Synopses & Reviews
Why is the universe conscious? What kindles mind inside matter? Why do fundamentalist sciences and religions never ask these questions? This sequel to Embryogenesis
deals with the theoretical issues brought up by Embryogenesis,
including: the relationship between thermodynamics/entropy and the emergence of life; a speculative set of embryogenic principles for all creatures on all planets in the cosmos; an explanation and critique of Intelligent Design and a proposal for a more dynamic psychospiritual theory of creature development; a series of alternatives to genetic determinism; a discussion of the relationship between consciousness and matter; an interjection of 9/11 (which occurred during the writing of this book); and many other topics.
What is Life?: Evolution, Thermodynamics, and Complexity;
Is There a Plan?: Creationism, Cultural Relativism, and Paraphysics;
Biogenesis and Cosmogenesis: Cells, Genes, and Planets;
The Principles of Biological Design: Physical Forces in Nature;
The Dynamics of the Biosphere: Deep Time and Space;
The Limits of Genetic Determinism: Dimensionless Epigenetic Landscapes;
Topokinesis: Physical Forces in Development;
Tissue Motifs and Body Plans: Coordinating Form;
The Primordial Field: Metabiology and The Molecular Apparatus;
Meaning and Destiny: The Relation of Consciousness to Matter
The basis for biology is embryogenesis--a method of organizing the matter responsible for the creation of life. This book brings attention to the gap between science's description of life as random and mechanical, and the depth of human experience. Other sections discuss genetic determinism; embryonic models of healing; the Islamic critique of Western science; and theories of consciousness and language. Offering Buddhist, phenomenological, and indigenous systems of thought as alternatives to neo-Darwinism, the cultural, philosophical, political, and ecological ramifications of embryos, genes, and evolution are explored.
There are two means of organizing matter in the universe: pure thermodynamics and embryogenesis. This book discusses the difference between the two as a way of understanding the types of life forms that exist on Earth and might exist elsewhere in the universe. Section discuss the limits of genetic determinism and the Islamic critique of Western science.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 447-471).
In this book, the author tries to imagine what ways there are to conceive of life without yielding to metaphysical considerations. The author offers Buddhism, phenomenology, and indigenous systems of thought as alternatives to neo-Darwinism. First printing 3,000.
About the Author
A graduate of Amherst College, Richard Grossinger received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan by writing an ethnography of fishing in Maine. He is the author of many books, a portion of which is listed below:
The Night Sky
Embryogenesis: Species, Gender, and Identity
Homeopathy: The Great Riddle
Out of Babylon: Ghosts of Grossinger's
He and his wife Lindy Hough are the founding publishers of North Atlantic Books in Berkeley, California.
Table of Contents
What is life? -- Is there a plan? -- Biogenesis and cosmogenesis -- The principles of biological design -- The dynamics of the biosphere -- The limits of genetic determinism -- The wahhabi critique of Darwinian materialism -- Topokinesis -- Tissue motifs and body plans -- The primordial field -- Meaning and destiny.