[Paleopsych] Howard Bloom: Xerox Effect: On the Importance of Pre-biotic Evolution

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Howard Bloom: Xerox Effect: On the Importance of Pre-biotic Evolution
PhysicaPlus - Online magazine of the Israel Physical Society

    Hamilton, Trivers, and their successors made brilliant contributions
    to scientific insight. But it's time to put the selfish gene in its
    place. Evolution is less dependent on genetic difference and
    similarity than is generally perceived. In fact, evolution's most
    potent trait--the genesis of novelty--depends less than is usually
    imagined on organism and life. DNA replication is but a special case
    of something that began with the big bang-- the Xerox Effect--the
    tendency of this cosmos to cough up copies in almost infinite
    abundance. Natural selection--the need to fit the environment's
    constraints--appeared in the Big Bang's earliest nanoseconds.
    Evolutionarily Stable Strategies have flourished since the first
    quarks joined in triumvirates. Variation and competition arose between
    gaseous macro-clusters long before the first ignition of the stars.
    Even proto-sociality and large-scale networking are long-standing
    cosmic legacies. Hamiltonian arithmetic is based on shared heritage,
    on family. When viewed in terms of protons, suns, and macromolecules,
    all bioforms are cousins in a single family tree. Planets, dust, and
    life-forms are all children of the Big Bang. Every living microbe,
    plant, or animal on Earth is a cousin in the clan of DNA. Every
    organism that ever was is a relative of its antagonists, of its food,
    and of the inanimate forces of complexifigenesis and catastrophe. A
    new way of framing questions and answers emerges when one sees
    Darwinism, the arithmetic of self interest, and the patterns of the
    human psyche in the broader context sketched by cosmology,
    astrophysics, particle physics, microbiology, and paleontology. In
    this light, it's time to reevaluate. What traits have we inherited
    from previous forms of life, and what traits have been bequeathed us
    by our pre-biotic ancestry?

       Astronomers refer to the heart of galaxies as nuclei. Is this an
     appropriate use of biology's vocabulary? Or, to put it differently,
      which aggregation of billions of constituent elements evolved the
      principle of central control we call nucleation first-galaxies or

                             Can A Cosmos Evolve?

    Evolution is a term used constantly these days by a breed of
    scientists who seldom if ever deal with the stuff of
    life-cosmologists, physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers. They
    use it to refer to galaxies, suns, and stars. The word "evolution"
    appears 191,787 times in NASA's Astrophysics Data System, The Digital
    Library for Physics, Astrophysics, and Instrumentation hosted by the
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In other words,
    physicists and astrophysicists use the word evolution almost four
    times as often as they use the word "planet" (58,001 times).

    Are today's "hard scientists" applying the concept of evolution
    metaphorically? Are they misappropriating and misusing a term that
    rightfully belongs to only one form of cosmic interaction-the complex
    tangle we call life? No, Not at all.

    Evolution depends on four factors-reproduction, competition,
    variation, and natural selection. All four factors existed in some
    form in the pre-biotic universe. All four started their twisting long
    before life began.

    The universe started with a Big Bang, not a whimper. Most of us
    acknowledge that by now. What few of us realize is the capacity for
    duplication that this universe revealed literally within the first
    nano-flash of a second after its conception. The cosmos sprang from a
    convergence of infinities, a twist of crisscrossed nothings physicists
    call a singularity. A sliver of a second later more than 1088 protons
    popped into being. Every one of these protons, no matter where or when
    it had appeared, was identical to every other-totally interchangeable.
    The same duplication happened with neutrons, electrons, positrons, and
    photons-or as the early families of particles are known-with all
    baryons and leptons. Swarms so numerous they defy the human number
    system cascaded from a spreading sheet of space, time, and energy. All
    paid tribute to a dead-ringer-generating, identimorphic process of
    uncanny precision, a process churning out the very same pattern almost
    everyplace there was a place to be. Was this reproduction? No proton,
    so far as modern theory knows, ever begat another proton. Nor was this
    copycat imitation-the mechanism to which theorists like Susan
    Blakemore attribute the reproduction of memes. In our terms it was
    parallel or convergent evolution.

    Evolution-isn't that an inappropriate, vitalistic term for the
    primordial plasma of an abiotic cosmos--one that wouldn't host a hint
    of life for another eleven billion years? The mistake, it seems, is
    made by the biocentric. Once again, evolution's essence as Charles
    Darwin saw it boils down to reproduction, variation, competition, and
    natural selection. Only one of these-reproduction--is a biological
    monopoly. And even that is a shade less clear-cut than it seems. Let's
    examine the pre-biotic cosmos for evolution's remaining trio, its
    triad of propulsive algorithms--variation, competition, and natural
    selection--one element at a time.

                   Natural Selection in the Primordial Stew

    We have strong hints that natural selection has been with us since the
    earliest second of the Big Bang. Modern physics regards a universe as
    the product of a set of laws tweaked by roughly 20 variables. What are
    natural laws? They dictate the way things can and cannot be. Violate
    the elemental laws, and you can't succeed. Even if you get away with
    overstepping the bounds for a picosecond or two, other products of
    natural law may eradicate you. As of 1999, atom smashers had generated
    roughly 300 forms of hopeful monsters-subatomic particles. Most
    disappeared within a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Only a
    handful could survive the rigors of this particular cosmos at this
    point in time.

