**N.B.  Hypernotes are a mixture of numbered references where the text became too long to retain 'inline' in the main page, and explanatory definitions keyed to word definitions and word-context.


'choice' and 'free will':  As Descartes observes, the notion of 'free will' is tied up with the notions of 'logic and rationality', the ability to recognize 'good' and 'bad' and 'indifference'.  In Descartes' philosophy, which continues to be the preferred philosophy of our western culture, we are free to make our choices and we must make our choices rationally for "seul ce qui est saisi logiquement et rationnellement peut être vrai" ("only that which we grasp logically and rationally can be true").  Descartes notes that our free will 'chooses' between our 'reasoned representations' and if our will fails to adequately grasp the reason in a particular situation, it 'makes an error'.  This, he says, only happens if 'make a judgment' with an insufficiency of knowledge (He notes, but passes quickly over the point that one can also exercise one's free will in the cause of indifference.)   Apparently, as soon as we speak in the abstract, absolutist terms of an 'individual as independent agent' who has 'choice' and 'free will', ... we commit ourselves to further absolutist machinery to guide our actions and our management efforts such as innate 'truth', 'good' and 'bad'.   Ideally, as Descartes notes, absolute freedom can come through absolute knowledge;  "car si je connaissais toujours clairement ce qui est vrai et ce qui est bon, je ne serais jamais en peine de délibérer quel judgement et quel choix je devrais faire ; et ainsi je serais entièrement libre, sans jamais être indifférent." ("for if I always clearly understand what is true and what is good, I will never have any difficulty in determining which judgement and which choice I should make ; and thus I will be fully free without ever being indifferent").

The Cartesian notion of the individual as 'independent causal agent' with free will who makes his own choices on the basis of judging what is 'true' and what is 'good' and 'bad' implies a 'kinetic transaction' view of the world in which one views a discrete assertive transaction to have innate properties of 'good' or 'bad'.  Rationality and logic run into irresolvable paradoxes because they operate solely on assertive propositions which are detached from any reciprocal induced transformation.   For example, if my child is sick, is it 'good' to drive him to the hospital?  It seems good, but at the same time it seems bad since I will be polluting the atmosphere by running my car.   How, then can I tie my judgment to discrete transactions when transactions involve reciprocal context in the form of inductive transformation of the containing environment?   Gödel's theorem addresses this, and says that "He who judges the goodness of the actions of those who cannot judge such goodness for themselves, cannot judge the goodness of his own actions, yet cannot avoid doing so if the system is to be logically consistent"  The only way out is an infinitely nested expanding progression of concentrically inclusive 'judges', and thus, as the theorem says; 'no finite system of logic can be complete', .. .the hierarchy of courts and judges is inevitably at the mercy of the quality of judgment of the highest court or judge.

In a complex world, who can know that insisting that petroleum companies put additives in gasoline to fight air pollution would have led to serious groundwater contamination problems.  Was the transaction of adding the chemical to gasoline 'good' or 'bad'?  In fact, it was both 'good' and 'bad' at the same time, ... in violation of the 'law of the excluded middle' of the logic of Aristotle and Descartes.

Logic and rationality as a basis for managing complex systems in nature are exposed to breakdown because nature is not discretely 'causal' and the assertive actions of things, as are involved in kinetic transactions, simultaneously, reciprocally induce transformation in the containing space which opens up and closes down opportunity for further assertive actions in an interferential manner (as in the game of pool).  Furthermore, the rational approach in a highly complex technical world requires that everyone be knowledgeable of everything in order to judge, on the spot as a transaction is being engendered, whether a 'choice' is 'good' or 'bad', ... an impossible situation which leads to the degenerate exercising of our 'free will' to be 'indifferent'.

It is manifestly evident that our assertive actions induce transformation in our containing space which modulates the patterns of our assertive actions, and that any theory based solely on assertive actions in their own right; i.e. any 'rational' system, while providing a means for replicatable description of the assertive aspects of systems behaviour, will be radically incomplete as a basis for understanding and managing physical phenomena by not taking into account the relativistic, simultaneously, reciprocally induced transformation of the system's containing space.

Inclusionality, on the other hand, would have us acknowledge that the relativistic 'inclusional' model of container-constituent-coevolution is the 'bigger story' view which includes the 'little story' rational view as the degenerate case where the geometry of space-time does not matter. The constituents of space manifestly 'co-create' the shape of the dynamic opportunity space in which they are participating constituents it is this dynamic opportunity space which modulates the patterns of assertive behaviours of the constituents.   In the solar system and in crystalline minerals, a natural coresonance can be observed between the shape of dynamic opportunity space and the assertive actions of the constituents which simultaneously, reciprocally transform the shape of dynamic opportunity space.    The solar system and crystalline mineral are 'stable' because of this container-constituent-coresonance, but  this is simply a matter of ontogenic life-cycles since this container-constituent-codynamic is the evolutionary process.   As Heraclitus implied, 'the mountain is a waterfall in slow-motion'; i.e. the crystalline matter of the mountain is also a participant in container-constituent-coevolution.

