Design In Nature -4-

On Evolution:

“Most people think that evolution is something that we can at best imagine, because it took an enormously long time to happen. This view is wrong. We can witness evolution all we want, if we look at the changes in our technology, movement, government, and standard of living.”

“Forget biomimetics. No live thing is copying another live thing. No matter how smart, the dolphin is not copying the shark. They are different—each in the present-day frame of its movie of design evolution in big history. With the airplane, the human-and-machine species is not copying the albatross and the V-shaped flock of birds. These animals—the bird and the human-and-machine species—could not be more different, birds versus mammals, older versus more recent. Yet the better the airplanes fly, the more they look the same and (big coincidence) they look more like the birds. They arrive at the same features because the direction of evolutionary change is the same for everything. Through these insights, the constructal law provides us with a broader and much sharper vision of evolution. We see that it is not just a phenomenon of biology but of physics. We find that we can witness evolution by paying attention to all around us, from the evolution of the wheels on carriages to the evolution of sports.”

Zane, J. Peder; Bejan, Adrian (2012-01-24). Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization (Kindle Locations 1915-1919). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

And I would add, to the evolution of “learning.” Evolution happens in the immediate moment, not in the abstract; i.e. a random mutation in the past meets a specific contingence in the future. In Natural Dog Training published in 1992 I postulated that dogs don’t learn by imitation. Rather there is a universal emotional dynamic within each dog, and when an observing dog is energized by the actions of another dog, it will subscribe to the same principle of emotional conductivity and begin to approximate what the other dog is doing. Its behavior will EVOLVE to be resonant with what the other dog is doing, either aligned with it if the object of resistance is high, or equal/opposite in order to complement themselves within the same wave form (feeling). Every interaction between any two beings invokes an emotional thermodynamics (internal affects and external effects) and this registers a change in the network in that moment by the emotional charge acquired by each party of the interaction. This charge accrues and then at some point acquires critical mass and affects a future interaction. It carries forward into subsequent engagements with the environment the physical memory of either resistance or conductivity. The thermodynamic chain of change perpetuates itself. It is not a phenomenon of mental learning but of physics.

Published March 11, 2012 by Kevin Behan
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2 responses to “Design In Nature -4-”

  1. b... says:

    “Every interaction between any two beings invokes an emotional thermodynamics (internal affects and external effects) and this registers a change in the network in that moment by the emotional charge acquired by each party of the interaction. This charge accrues and then at some point acquires critical mass and affects a future interaction. It carries forward into subsequent engagements with the environment the physical memory of either resistance or conductivity.”

    I’m guessing this would explain the situation where two dogs meet face to face and take in each other very calmly, and then after a couple of seconds, for no reason and with no warning, one dog snaps at the other and a tussle ensues. It’s become so commonplace that we dismiss the motives by assigning a personality trait (dog doesn’t “like” another breed/color/size), but it doesn’t make much sense from an ethological or psychological point of view.

    I started thinking about it, and the interaction seems kind of bizarre. What’s to be gained from it? I think behaviorists call this sort of thing “distance-seeking” behavior, which doesn’t make any sense — if the dog wanted distance, why would he stick his face in the other dog’s face to begin with? Incidentally, I believe they also label barking at an offending dog “distance-seeking”, which doesn’t explain why many dogs will strain to move closer to the same dog.

    So then would it be correct to say that the “aggressor” in such an exchange is ‘reading’ an existing charge in the “victim” and this knocks him off balance and he bites in attempt to hold on to something to maintain his balance? And since this happens over and over to the dog, the purpose of this in nature is to get that stuck energy (physical memory from a previous interaction) in the “victim” moving in order to improve flow?

    Perhaps this was explained elsewhere, but it just struck me when reading this essay.

  2. Kevin Behan says:

    b …”So then would it be correct to say that the “aggressor” in such an exchange is ‘reading’ an existing charge in the “victim” and this knocks him off balance and he bites in attempt to hold on to something to maintain his balance? And since this happens over and over to the dog, the purpose of this in nature is to get that stuck energy (physical memory from a previous interaction) in the “victim” moving in order to improve flow?”

    KB: Yes, that’s exactly right. The Object dog could absorb the emotional projection of the Subject dog, but could not conduct it because of its tension, so the subsequent outburst in the Subject releases that stuck energy in the Subject and possibly accelerates it in the Object. So like-to-like but only opposites-can-connect and someone has to flip polarity (collect) in order to absorb the emotional momentum of the other.

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