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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better, September 8, 2006
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This review is from: Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution (Paperback)
This work states the case for the importance of synergy across biology and economics much more solidly than his prior work. It is surprising that the book has not gotten a review until now. I wish that works like this were getting more attention than the intelligent design vs. evolution debate. Corning assembles a lot of evidence to point towards the "new evolutionary paradigm." I cannot think of another work which marshalls so many parallel lines of research to where a new synthesis might be coming. Readable, sometimes polemical, informative, and clear. At some point, though, there is almost too much thrown into his case. Four sections packed in a lot: Synergy and evolution, Bioeconomics, Thermodynamics of life, and Evolutionary ethics. The thermodynamics section was a gem on the often confused subject of how biology meets thermodynamic theory. His idea: "In sum, the development of novel bioenergetic technologies in the evolutionary process has had little to do with entropy or dissipative structures and much more to do with engineering--design improvements in the ability of living systems to capture and utilize available energy. It is the organized use of available energy in evolved, informed (cybernetic) structures that has been the key, as noted earlier. And the explanation for these changes lies in their economic advantages, as Lotka long ago suggested." (p. 351)

A great read; a passionate and encylopedic collection of current ideas assembled into an intriguing hypothesis. I look forward to other reviews of his work.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 11, 2007 2:35:57 PM PST
Kees Hulsman says:
This review has perked my interest in the book. The application of the laws of physics and systems theory is a must for developing our understanding of evolution in an ecological context. So I shall check out this book to learn how it affects my own understanding of evolution in ecosystems.
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Location: Berkeley, Calif, USA

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