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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 61 through 75 of 78 found.


Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies

Earth Life > Nest > Symbiotic

Sagan, Dorion. From Empedocles to Symbiogenesis: Lynn Margulis’s Revolutionary Influence on Evolutionary Biology. Biosystems. June, 2021. We cite this latest essay as a succinct record of her valient endeavor to break out of old male fixation into a vital sense of an animate procreation graced by a universal principle of positive, reciprocal conciliations between all phases of organic entities. Yet we have a world tearing itself apart due to violent oppositions, which is in desperate need for such a unifying scientific vision. I have heard and met Lynn in Amherst, in my opinion she could merit being the one woman who could rise to the status of a Newton or Darwin.

As a primary expositor of the work of Lynn Margulis collaborating with her over thirty years on over thirty books and forty articles, scientific and popular, I attempt here to summarize her unique and lasting influence on evolutionary biology. Describing life on Earth as the multi-billion-year evolution of microbial communities, from prokaryotes maintaining Earth's atmosphere away from thermodynamic equilibrium to all eukaryotes as polygenomic beings, Margulis's interdisciplinary work has deeply influenced multiple fields including systematics, theories of the evolution of metabolism, paleobiology, and biogeochemistry. Overturning the neo-Darwinist narrative that speciation almost always occurs by the gradual accumulation of random mutations, Margulis's work revives a discarded philosophical speculation of the pre-Socratic Empedocles, who suggested that Earth's early beings both merged and differentially reproduced. Margulis's curiosity-driven science, collaborative work ethic, status as a woman, embrace of novelty, philosophical stance, current status of her theories, and the proposal for a new science of symbiogenetics are among the topics examined. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Multicellular

Arias Del Angel, Juan, et al. Interplay of Mesoscale Physics and Agent-like Behaviors in the Parallel Evolution of Aggregative Multicellularity. BMC EvoDevo. 11:21, 2020. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, New York Medical College, Centre for Human Genetics, Bengaluru, India including Stuart Newman gather recent empirical evidence and theoretical reason as to how this major transition persistently occurred, and what might be the deeper dynamics that drove it to do so.

The emergence of multicellular organisms exhibiting cell differentiation, spatial patterning and morphogenesis has been recognized as one of the major transitions in evolution. Depending on the criteria applied, multicellularity evolved on anywhere between 10 and 25 independent occasions, which enabled an extraordinary increase in the complexity of living systems; the study of the developmental mechanisms and selective forces leading to their emergence, maintenance, and variation is an active research area. In broad terms, multicellular organisms can be classified either as aggregative (“coming together”) or zygotic (“staying together”), according to the mechanism by which multicellularity arises.

An important implication of the perspective we have presented here is that physics-based and agent-based approaches to understanding development are not simply alternative modeling or computational strategies, but represent realities of complex biological systems that are represented to various extents in different organismal lineages. Thus, the material nature of multicellular systems and the inherent structural motifs entailed by the relevant physics introduces a predictability to morphological evolution. (14)

Earth Life > Nest > Ecosystems

Rogers, Tanya, et al. Chaos is not Rare in Natural Ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution. July, 2022. TR, National Marine Fisheries Service, along with Bethany Johnson and Stephan Munch, UC Santa Cruz provide a 2020s report that while Darwin’s bank remains tangled, our latest nonlinear sciences can reveal the present of an orderly basis. See also Yonatan, Yogev, et al. Complexity-Stability Trade-off in Empirical Microbial Ecosystems by Yogev Yonatan, et al in this same issue for a similar contribution..

Chaotic dynamics are thought to be rare in natural populations but this may be due to earlier empirical limitations, rather than an inherent stability of ecosystems. By way of extensive simulation testing, we applied multiple chaos detection methods to a global database and found chaotic behavior in some 30% of cases. Relative chaos was more prevalent among plankton and insects and least among birds and mammals. These results demonstrate that chaos does often occur in natural populations, and thus caution against steady-state approaches to conservation and management. (Excerpt)

Earth Life > Sentience

Ball, Philip. The Book of Minds: How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings from Animals to AI to Aliens. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022. In this latest volume, the prolific polyscholar science writer (search here and his website) extends his wide compass onto another vital feature of emergent life and sentience on the way to our global cognizance as it lately gains prominence. While he won a 2018 physics book for Beyond Weird about the quantum revolution, this thoroughly researched, copious interview edition covers the disparate occasions and sequential stages of how life’s long developmental course came to trace a axial advance in cerebral forms and cognitive faculties. In regard, this historic shift from bones to brains can further distinguish a progressive florescence of quickening, stirring, awakening intelligences in group communities. Chapters include Minds and Where to Find Them, Waking Up in the World, All the Things You Are and Free to Choose, along with novel machine learnings, if we properly program. But this 21st century turn from aimless accident to an evolutionary gestation as it may just reach and transition to a Geonate moment may well return human persons, one and all, to a central place and purpose.