As for free will and choice which many of us would insist is a manifest gift of homo sapiens, we have to recognize that the contextual meaning of these terms is constructed upon the notion of man as an 'assertive agent' who is 'independent' of his containing space, a notion which flies in the face of our experience (as noted by Aristotle in his comments on 'the potency of place' in hypernote 4. below).  The theory of relativity makes clear that no theoretical description of physical phenomena which involves dependencies on 'independent agents' can avoid being 'observer dependent' and 'observer-dependence' involves the invoking of inertial reference frames which ignore the natural 'referencing' of the constituent to the geometry of its container.   Thus by building models upon the notion of independent agents we destroy the information on container-constituent-interference which is vital to an understanding of physical phenomena.   By visualizing the world in the relativistic terms of container-constituent-coevolution, the constituent of space is no longer seen in the detached terms of an 'independent agent' (i.e. seeing the storm in the biosphere as an independent kinetic agent is an approximative view) but is instead seen as an inclusional feature nesting within, and being an aspect of, its containing space.   Such an inclusion is necessarily an 'inductive-over-assertive' feature, who we may identify by its 'center' but its 'center' is not longer an explicit center within a bounded entity, but is instead a purely relational and implicit center of inductive coherency or 'inductive eye'.  Humans seeing themselves in this way, such as many of the aboriginal peoples, think not in the detached terms of 'free will' and 'choice' but in terms of being 'a strand in the web of life', participants in the container-content-cocreation of our evolutionary 'future'.  For our actions to be 'coherent', our assertive behaviours must be in the service of such co-creation.  This is the mode of the collaborative freeway drivers who realize that assertive behaviour and  co-creating the shape of opportunity space are the small and large views of the same transform-motion, and it is the basic mode of all constituents of space.

'Rationality' can be viewed as a cognitive faculty which departs from this basic mode, which can be used to build thought structures (knowledge) which are stable, and evolution-proof and western society can be seen as a  rational structure (knowledge-based culture) designed to resist the horrendous forces of spontaneous evolution or 'emergence'.  Knowledge and technology is predominantly being used by our culture, as the weaponry of this evolutionary resistance movement.  Studies of exceptional teams show, however, a natural embrace of 'inclusionality' wherein rationality and technology are put into the service of container-constituent-coresonance, the co-creative shaping of dynamic opportunity space in such a manner that purposive assertions are brought into harmony with inductive opportunity.



Hypernote 1.: The implicit 'geometrical flip' here is a perceptual one, ... from seeing the community as 'the sum of its individuals' to seeing the individual as a feature of the 'community-constituency-codynamic'.   Whether we're talking 'solar system', molecule, or bacterial or human community, we can't deduce the behaviour of a complex system (the base case in nature) from the assertive behaviours of its parts, since the 'constituency codynamic' sets up 'inductive' influences (e.g. convergent relationships) which transcend the capabilities of 'assertive behaviour' based explanation.  Taking relativity into account means that, as in the relationship between 'configuration and ball' in the game of pool, the individual can never truly be regarded as 'independent' of his enveloping constituency since each individual is uniquely situated within the configuration and each move the individual makes, simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the shape of the configuration and the configuration is what governs dynamical opportunity for each individual.  In the same manner, the 'good' in a community cannot be deduced from the 'sum of the individual good pursuits', nor can the 'richesse' of a community be deduced from the 'sum of the individual riches'.   The billiard ball make think he's doing a good thing by helping a few of his same-striped brothers into the pockets they have been trying to get to, ... but he may very well screw up the 'shape of opportunity' for everyone in the process.   When one puts the 'collective codynamic' into a perceptual primacy, 'goodness' becomes 'harmony' '$Money' becomes 'opportunity'.  In terms of relativity, we put 'field' in the primacy over matter and thus avoid the 'observer-dependency' innate in the material-kinetic view.



