Link to essays & stories (“We Could Use Some Dull Moments & Other Stories”)
I work mainly in two areas:
1) Evolution of Complexity: In a 2010 book with Robert Brandon, Biology's First Law, we argue that the complexity of organisms will tend to increase spontaneously in the absence of natural selection and other forces. In evolution, complexity is easy. (And simplicity is hard.) ... A second book, The Missing Two Thirds of Evolutionary Theory is due out in 2020.
2) Teleology (purpose, goal directedness): A common physical structure underlies all goal-directed systems, from acorns turning into oak trees to homing torpedoes to human passions and purposes. All of these are hierarchically structured, consisting a small thing nested within a large thing, more precisely, a goal-directed entity moving within a larger directing field. For the homing torpedo, the directed entity is the torpedo itself, and the directing field is the sound field emanating from a target ship. In us, the directed entities are thoughts and behaviors, and the larger fields are motivations, in other words, wants, preferences, and cares. According to this view (and consistent with David Hume's centuries-old argument), it is not reason that powers and directs purposeful behavior, but our passions, both calm and strong.
Link to papers & books
Author Archives: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teleology How shall we understand goal-directed systems? What explains the ability of a bacterium to home in on its food? How is a cell able to migrate to a target location in a developing embryo? How is a homing torpedo … Continue reading
The world is mostly empty space.