Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be by Tyler VolkQuarks to Culture: How We Came to Be by Tyler Volk

Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be

byTyler Volk

Hardcover | May 2, 2017

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Atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms. When people come together, they build societies. Our world is nested, both physically and socially, and at each level we find innovations that were necessary for the next level. Physics has gone far in mapping the basic mechanics of the simplest things and dynamics of the overall nesting, as have biology and the social sciences for their fields. But what if anything can we say about this beautifully complex whole? Might there be general processes we can identify? How do phases shape others, and what more can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being? Quarks to Culture explores the rhythm within what Tyler Volk calls the "grand sequence," a series of levels of sizes and innovations building from elementary quanta to globalized human civilization. The key is "combogenesis," the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. Themes unfold in how physics and chemistry led to biological evolution, and biological evolution to cultural evolution. Volk develops an inclusive natural philosophy that brings clarity to our place in the world, a roadmap for our minds. As combogenesis repeats, patterns enrich like an expanding musical progression. Quarks to Culture provides new insights into linkages in our sciences and presents an exciting synthesis of ideas across a sequence of things and relations, from physical to living to cultural. It is high adventure for readers who seek to understand big history and wrestle with questions of how we came to be.

Tyler Volk is professor of biology and environmental studies at New York University and a recipient of the University's Distinguished Teaching Award and Golden Dozen Award. His books include CO2 Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge (2008); Gaia's Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth (1998); and Metapatterns: Across Space...
Title:Quarks to Culture: How We Came to BeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pagesPublished:May 2, 2017Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023117960X

ISBN - 13:9780231179607

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. Combogenesis and a Grand Sequence1. Natural Chapters and Nested Scales2. The Core Theme: CombogenesisPart II. Twelve Fundamental Levels3. A Big Bang Start of Things and Relations4. The Nucleons, with Immortal Proton and Fragile Neutron5. Atomic Nuclei from Mutual Aid6. Atoms with Space-Filling, Electric Mandalas7. An Expanding Cornucopia of Molecules8. Simple Cells Launch Life and Evolution9. The Sexy Eukaryotic Cell10. Multiple Ramps to the Complex Multicellular Organism11. Animal Social Groups Wild with Possibilities12. Tribal Metagroups and Cultural Evolution13. Transplantable Agrovillages14. Geopolitical States, Masters of Acquisition and MergerPart III. Dynamical Realms and Themes15. Dynamical Realms and Their Base Levels16. Alphakits: Atomic, Genetic, Linguistic17. Themes in Evolutionary Dynamics18. Convergent Themes of CombogenesisEpilogue: What About the Future?AcknowledgmentsGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

The identification of a universal principle-combogenesis-allows one to see the early history of the universe and the evolution of life and the evolution of human civilization through the same lens. An interesting, holistic way of viewing human history back to the origin of the universe.