Peter A. Corning. Synergy And Self-Organization In The Evolution Of Complex Systems

Peter A. Corning. Synergy And Self-Organization In The Evolution Of Complex Systems

Synergy of various kinds has played a significant creative role in evolution; it has been a prodigious source of evolutionary novelty. Elsewhere it has been proposed that the functional (selective) advantages associated with various forms of synergistic phenomena have been an important cause of the "progressive" evolution of complex systems over time. Underlying the many specific steps in the complexification process, a common functional principle has been operative. Recent mathematical modelling work in biology, utilizing a new generation of non-linear dynamical systems models, has resulted in a radically different hypothesis. It has been asserted that "spontaneous," autocatalytic processes, which are held to be inherent properties of living matter itself, may be responsible for much of the order found in nature and that natural selection is merely a supporting actor. A new "physics of biology" is envisioned in which emerging natural laws of organization will be recognized as being responsible both for driving the evolutionary process and for truncating the role of natural selection. This article describes these two paradigms in some detail and discusses the possible relationship between them. Their relevance to the process of human evolution is also briefly discussed.


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Keywords: The New Economy, Behavioral Economics, Theory of Communication, Evolutionary Economics

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