John Stewart and Daniel Wahl on the Role of Cooperation in Evolution

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Daniel Christian Wahl:

"On June 15th I had this conversation with the evolutionary (complexity) scientist John Stewart, who's work I have been quoting quite regularly in my book and since.

John describes evolution as a process of diversification and subsequent reintegration of the generated diversity at higher levels of complexity. He stresses that in every major evolutionary jump in the evolution of life this 'reintegration at higher levels of complexity' occurs through new ways of cooperating.

I start off by letting John tell is fascinating story from being a marine biologist, to being a professional fisherman, to becoming an independent scientist, who has published a number of significant academic papers in peer reviewed journals, but has intentionally stayed clear of being trapped within the academic system.

We explore: - complexity, - Stuart Kaufmann's work on 'self-organisation in far from equilibrium complex systems' - the long arch of cooperation enabled evolutionary innovations - the role of competition in modulating the predominately cooperative patterns of the evolution of life as a planetary process - multi-level selection & cooperation within but competition between groups - the importance of 'consequence capture' in the evolution of human behaviour - the difference between 'procedural knowledge' and 'declarative knowledge' (in the context of learning from indigenous wisdom and traditional ecological knowledge) - Gregory Bateson's importance to the real 'systems thinking' (min 48) - the work of Ray Rappaport on the role of ritual in the ecology of a New Guinea tribe (from 1968) - John explains 'consequence capture' using the example of the endosymbiotic theory of the evolution of eukaryotic cells (1hr) - the Magna Carta & democracy (the need to redesign governance) - humanity introducing 'consequence capture' at a planetary scale' (1hr 14 mins) - the evolution a a global "super organism" (1hr 18mins) - the need to create consequence capture for the future of humanity and the evolution of life on Earth (1hr 24mins) - evolution of life in a universal / cosmic context (1hr 26) ... the 'Fermi paradox' (reaching planetary maturity) - getting out of the way of the work one is called to do (1hr 37mins) - the evolutionary imperative of moving to a global level of coordinating human cooperation in support of life as a planetary process (1hr 40mins) - David Sloan Wilson's work on 'pro social' (1hr 41mins) - Unpredictability of complex systems and how identifying attractors (like the global super-organism hatching) can help guide appropriate participation in complexity and help navigate uncertainty ... in the context of the role of technology in the future of evolution of life on Earth (1hr 50mins)"