Nature's Magic Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind

ISBN-10: 0521825474

ISBN-13: 9780521825474

Edition: 2003

Authors: Peter Corning

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A wonderfully written account of how synergy has influenced evolution, human society, and technology. Corning argues that synergy represents a unifying explanation for biological diversity & represents a different perspective on the evolutionary process.
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Book details

List price: $92.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 5/5/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 468
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.20" tall
Weight: 1.694

Prologue: The New Evolutionary Paradigm
What Is Synergy?
The Causal Role of Synergy in Evolution
The "Synergistic Ape"
The Perils of Prediction
The "Enchanted Loom"
A Golden Tapestry of Synergies
Technology as Synergy
Synergies 'R' Us
Synergistic Neurons
The Varieties of Synergy
Synergy Is Everywhere
The Magic Castle
The Big Whoosh
Enter Synergy
Synergy and Gravity
Fusion and Synergy
Chemistry and Synergy
The Anthropic Principle
Architectonics in Evolution
Nature's Wizardry
Catch-22 and the Synergy of RNA
The Evidence from Stromatolites
Symbiosis as a Form of Synergy
Eukaryotes Are Us
"Symbiogenesis"
The Economics of Symbiosis
Multicellular Synergy
Photosynthesis and Synergy
Cambrian Synergy
Social Synergy
Synergy in Ecosystems
An Oasis of Synergy
Synergy in the Biosphere
Good Gaia!
The Whole Shebang
"Black Magic"
Negative Synergy Is Not an Oxymoron
"Dysergy" in Cyberspace
Threshold Effects
Negative Social Synergy
The Titanic Effect
Synergy Minus One
Synergy Goes to War
Y2K: A Close Call
The Paradox of Dependency
"Devolution" as a Loss of Synergy
A Biblical Example
The Rise and Fall of Rome
Pox Romana
The Lessons of History
High and Low Synergy
Negative Synergy in Nature
The Synergism Hypothesis
Why Not Synergy?
The Vicissitudes of Synergy
The Ideological Debate about Evolution
A Favorable Tide?
Where Is Natural Selection?
The "Causes" of Evolution
The Synergism Hypothesis
Synergy and the Evolution of Complexity
The Selfish Genome
Seeing with New Eyes
Growing Support for This Theory
The Economics of Synergy
Cooperation Versus Competition
Testing for Synergy
Neo-Darwinism Compared
Egoistic Cooperation
Game Theory Revisited
Other Problems
Indirect Reciprocity
Synergistic Selection
A Stalking Horse
Turning the Necker Cube
Weighing the Synergism Hypothesis
Consider the Alternatives
Holistic Darwinism: The New Evolutionary Paradigm
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Lamarck's Vision
Organic Selection
The "Pacemaker" of Evolution
Legendary Learners
The "Sentient Symphony"
Social Learning
Tool-Using Synergy
Culture Wars
Lamarck's Ghost
Other Voices
Evolution "on Purpose"
Chance, Necessity, and Teleonomy
"Downward Causation"
Selfish Memes?
"Feedback" [sic]
"Neo-Lamarckian Selection"
A Two-Way Street
Neo-Lamarckian Selection and Human Evolution
Conjuring Human Evolution: The Synergistic Ape
A Wealth of Scenarios
The Killer Ape
Food-Sharing
The Nuclear Family
The Synergism Hypothesis and Human Evolution
What Was the Context?
Primate Pre-Adaptations
Australopithecine Synergy
A Division of Labor?
Tools and Synergy
Hard Evidence for Soft Technologies
The Social Triad
"Homo Intermedius"
A Technological Revolution
A Neo-Lamarckian Process
A Hotbed of Synergy
Culture, Language, and Synergy
"Homo Symbolicus"
Language as a Prime Mover?
Language as an Invention
The Human "Revolution"?
Two Paths to Modern Humans
A Synergistic "Package"
Prehistoric Warfare?
The Rise of the Zulu Nation
Occam's Razor Revisited
The Synergistic Species
Conjuring History: Does Cultural Evolution Have an "Arrow"?
An Ancient Idea
The Age of Spencer
A Passel of Prime Movers
The Social Conflict School
Technological Determinism
What Is Technology?
Sunflower Oil
The Automobile Revolution
Technology and the Synergism Hypothesis
Down with Prime Movers!
A Trajectory without an Arrow
The Cultural "Gear-Train"
Synergy in Cultural Evolution
Synergy in Settlements
The Agricultural "Revolution"
Synergy in Chiefdomships and States
The Paradox of Dependency
Upward and Onward?
The Science of History
Pythagoras and "The Music of the Spheres"
The Neo-Pythagoreans
The Quest for Laws of History
The Law of Evolution?
Order for Free?
Self-Organization
The Law of Higglety Pigglety
Is the "Science of History" an Oxymoron?
Emergence and the Rules of Chess
Molecular Computers
Simple Models and the Hierarchy of Nature
The Causal Role of Synergy in Evolution
An Unfinished Symphony
Conjuring the Future: What Can We Predict?
The Logic of Synergy
The Logic of Failure
The Perils of Prediction
Replacing Forecasts with Strategic Plans
Some Contingent Trends
Cassandra Meets Pollyanna
Synergy and the Fate of Humankind
Tying Up the Loose Threads
Revisiting "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Afterword
Notes
References
Index
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