Is Increasing Autonomy a Factor of Evolution?
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Bernd Rosslenbroich contends that the physiology of living organisms changes in the course of evolution towards more autonomy. The more autonomous an organism is, the more its organization and processes are determined by the system itself and the less they are disturbed by the environment. For the most part, examples of unicellular bacteria and animals are considered in this book, which examines the conceptual challenges and the factual aspects related to the hypothesis of increasing autonomy in evolution. After referring to the contents and the line of reasoning of the book, this review will raise the question of how to understand autonomy; in particular, in what sense it may be considered that its increase is a factor of evolution.
Traditions in science are largely characterized by the questions they ask. A usual question to frame the work of evolutionary biology has been: “What changes in evolution?” According to the received view of the field, it is the gene...
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