Popular science writer Philip Ball explores a range of sciences to map our answers to a huge, philosophically rich question: How do we even begin to think about minds that are not human? Sciences from zoology to astrobiology, computer science to neuroscience, are seeking to understand minds in their own distinct disciplinary realms. Taking a uniquely broad view of minds and where to find them—including in plants, aliens, and God—Philip Ball pulls the pieces together to explore what sorts of minds we might expect to find in the universe. In so doing, he offers for the first time a unified way of thinking about what minds are and what they can do, by locating them in what he calls the “space of possible minds.” (Publisher)

Earth Life > Sentience

Ginsburg, Simona and Eva Jablonka. Picturing the Mind: Consciousness through the Lens of Evolution. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2022. The senior Israeli philosophers of science (search) are joined by their illustrator Anna Zeligowski to visually convey how life’s emergent transitions can be seen to facilitate of a parallel ascent of aware, informed sentience. In this convergent year, the edition reveals that this cerebral, cognitive faculty along with its expansive knowledge content serves to define life’s central, salient trend. In regard, from earliest stirrings (see herein) some manner of educative learning process goes on via nested scales all the way to our common planetary retrospect. A succinct capsule can be found on a MIT Press Reader site as How Did Consciousness Evolve? An Illustrated Guide (Google this and author’s name). (Excerpts below are from this posting.)

Is there a single, tangible property that when present in an entity means that all the characteristics of consciousness are in place — an evolutionary transition marker of consciousness? We believe that we have identified such a marker as a form of open-ended associative learning, which we call unlimited associative learning (UAL).

Earth Life > Sentience > Bicameral Brain

Hausmann, Markus, et al.. Laterality Entering the Next Decade: The 25th Anniversary of a Journal Devoted to Asymmetries of Brain, Behavior and Cognition. Laterality. 26/3, 2021. We cite this review/preview entry by Durham University (MH), Victoria University of Wellington (Gina Grinshaw) and University of New England, Australia (Lesley Rogers, search) scholars as a way in this late year to record the robust verification that has appeared on these scientific journal pages of an optimum bicameral asymmetry at each and every evolutionary phase and instance. As the citations note, and this resource documents, its vital occasion can be seen in effect from atomic light to (in)vertebrate animal organism all the ascendant way to our exemplary human faculties. Into these fraught 2020s, such an actual discovery of a natural complementarity between node - link, DNA – AND, dot – connect, me – We = US archetypes can now be achieved. As a result, it could at last bring these innate reciprocal attributes to inform and resolve political, engendered, combative, warlord cultures worldwide. In regard, Laterality remains the only journal of its kind dedicated to gather and report and this once and future Yang + Yin = Taome optimum poise,

In 1996, Phil Bryden, Mike Corballis, and Chris McManus released the first issue of Laterality. These founding editors pointed out in their editorial how surprisingly long it took to have a journal devoted entirely to laterality, its unanswered questions and wide-ranging problems. They mentioned left-right asymmetries inside sub-atomic structures, the pharmacology of chiral molecules, anatomical asymmetries of the viscera, Broca's discovery of the left-brain dominance in language production, and so on. One-hundred and twenty-eight issues later, Laterality celebrates with a special Issue: Laterality research entering the next decade. It opens with an opinion paper by Sebastian Ocklenburg, et al which outlines ten trends going forward into the 2020s. (Excerpts)

In the 2010s, significant progress has been made in key areas including neuroimaging, genetics and comparative research. Here, we discuss which trends which may shape laterality research in the 2020s such as ntegrating cross-cultural samples, combined meta-analysis and databank studies, the treatment of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, molecular correlates of environmental factors, graph-theory and machine learning method and so on. These disparate aspects will open the way for novel questions, enhanced collaborations and boost the reliable validity of evidential findings for this widely pervasive cerebral and cognitive feature. (Ocklenburg excerpt)

It is surprising how long it has taken to have a journal devoted entirely to Lateriality. Left-right asymmetries appear at almost all level of scientific endeavor from deep inside sub-atomic structures, through to the biochemistry of dextral sugars and animo-acids, to chiral molecules, and onto the intrinsic asymmetry of brains and language and galactic handedness. (Initial issue editorial excerpt, 1/1, 1996)

Laterality: Asymmetries of Brain, Behaviour, and Cognition publishes high quality research on all these aspects of human and non-human (vertebrate and invertebrate) species, including its psychological, behavioural, neural, genetic or other biological manifestations. The field of laterality is broad so the editors will consider papers which also illuminate the evolution of biological, neural, or behavioural asymmetry; papers on cultural, linguistic, artistic, and social expressions; as well as on its development, function, and historical origins.