Hypernote 2.: In the modern era where the recycling of wealth is by means of fast-moving global currency there is a 'modulator effect' on the 'cultivation of opportunity' induced by the movement of money, which can be compared to the movement of balls in the game of billiards; i.e. the movement of both billiard balls and money simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the 'shape of opportunity space'. It is clear that focusing on the 'kinetics' of either billiard balls or money is just the 'little story'. the 'big story' is of the induced transformation of 'opportunity space'.  Within a small community based on barter, those who engage in bartering are conscious of how the cycling of wealth is opening up opportunity for the diverse members of the community (youth and adult) and they are in a position to consciously put their trading in the service of 'opportunity management'. If a producer is not giving his children the opportunity they need, others may suspend trading with him. or, if the poor brother is poor because he spends all his time and money drinking and gambling, his friends and relatives may suspend redistributing their income to him until he modifies his behaviour, as such distributions have a very low 'opportunity cultivation' modulator. On the other hand, the wealthy community member who, rather than recycling his wealth so as to cultivate opportunity for the community and is instead using it to selectively amplify the growth and power of his clique of friends and relatives, has a shape-distorting 'opportunity cultivation modulator' which selectively 'snookers' the common constituent of the community and gives proportionately higher opportunity to the favoured few.  The skilled pool player 'manages' his game at the level of 'opportunity' because he realizes that he cannot put 'kinetics' (shot-making or 'action management' ) into the primacy over 'shape' (cultivating opportunity for his constituents) without infusing dissonance into the system by want of consciously engaging with how his 'action management' induces transformation in the shape of opportunity, which in turn 'gates' and modulates the opportunity accessible to 'his constituents'.   All management schemas which work on the level of material and money transactions, even such initiatives as 'ethical funds' and a 'citizen's income', ... are innately exposed to dissonance because they are non-relativistic and fail to account for the reciprocity between 'action' and 'opportunity for action'.




Hypernote 3.: 'Darwinism' and the notion of 'natural selection' ignore relativity and the primacy of space-over-matter. The relationship between the relativistic view and the non-relativistic view is described by Einstein and Infeld in 'The Evolution of Physics' as follows and one would associate 'Darwinian' theory with 'the tiny part of the broad view' in their comparison of the relativistic and non-relativistic view;

"To use a comparison, we could say that creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting point and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles of our adventurous way up."

If we start with a mineral rather than organismic example of this, we can see the relativity principle as it applies to everything in nature (it may be ignored by approximation in appropriate circumstances, but not in the case of evolution). For example, in the non-relativistic or 'rational' 'darwinian view', we can regard the sand-dune as an environment in which sandgrains 'live'; i.e. we regard the sandgrains as independent agents whose evolution is 'shaped' by their assertive actions relative to the assertive actions of the other grains (i.e. 'kinetic transactions' in this case). we regard the 'dune environment' in which the grains 'live' as being a function of its constituents.

In the relativistic view (which might be called the 'inclusional-darwinian view' as contrasted with 'rational-darwinian view'), however, one cannot say there is independence between the dune and the grain, because when the grain moves, the dune simultaneously transforms. and when the dune transforms, this effects the opportunity for other grains to move (in fact one grain moving can trigger an avalanche, a situation termed 'self-organized criticality' in physics).  The fact is, that if one wants to understand the evolution of the grain, it depends on the evolution of the dune in a reciprocal manner. to observe relativity, we cannot have a theory of evolution of the grains 'in their own right', but we must have a theory of dune-grain-coevolution. if we develop a theory of evolution based solely on the constituents, as in Darwinism, such a theory ignores the simultaneous reciprocity between container-constituent which does not agree with observation and relativity.

Relativity would say that there is a simultaneous, reciprocal dune-grain relationship, ... so the behaviour of the grain simultaneously transforms the shape of the dune which influences the behaviour of the grains and thus the evolution of the grain and the dune are entwined (there is only 'coevolution') and we could say that if we 'study' the evolution of the grain and how it becomes polished and reworked and rounded, ... and have a theory for this it would be analogous to 'darwinian theory', and such a theory would give us an incomplete view which ignored container-constituent-coevolutionary effects.

This mineral example establishes a principle which can tie back to physics which has to cover all of the constituents of space, whether we want to categorize them as minerals, plants, animals or whatever.

Now, there are similar theories in evolutionary biology which see the same reciprocal patterns as in the physics of sand-dunes and in general in nature; e.g. the recent study by Kircher and Weil [1] which deals with issues of 'interdependence' of species wherein species and their containing environments are interdependent and the evolution of species cannot be understood without taking this interdependency (simultaneous container-constituent reciprocity) into account. The excerpt from 'Nature' which is appended, reviews their research and suggests the same container-constituent-coevolutionary pattern can be found in the geological record and supported by extinction cycles.

As the article says; "As Weil and Kirchner show, the interdependence of species is the primary determinant of recovery", and as Weil and Kirchner say; "But if species are interdependent, species themselves are niches, so the destruction of one species removes opportunities for many others."

