer, 2014.
West, Stuart, et al. Major Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112/10112, 2015.
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E. Universal Gestation: Phylogeny and Ontogeny
In the 19th century, before The Origin of Species and for a while after, an organism’s embryonic development was broadly seen to recapitulate the evolutionary sequence from which it arose. But the comparison was set aside around 1900 as anatomical studies found contradictions to older parallels. Into the 2000s and 2010s a better quantified understanding of and general agreement between ontogenetic development and phylogenetic evolution is allowed, this time in several areas. In addition to embryonic and fetal maturation, a necessary recurrence is recognized for cognitive capacities, behavioral stages and especially for linguistic abilities. The title phrase "universal gestation" was a popular conception in Charles Darwin’s day, which we now take license so to recover its veracity.
2020: A century and half of intensive, wide ranging studies after Ernst Haeckel’s later 1800s recapitulation views, which where then in favor, it can again be affirmed that Earth life’s long phylogenetic bodily, cerebral, linguistic and societal evolution does necessarily have a similar appearance and track to the ontogenetic growth, motor skills, mental acumen, and especially linguistic learning of each individual organism.
Abzhanov, Arhat. Von Baer’s Law for the Ages. Trends in Genetics. 29/12, 2013.
Botha, Rudolf. Language Evolution: The Windows Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Kohsokabe, Takahiro and Kunihiko Kaneko. Evolution-Development Congruence in Pattern Formation Dynamics. Journal of Experimental Zoology B. 326/1, 2016.
Niklas, Karl and Ulrich Kutschera. From Goethe’s Plant Archetype via Haeckel’s Biogenetic Law to Plant Evo-Devo. Theory in Biosciences. Online October, 2016.
Ostachuk, Augustin. On Novelty, Heterochrony and Developmental Constraints in a Complex Morphological Theory of Recapitulation. Evolutionary Biology. 43/3, 2015.
Tomasello, Michael and Amrisha Vaish. Origins of Human Cooperation and Morality. Annual Review of Psychology. 64/231, 2013.
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