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Protolang 6. sites.google.com/view/protolang-6/home. A copious website for this sixth edition of the Protolang conference series which took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 9 to 11 September, 2019, along with satellite events. A typical Symposia was Evolution of Language from Perspectives of Hierarchical Complexity led by Misato Hayashi, summary next.

Hierarchical complexity seems to be a key factor for the rise of linguistic capacity during ontogeny and evolution. Several comparative studies were conducted in primates (non-human primates and humans) as well as birds to explore the evolution of cognitive abilities accounting for hierarchical complexity. Formal language studies of the grammatical structure underlying behavioral sequences such as object manipulation, song, and music reveal hierarchical complexities inherent in animal behavior. We will discuss how the hierarchical complexity observed in nonhuman animals promoted the evolution of human language. (Abstract)

The Protolang conference series creates an interdisciplinary platform for scholarly discussion on the origins of symbolic communication distinctive of human beings. Its theme focuses on the genetic, anatomical, neuro-cognitive, socio-cultural, semiotic, symbolic and ecological requirements for evolving (proto)language. We aim at identifying the proximate and ultimate causes as well as the mechanisms by which these requirements evolved; evaluating the methodologies, research tools and simulation techniques; and enabling extended and vigorous exchange of ideas across disciplinary borders.

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Gontier, Nathalie. Defining Communication and Language from a Pluralistic Evolutionary Worldview. Topoi. 41/3, 2022. In this special issue (Gontier) the University of Lisbon polyscholar (herein and website) continues to provide a conceptual basis and innovative lead for these broad fields of study. At present, a global humankind sapience reflects back to wonder and retrace the steps and paths to informative speech, many dialects, cumulative content, and growing repositories on the way to our hopeful worldwide edification.

New definitions are proposed for communication and language as the evolution of physical, biochemical, cellular, community, and technological information exchange. Language then becomes a social discourse whereby such conversations comprise individual and group-constructed knowledge and beliefs. These results are enacted, narrated, and conveyed by rule-based symbol systems grounded, and interpreted within embodied, cognitive, ecological, and sociocultural niches. In contrast to older versions, the sense proposed here makes up a pluralistic evolutionary worldview that allows a multitude of units, levels, mechanisms and processes which further bring forth communication and language. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Individuality

Sultan, Sonia, et al. Bridging the Explanatory Gaps: What can We Learn from a Biological Agency Perspective? BioEssays. 44/1, 2022. Sonia S., Wesleyan University, Denis Walsh, University of Toronto and Armin Moczek, Indiana University biological theorists engage, clarify and advance new realizations that individual entities indeed can have their own motive volition in the course of events. In regard, rather than lumpen dross, organisms actually have a mind and will of their own. See also When the End Modifies its Means: The Origins of Novelty and the Evolution of Innovation in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (August 2022) and An Enactive-Developmental Systems Framing of Cognizing Systems by Amanda Corris in Biology & Philosophy (July 2022).

We begin this article by citing explanatory gaps due to gene-focused approaches to phenotype determination, inheritance, and novel traits. We do not diminish their value but note where their usage has met persistent limitations. We then discuss how many issues can be addressed by an inherent biological agency — the capacity of living systems to participate in their own development, maintenance, and function by regulating their structures and activities. (Excerpt)

Earth Life > Recapitulation

Levit, Georgy and Uwe Hossfeld. Self-Organization Meets Evolution: Ernst Haeckel and Abiogenesis. Dambricourt Malasse, Anne, ed. Self-Organization as a New Paradigm in Evolutionary Biology. International: Springer, 2022. Schiller University, Jena biologists provide a latest 19th to 21st century re-unification of these “non-Darwinian” vitalities of form and function which seem to innately arise and recur in kind from a conducive nature.

Although Darwin proposed a logically coherent theory of evolution about the natural occurrence of natural life forms, he did not explain the origin of life. This task was instead taken up by his German pupil Ernst Haeckel (1934 -1919) by way of intrinsic processes rooted in “inorganic” substance. In a major book, Generelle Morphologie (General Morphology), he postulated the origin of life on Earth by way of archigonia, i.e., spontaneous generations of primitive monera from matter. Essentially, Haeckel’s concept was a self-organization hypothesis within a Darwinian frame. In this chapter, we reconstruct Haeckel’s theory of abiogenesis as a self-organization theory and demonstrate its importance to life’s origin in this post-Darwinian era.

Our Earthuman Ascent: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Tononi, Giulio, et al. Only What Exists can Cause: An Intrinsic View of Free Will. arXiv:2206.02069. A premier team of GT, Larissa Albantakis, Chiara Cirelli, and Melanie Boly, University of Wisconsin, along with Christof Koch, Allen Institute for Brain Science continue to advance this Integrated Information Theory view as it gains a popular validity. In regard, a table of Axioms: the essential properties of phenomenal existence by way of Intrinsicality, Composition, Information, and Exclusion is entered. A table of Postulates: physical existence then shows how the same qualities can be traced to a deep natural basis. As this section reports, since circa 2008 these developments seem to well define a parallel ascent of informed complexity and knowing consciousness.