And if the interdependence of species modulates the evolution of the environment which in turn modulates the evolution of the species, then we are back to the relativistic notion that 'the geometry of space' is in the primacy over the 'behaviour of its constituents' while the two are related in the manner of a landscape (e.g. dune) and the constituent physical features within it (e.g. the grains).  In the manner of Einstein's comment, we don't have to think in terms of 'rejecting Darwinism' in the sense of "destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place" but can instead think in terms of ... "discovering unexpected connections between our starting point and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles of our adventurous way up."

While it is counter to our culturally conditioned intuition, relativity would have it that 'space and matter' are reciprocally related with (the geometry of) space being in the primacy over matter, and this takes us back to Aristotle's physics; i.e. his experience-based thoughts on physics (rather than his pure abstractions) as follows;

"The physicist must have a knowledge of Place . . .. namely, whether there is such a thing or not, and the manner of its existence and what it is, both because all suppose that things which exist are somewhere (the non-existent is nowhere --- where is the goat-stag or the sphinx?), and because 'motion' in its most general and primary sense is change of place, which we call 'loco-motion'. Further, the typical locomotions of the elementary natural bodies, namely, fire, earth and the like, show not only that place is something, but also that it exerts a certain influence. Each is carried to its own place, if it is not hindered, the one up, the other down. Now these are regions or kinds of place --- up and down and the rest of the six directions. Nor do such distinctions (up and down and right and left, etc.) hold only in relation to us. To us they are not always the same but change with the direction in which we are turned that is why the same thing may be right and left, up and down, before and behind. But in nature, each is distinct, taken apart from itself. It is not every chance direction which is 'up' but where fire and what is light are carried; similarly, too, 'down' is not any chance direction but where what has weight and what is made of earth are carried --- the implication being that these places do not differ merely in relative position, but also as possessing distinct potencies, . . . These considerations would lead us to suppose that place is something distinct from bodies, and that every sensible body is in place. Hesiod, too, might be given to have held a correct account of it when he made chaos first. At least he says; "First of all things came chaos to being, then broad-breasted earth," implying that things need to have space first, because he thought, with most people, that everything is somewhere and in place. If this is its nature, the potency of place must be a marvelous thing, and take precedence of all other things. For that without nothing else can exist, while it can exist without the others, must needs be first; for place does not pass out of existence when the things in it are annihilated."

The precedence of 'place' or 'space' over matter comes back into science with relativity. as Einstein says; "space is a participant in physical phenomena", ... "[Relativity] forces us to analyze the role played by geometry in the physical world."

In summary, overcoming the shortfalls in evolutionary theory is not so much a case of 'rejecting Darwinism' but more a case of observing that Darwinism emerges from a rejection of the 'potency of place' and the 'precedence of place over things' (Aristotle) (or 'precedence of space over matter' in terms of Einstein and relativity). If one accepts the precedence of place over things, then we can no longer regard the organism or any other 'thing' as the 'unit of evolution' but must instead regard the substance of evolution as 'the geometry of space'; i.e. the shape of the dynamic opportunity space associated with the container-constituent-codynamic'. as Doug Caldwell et al say in 'Do Bacterial Communities Transcend Darwinism?';

"Until the development of fluorescent molecular probes and confocal laser microscopy, there were few alternatives to isolating microorganisms from their communities prior to laboratory study. Isolation was necessary to obtain a sufficient amoont of homogeneous cell material for chemical analyses, yet it constrained most laboratory work to the molecular, cellular, or organismic level. However, fluorescent probes and other molecular techniques now allow the analysis of individual microorganisms without isolation. ... This affords the opportunity to perform community-level laboratory experiments that are not possible with plants and animals due to their large size. However, inconsistencies between evolutionary ecology, ecosystem ecology, microbial ecology, germ theory and information theory make it difficult to formulate testable hypotheses that are relevant in understanding ecology at the community level. Consideration of communities as units of proliferation (and hence as units of evolution) requires a more generalized theory of life, amenable to the formulation of community-level hypotheses and tests. . . . As an alternative [to the evolution of explicit entities] we suggest a proliferation hypothesis that offers a simpler and more comprehensive explanation of ecology and evolution by recognizing the possibility of propagation and reproductive success at many different levels of biological organization simultaneously (genes, plasmids, cells, organisms, communities, ecosystems, etc.) rather than solely at the level of individual organisms (species populations). We also suggest that laboratory communities of bacteria may provide one of the few experimental systems readily amenable to the testing of this hypothesis."

