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 developmental gestation (Part V), this multi-faceted Part VI will proceed to document how each Earthly spatial and temporal stage and phase has become seen as an exemplary, phenotype-like result. It opens with a further Universal Principles section gleaned from how a mathematome source guides and reiterate in kind everywhere. Nested Gestation of Communal Creatures then arrays into nine subsections from fractal geology to phenomenal peoples and a Gaian biosphere. Subsequent sections evince cerebral, cognitive, behavioral, whole genome, individual autonomy, and ontogeny = phylogeny occasions. With copious documentation in place, even homo, anthropo and Earthropo qualities can likewise, from our retrospect network vantage, be seen to express one complementary code.
A. A Survey 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 sections have advised, a second naturome testament translated to and written in a genetic script is becoming legible from a phenomenal genesis uniVerse to me + We = US peoples.
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.
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 141 Bibliographic Entries
B. Nested Gestation of Communal Creatures
A tour of the sequential, multilevel scale of animate entities from their geological substrate to a self-regulating bioplanet. The import conveyed here is that each phase such as Microbial Colonies or Dynamic Ecosystems, as a paradigm shift in each domain, is becoming found and understood to express in form and process the independent self-organizing principles.
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: Once again, an encoded universality is sustained as geologic landforms, oceanic seas and atmospheric phenomena are being robustly qualified. The benefit would be an informed wiseworld better able to understand and mitigate.
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.
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 74 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: By these lights, a persistent emergence of life, mind and selves can now be seamlessly grounded in an increasingly fertile, amniotic universe. And by our collective Earthsphere sapience, an ordained ovogenesis may reach and witness its (her/his) necessary self-realization and affirmed selection.
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.
Cronin, Leroy and Sara Imari Walker. Beyond Prebiotic Chemistry. Science. 352/1174, 2016.
Deamer, David. First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
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 158 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: So again this prokaryote, bioflim phase, as it gains environmental and human microbiome status and respect, has become appreciated as an model occasion of life’s universal dynamics.
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 80 Bibliographic Entries
4. Cellular Holobiont Symbiosis
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: Once more a major revolution can be recorded for this primal scale by way of common symbiotic mutualities, and the innate presence of structural and processural mathematic influences.
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 123 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.
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 96 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: This member/group communal attribute on the way to a social protocell has also been cited as competitive coherence, creative union, ubuntu culture and more. For our own Earthmost survival it would much behoove we peoples altogether to appreciate and practice this universal, complementary, familial principle that serves evolving life from microbes to ecovillages.
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.
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 205 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 these citations attest, common, self-similar relations are present no matter what pole to pole or equatorial domain that life’s brave, adaptable beings may find themselves. As once evident to aboriginal vision, at our parturient hour, a global sensitivity can again reveal common patterns in rainfall, seasonal vegetation, riverine flows, and whole ecoEarth as a numinous, legible testament.
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 151 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 epochal revision has occurred in the later 2010s by way of ancient DNA sequence recovery so to quite redraw a leafy tree, or branching bush from which a more loquacious, cerebral, efficient homo to anthropo speciation still came to be.
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 135 Bibliographic Entries
9. Gaia Alive: A Bio-Ecosphere Sustains Itself
Earth’s biosphere is now known to have regulated itself for some billion years in a homeostatic fashion so as to sustain favorable atmospheric and geochemical conditions for life’s continued survival. Since the 1970's, the British geochemist James Lovelock, with Lynn Margulis and many others, have provided theoretical and experimental support for life as a planetary phenomenon. Lovelock's country neighbor, the author William Golding, suggested the name of the earth goddess Gaia. The concept has received intense scrutiny, often rejection, over past decades but is now generally understood and accepted as an innovative model. Its proof is an actual worthwhile service to global ecological research programs. This section also contains references for the field of Earth systems science and Earth’s formative history.
Alvarez, Walter. A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves. New York: Norton, 2016.
Arenes, Alexandra, et al. Giving Depth to the Surface: An Exercise in the Gaia-Graphy of Critical Zones. Anthropocene Review. Online June, 2018.
Hermida, Margarida. Life on Earth is an Individual. Theory in Biosciences. Online February, 2016.
Jabr, Ferris. The Earth is just as Alive as You Are. New York Times. April 21, 2019.
Kleidon, Axel. How does the Earth System Generate and Maintain Thermodynamic Disequilibrium. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 370/1012, 2012.
Langmuir, Charles and Wally Broecker. The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Lenton, Timothy, et al. Selection for Gaia across Multiple Scales. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Online July, 2018.
Nicholson, Arwen, et al. Alternative Mechanisms for Gaia. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Online August, 2018.
Ruse, Michael. The Gaia Hypothesis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
View the 72 Bibliographic Entries
C. A 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 most distinguished by emergent cerebral and cognitive abilities. In this regard, they continue to define an oriented, developmental gestation. At each various stage and instance, once again the bigender naturome code is manifestly evident, especially with regard to bilateral 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.
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.
View the 124 Bibliographic Entries
2. An Emergent Bicameral Brain
2020: Within Quickening Encephalization and Sensibility, this international, composite discovery of a common, archetypal complementarity across every Metazoan creature’s cognizance and behavior is a huge, evidential occasion of nature’s bigender code. All manner of invertebrate and vertebrate organisms are graced by a double duty faculty for evolutionary survival and emergence. As it reaches our homo to anthropo sapiensphere phase, our own survival could depend on whether this revelation can prompt politic national, and cultural sanities.
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.>/b> 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.
View the 45 Bibliographic Entries
3. Animal Intelligence and Sociality
2020: While animals were once only dumb beasts, today it is known that a common, human-like behavioral personality extends through life’s evolutionary realms to earliest rudiments and simpliest creatures. One might muse that a singular individual and social repertoire graces intelligent, sentient, communal beings everywhere. So it truly seems to be a human universe.
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: Akin to the bicameral ramification above, an inherent propensity for Earthly entities of all kinds to gain communicative abilities by any and all means has been quantified. Once again complementary modes of discrete materials and symbolic meanings come forth as a universe to human procreation tries to achieve her/his own a voice and vision.
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 inform, is that such a “semi-autonomy” is achieved as a symbiotic, reciprocal member of a viable grouping. From our global now, 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.
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: From our late retrospect, the entirety of earth life’s somatic, cerebral and societal evolution does in fact take on a similar appearance to the growth, motor learning, mental achievement, and language acquisition of a human person.
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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