This essay addresses the implications of integrated information theory (IIT) for free will. IIT is about what consciousness is and how it occurs. According to IIT, the presence of aware sentience is accounted for by a maximum of cause-effect power in the brain. Thus the way specific experiences feel is due to how that cause-effect power is structured. If IIT is right, we do have free will in the fundamental sense: we have real alternatives, we make decisions, and we - not our neurons or atoms - are the cause of willed actions responsibilities. IIT's claim of true free will is based on the proper understanding of consciousness drawn from its intrinsic powers ontology: what truly exists, in physical terms, are intrinsic entities. (Abstract)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Krishnadas, M., et al. Recurrence Measures and Transitions in Stock Market Dynamics. arXiv:2208.03456. We note this contribution by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati worldwide researchers as another case whereby nature’s universal code-script mathematics can be seen in similar, manifest effect even across our frantic financial trades.

The financial markets are understood as complex dynamical systems whose dynamics is analysed by data sets that usually come from stock markets. A reliable method is based on recurrence plots and networks from statistical phases. Here we perform a detailed study of the daily complexity of 26 markets around the globe using these measures. We show that the measures derived from recurrence patterns can be used to capture the nature of transitions in stock market dynamics. Our study reveals that the radical changes around 2008 indicate a stochastic transition, which is different from than during the pandemic. (excerpt)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Becker, Kurt, et al. Complex Urban Systems. European Physical Journal Special Topics. 231/9, 2022. Center for Urban Science and Progress, Tandon School of Engineering, NYU scholars introduce this issue with this subtitle: A Living Lab to Understand Urban Processes and Solve Complex Problems subtitle. To wit, into these 2020s it is now possible to proceed on a whole scale revision guided by complex network dynamics, so as to achieve a much better viability. Some entries are Ridership Prediction in Transportation Hubs, Analytical Fault Impact Model for the Electrical Grid, and Integrative Urban AI to Expand Coverage, Access and Equity.

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Portugali, Juval, ed. Handbook on Cities and Complexity. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2022. The Tel Aviv University systems geographer (search) edits an integral volume to date about how these revolutionary nonlinear network advances can result in deeper perceptions of small and large human habitations. It’s Elgar Online website has Portugali’s opening chapters in full along with chapter abstracts such as City Systems and Complexity by Michael Batty, Synergistic Cities by JP and Hermann Haken, Coevolution as the Secret of Urban Complexity (Denise Pumain, search) and Major Transitions in the Story of Urban Complexity by Stephen Marshall and Nick Green. The collection goes on to an essay by Christopher Alexander, how language gets involved and Design Planning.

Written by some of the founders of complexity theory and complexity theories of cities (CTC), this Handbook expertly guides the reader through over forty years of intertwined developments: the emergence of general theories of complex self-organized systems and the consequent emergence of CTC. (Publisher)

Earth Earn: Our Open Participatory Earthropocene to Ecosmocene Futurity

Ecosmo Sapiens > Old World > anthropocene

Thomas, Julia Adeney, ed. Altered Earth: Getting the Anthropocene Right. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2022. A Harvard Radcliffe scholar edits a latest survey upon this post 1950s era after the Holocene when rampant human impacts began to take over the world. From geology to culture, authorities such as Will Steffen (Earth Science) to Kate Brown (nuclear war) cobble together its many, disparate issues. But the awkward, unnatural concepts remains troublesome. For example, a book review by ecologist Mark Maslin (see his How to Save Our Planet 2021) worries about its compass and basis. (See also The Green New Deal 2022 by Jeremy Rifkin.)

As I was viewing all this, it occurred that the flawed model ought to be transcended by a holistic, Gaian biosphere to personsphere sapience as an organic, sustainable Earthropocene era. But an attempt to Google led to one reply – its only usage so far was this very website. (Please use without any referral.) As cultures and climates crash, as gun and genocide violence rages, an imaginative reach to a better ecovillage world (promised planet), as this volume does allude to, need be a hopeful alternative. (A Rescue Planet whereby children prevent adults (warlords, fossil fools) from destroying it so to regain their future.)

Altered Earth aims to get the Anthropocene right in three senses. With essays by leading scientists, it highlights the growing consensus that our planet entered a dangerous new state in the mid-twentieth century. Second, it gets the Anthropocene right in human terms, bringing together a range of leading authors to explore, in fiction and non-fiction, our deep past, global conquest, inequality, nuclear disasters, and space travel. Finally, this landmark collection presents what hope might look like in this seemingly hopeless situation, proposing new political forms and mutualistic cities.

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