ATENÇÃO: NÃO É PARA DISCUTIR E SIM PARA TRADUZIR. MENCIONE O PEDAÇO (OU OS PEDAÇOS) QUE VOCÊ TRADUZIU E PUBLIQUE A TRADUÇÃO NO CAMPO DE COMENTÁRIOS.
FC — What I am trying to do is to present a unified scientific view of life; that is, a view
integrating life's biological, cognitive, and social dimensions. I have had many discussions with social scientists, cognitive scientists, physicists and biologist who question that task, who said that this would not be possible. They ask, why do I believe that I can do that? My belief is based largely on our knowledge of evolution. When you study evolution, you see that there was, first of all, evolution before the appearance of life, there was a molecular type of evolution where structures of greater and greater complexity evolved out of simple molecules. Biochemist who study that have made tremendous progress in understanding that process of molecular evolution. Then we had the appearance of the first cell which was a bacterium. Bacteria evolved for about 2 billion years and in doing so invented, if you want to use the term, or created most of the life processes that we know today. Biochemical processes like fermentation, oxygen breathing, photosynthesis, also rapid motion, were developed by bacteria in evolution. And what happened then was that bacteria combined with one another to produce larger cells the so-called eukaryotic cells, which have a nucleus, chromosomes, organelles, and so on. This symbiosis that led to new forms is called symbiogenesis.
Symbiogenesis continued throughout the evolution of life, so that today we can see even in the largest organisms, like ourselves, that many of our structures actually come from bacteria. So, not only do we have bacteria living inside us, as all larger organisms do, but we also have incorporated part of the mechanisms of bacteria and part of their DNA into our own DNA. This was confirmed dramatically by the Human Genome Project. They discovered a lot of bacterial DNA in the human DNA. So, when you study evolution from this point of view, you see that nature did not create large structures from nothing, but used the same patterns over and over again, the same processes in different combinations. This is now well accepted. Steven Jay Gould has written voluminously about it. So, in my view, there is a unifying set of patterns of organization that goes through all life, at all levels and in all its manifestations.
Now, this is not something that I can prove, but this is my credo and my starting point. And it comes from what I learned from evolutionary theories. I think what most people have a problem with is that they believe erroneously that I am proposing a certain theory, or the outlines of a certain theory, and that I believe, once this theory has been completed, you can then apply it to all kinds of phenomena. To put it in an exaggerated way, you would have a master equation and you could feed the US economy into this equation and get some answers; and you'd put in cancer and get some answers, social justice, and so on. All these manifestations of living systems would be governed by the same master equation.
There is a fundamental error in this view. Even though there is a unified basic pattern of life, and we can be more precise and say that this pattern is a network pattern, these networks are not structures – at least most of them – they are functional networks. There are web-like relationships between certain life processes. And the pattern of these relationships, the actual configuration of these relationships — patterns like the network, feedback loops, or the process of emergence — can be observed throughout life. But the processes that are interconnected by these patterns are different at different levels and in different domains. So, for example, when I study a cell, I can say "a cell is a molecular network," it's called the metabolic network. The genetic network is part of that. The processes that are interconnected in the network are biochemical processes. If I don't know my biochemistry, I won't be able to explain anything that happens within a cell. Although I can observe a network pattern, I cannot really understand if I don't know what an enzyme is, and how it interconnects various processes as a catalyst. Similarly, in a human community the network pattern is a pattern of communications. It interconnects individual processes of communication that create ideas, information and meaning. So, we need to address the question of meaning in terms of social science, political science, anthropology, philosophy, history and so on. The social sciences and the humanities have to be drawn in to deal with the level of meaning. Only then will we really understand what's going on in a community. We can draw diagrams, and people do that. They say, person A has 4 connections in a company and person B has 6 connections; they draw little stick figures and show how they are connected to other stick figures. But to me, it does not mean much because they don't deal with the dimensions of meaning, of culture, of consciousness. So, to come back to the original issue, a unified theory is unified only through the patterns of organization, but it's not a complete theory. I don't even call it a theory, I call it a unified view of life, mind and society. And it's the pattern of organization, the formal aspect, that interconnects the different domains, but the content and the nature of the processes are different in each domain.