- Paperback: 524 pages
- Publisher: iUniverse (August 10, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1583482911
- ISBN-13: 978-1583482919
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,216,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nature's Holism 0th Edition
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About the Author
Laurence Evans is a shrimp farmer in South Africa. Born in Zambia in 1960, he moved with his parents to South Africa in 1970. He studied marine biology at the University of Cape Town and then started a career in aquaculture. As a keen ecologist and as aspiring science writer, "Nature's Holism is his first effort. In 1982 and 1983, he spent six months in the wilderness of northen Zambia, riding on horseback and studying bird life and ecology. While here, he "found" the expression of "compatibilty and perpetuity" in nature. He then set out to explain the compatibilty that he saw in nature. This book is the result.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
On Nature's Holism:
"Nature's Holism is an idea expressed within the context of modern science. It is an environmental principle based on ecology and evolution." "In Nature's Holism, we explore the evolution of interdependence within ecosystems. This involves the individual and its living (biotic) environment."
On the Ecological Niche within Ecosystems:
"Ecologists call the role of the creature, the niche of the creature. An ecological niche requires a multidimensional description of an organism's total environment and way of life. This niche includes physical factors such as temperature and moisture, biological factors such as food resources, parasites, predators and behaviour, including social organisation and diurnal activities. Although we can imagine many niches, the only niches are occupied niches."
"People retreat to nature, for recreation, recognising some type of harmony and peace there that brings peace of mind. In nature, we find relaxation, peace, aesthetic qualities, and a serenity that humanity cannot recreate in a city. There is a spiritual quality to nature that is not easily defined. An observer of animals in nature soon recognises the interdependence and balance that exists. Many have recognised this idea of the niche of an organism: "The crocodile isolated from his environment was not the same animal" (Savory, 1988). "The place of a living individual (human, animal, or plant) can be evaluated meaningfully only when it is seen in its integrative, collective, ecological context" (Peet, 1992). "Every species depends on other species for food and for providing its habitat" (Diamond, 1991). "A species is what it is where it is" (Rolston, 1992). "An environment is what a creature knows - and knows in a certain way." "The creature is, in this way, part of its environment, though one could as truly say that the environment is part of it" (Cooper, 1992). "It is quite impossible to think of an organism without an environment" (Begon et al, 1986)."
" Evolutionary processes lead naturally to interactions and behaviour that provide a degree of compatibility between long-associated organisms. A compatible animal exhibits behaviour reducing its effect upon the habitat or ecosystem upon which it depends for survival. In ecological terms, the organism occupies a niche within the ecosystem."
"Perpetuity and compatibility represent two different projections of the same idea or complex - a single indivisible process in operation."
"A situation can occur in nature where some resource suddenly disappears and a population's growth rate (r) or population density is suddenly too high . . . In effect, a resource limit (environment), throws the population into chaos."
"In ecosystems, the individual organisms are components of the system that interact locally to varying degrees. As a result of these interactions and the dynamic process of natural selection, a global property for the system emerges. The main property elaborated in this book is the emergence of compatibility. THIS PROPERTY OF COMPATIBILITY SYMBOLISES A FORM OF FEEDBACK THAT INFLUENCES THE BEHAVIOUR AND FORM OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE INTERACTING AND EVOLVING. Order arises out of a complex dynamical system due to the constraints and limits of the system."
"Technology's future lies in close coordination with nature. Technology has the potential of becoming biological in that it forms part of the human organism that evolves and adapts to the environment, enhancing human perpetuity and compatibility with the world in which we live. We need to develop biological systems that function with minimal managerial effort, and to produce food and other items for human use with minimal environmental impact. Around such technological centres, where we manipulate nature to serve our needs, nature will flourish in all her wild freedom. Through necessity, we will have to grant nature her wilderness."
On Science and Technology:
"Society is turning to science to solve environmental and other problems through technological fixes. In terms of the principles of natural selection we are becoming more specialised. Being specialised, we are becoming more dependent upon technology for our survival and less able to adapt. Instead of forcing our way through with genetic engineering, biotechnology, nuclear fission reactors, deadly chemicals and the total replacement of ecosystems with highly mechanised and heavily fertilised monoculture-type agriculture, we need to learn nature's constraints and adapt our lifestyles to these conditions. In effect, we need to "despecialise" while maintaining educational and living standards as high as possible. We need to harness nature's forces, placing humanity at the center of ecosystem processes."
"Ecotaoism is a term used for an ancient way of life and ideas expressed within the context of modern science. It is an environmental principle based on ecology and evolution. An investigation of existing principles, has shown that the ancient Chinese Taoist forces of yin and yang are similar to the idea that I present. From this context, the term ecotaoism was coined."
"By examining how two associated species evolve (co-evolution), one arrives at a holistic view of nature where interdependence between long-associated species within an ecosystem is dominant. Ecotaoism can be called the science that studies the evolution of interdependence within ecosystems."
" An idea that does not conflict with religious or cultural beliefs, is easy to understand, and threatens no ideology, but rather improves the chances of peace, ecological stability and environmental health, should spread and evolve at an incredible rate. "
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