Thus, it is suggested that Darwinism is a non-relativistic approximation which sees the constituents of nature as 'independent agents' and as 'units of evolution' whereas, there is much experimental data to suggest, along with relativity, that it is the geometry of space which evolves and that viewing the organism as a 'thing in its own right' is a simplifying (non-relativistic) approximation which underpins Darwinian theory but which fails to describe the manifest reciprocity between the 'landscape of evolution' or 'opportunity space' and the constituents of that space, ... an opportunity space which modulates the 'evolution of species' in an over-riding way.

In this sense, Darwinian theory is a descriptive theory for the emergent products of evolution 'in their own right' out of the context of their container-constituent reciprocal-identity, an auto-evolutionary process with an over-riding effect on evolutionary outcomes. For example, Darwinian theory deals with the evolution of man but not with how man's container-constituent-codynamic is modulating his continuing evolution and may in fact 'auto-evolve' him out of existence.

[1] Evolution      Back in ten million years  by Henry Gee, Thursday, March 9, 2000


A review of  Kirchner, J.W. & Weil, A. Delayed biological recovery from extinctions throughout the fossil record. Nature 404, 177 (2000).

  * * *

James Kirchner of the University of California, Berkeley, and Anne Weil of Duke University in North Carolina have been looking at what the fossil record can tell us about the relationship between extinction and replenishment. Their results are clear re-stocking the ecosystem after an extinction always takes around ten million years, irrespective of the scale of the preceding destruction.

Kirchner and Weil's study indicates there is a minimum recovery period between mass-extinctions (middle) and the return of biodiversity (top) -- of around ten million years. Shaded areas show the "big five" periods of highest mass-extinction.

This has important implications for present-day conservation, because it illustrates the interdependence of the ecosystem. If tigers were all there was to it, this would not be a problem. But no species is an island tigers are 'top predators' that affect the entire balance of nature. They feed on other animals, which in turn feed on plants. And each tiger provides a home for parasites, and acts as a carrier of disease. The disappearance of any one species may have far-reaching consequences.

The model in which an ecosystem takes longer to recover from a larger extinction is, therefore, based on a false assumption -- that each species is somehow isolated from every other, and recovery is a simple matter of filling the vacant ecological niches. The wider the destruction, the more vacant niches there will be, and the longer filling them will take. But if species are interdependent, species themselves are niches, so the destruction of one species removes opportunities for many others. To destroy many species simultaneously therefore makes it very hard for new, pioneer species to get started.

Once they do get started, life is easier for other newcomers, as the ecological 'infrastructure' is in place. This explains why extinctions are always followed by an interval in which the flora and fauna are very dull -- like the weeds found on the sites of recently demolished buildings, but on a global scale. An interval of a few hundred thousand years in which there was little but ferns, for example, followed the end-Cretaceous extinction.

As an analogy, think how hard life was for the first European colonists of new territories, such as America or Australia. Without an established infrastructure, the colonists had to do everything for themselves life was hard and it took a long time to establish viable populations that could stand alone, without help from home. But the efforts of these pioneers made the lives of subsequent arrivals much easier. Today's immigrants do not have to be agriculturally self-sufficient, for instance, to survive.

As Weil and Kirchner show, the interdependence of species is the primary determinant of recovery -- so much so, in fact, that the scale of the preceding extinction is unimportant. When nature is replenishing the planet, it follows its own intrinsic timetable. Using the record of Earth's history, the researchers have discovered something fundamental about the ecosystem, and this has an important message for present-day conservationists coping with what might be a mass extinction caused by humans. . . .



Hypernote 4.:  Since the storm and its curved containing space change simultaneously (they are simply different aspects of the same thing), space and time are an inseparable continuum, or, 'motion' in the relativistic view is 'space-time transformation' or simply, 'evolution' and when one 'thinks' in these terms, one's sense of 'time' is tied to ontogenic life-cycles and one is immersed in the eternal, evolutionary 'now' wherein the 'past' can be likened to the 'depth' of the evolutionary experience seen as if 'included' as geological outer-inner layers and the 'future' to 'what's coming over the spherical 'horizon'.  Similarly, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says that you can't fix both the position and the motion of a constituent of space at the same time while relativity says that to achieve an 'observer-independent' view, one must base one's view and theory on the 'shape of space' (field) and not depend on 'things' and their motions, and together, these principles say that the container-constituent-codynamic is a 'more fundamental' reference than either space or matter.  The 'uncertainty' comes from the fact that the ultimate reference for the motion of a material entity is the geometry of its containing space and in the curved space of relativity, as with the storm in the biosphere, when the entity moves, the reference frame relative to which it moves simultaneously transforms.