    This destruction of what doesn't fit is the ultimate punishment for
    "unnatural" crime. It's also the severest form of natural selection.
    What if the flash of the Big Bang had topped a particle accelerator in
    inanimate variation, in abiotic fecundity? What if it had precipitated
    3,000, or three million hopeful genera of particles in its crack-up
    splat of energy? How many of these early species of proto-matter have
    survived the fourteen billion years or so since the instant that
    kick-started time? Only 72. These 72 have made their way through a
    slew of natural selection's slings and arrows unparalleled by anything
    that breathes. They've endured the catastrophe of cosmic expansion,
    the disasters of galactic recompression, the eruption of
    stellar-center hells, the frigid chill of space, collision, contusion,
    explosion, intrusion, and the vagaries of ten billion years more time
    than any thing that ever rose from a mere twitch of RNA.

    Natural selection worked with extreme ferocity in the first
    nanoseconds of the Big Bang and in the 300,000 years that followed.
    The cataclysm physicist Alan Guth refers to as expansion hit with a
    force that dwarfs the torment at the heart of a nuclear blast.
    Compression waves repeatedly crushed would-be particles together in a
    squeeze that makes the mash at the heart of our sun seem like a day at
    the beach. The heat was beyond belief-it reached 1028 degrees Kelvin,
    1021 degrees hotter than the heart of the sun. Heat is a measure of
    speed. Which means that nanobits of primordial matter slammed each
    other with a destructive force that makes a collision of bullets seem
    like a polite meeting of snails for tea.

    Only 72 forms of elementary particle survived these
    Only 72 abiotic species made it through this natural selectivity.

    Even in this harshest of environments, the Xerox Principle worked its
    ways. Social aggregations by the sesquiviginquintillions gathered in
    identical patterns and showed their power to stay. They emerged as
    what Maynard Smith calls Evolutionarily Stable Strategies. The
    triumphant micro-communities were protons, neutrons, and mesons.

    · Protons were trios of a down quark and two up quarks.

    · Neutrons had the opposite population-one up quark and two down.

    · Mesons were quark duos-quarks in bonded pairs.

    Despite crashes, smashes, violations, and attacks of outrageous kinds,
    these huddles of two and three have remained together since the first
    ten minutes of time. That's a form of fitness far beyond anything
    biomass has yet achieved. But perhaps these aggregations' strangest
    quality was is its strict adherence to precision and to the Xerox
    Principle-to identicality.

                           Do Particles Socialize?

    Another form of congregation made it through the brutal natural
    selectors that both early and recent environments tossed their way. A
    duplicative rain of neutrons precipitated in uncountable numbers
    during the first slice of a second that formed the cosmos' first EEA.
    Anthropocentric as it sounds, these neutrons were subjected to a
    critical social need. A neutron that paired with a proton could last
    almost eternally. A neutron that failed to find a proton partner in
    10.6 minutes was doomed to disintegrate permanently. The forces of
    physics had literally built an apoptotic timer-a self-destruct
    mechanism-an internal selector-into these wee monads of pre-life. The
    result? Three forms of nano-tribe or inanimate micro-family-

    · Huddles of one or two neutrons around a single proton (progenitors
    of deuterium and tritium)

    · Clutches of two protons accompanied by one or two neutrons (the
    ancestors of helium)

    · And clenches of three protons flanked by four neutrons (the future
    cores of lithium).

    These monomorphic social coveys, too, made it through the slam-dance
    jam that physicists call plasma-the superheated smash-em-up that
    filled the exploding space-time manifold like quivering molten lava
    for its first 300,000 years. These duos and foursomes showed a power
    to succeed despite the pounding natural selection meted out even to
    pre-biotic breeds.

                   Variation-The Formal Dance of Difference

     A proton is a very social place. According to one current theory, a
      proton is a trio of quarks (left). According to another, it's more
    like a crowd of students in a phone booth-containing not only a quark
    threesome, but a pack of gluons and quark-antiquark pairs. More to the
      point, despite the proton's intricacy, the early universe spat out
     10^88 identical protons in less than a second. This cosmic habit of
     spontaneous-and often simultaneous--duplication is The Xerox Effect.

    Then there's variation, the force of evolution Darwin admired the most
    and found it hardest to comprehend. That too appeared in the Big
    Bang's pre-biotic burst. Differentiation carved a chasm Between highly
    distinctive forms:

    · The matter-stuff called baryons (protons, neutrons, and their
    anti-matter counterparts)

    · The smaller matter-bits called leptons (electrons, muons, tau
    particles, electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos, and tau neutrinos)

    · And the force-carriers, the radiating, transporting, binding, and
    repelling particles (some of which are still quite
    hypothetical)-photons, gluons, W and Z particles, and gravitons.

    Tossing another twist of variation into the early mix was yet another
    cleavage between kinds. This separation, this variation, is based on
    something we in psychology think of as a property that only biomass
    possesses-behavior, stimulus and response, action based on who's
    around you and on what your environment cues you to do. Fermions
    follow one rulebook of inanimate etiquette-that mapped out by
    Fermi-Dirac statistics. The cosmic directive fermions obey with strict
    obedience is this: if one fermion discovers that a nearby other has
    occupied a given quantum state, it may not crowd into the same quantum
    niche staked out by its companion. Instead it must assume a different
    quantum position.

    The counterparts of fermions are bosons. These follow a different set
    of social do's and don'ts. The imperatives of bosons are described by
    Bose?Einstein statistics. These say that a flock of bosons can hop
    into the same quantum state and crowd together there quite

    The stimulus-response proclivities of fermions and bosons would not
    reveal their choreography until the universe was 300,000 years old.
    But with these social rules there would arise yet another critical
    evolutionary engine-competition. For at the year 300,000 ABB (After
    the Big Bang) the environment altered, and it altered drastically.
    Things cleared up and things slowed down. This was the second cosmic
    EEA. The scalding soup of bump-and-bash spread out. Particles
    downshifted from a slashing speed to a relative mosey of energy. Space
    opened in between the trios, duos, and quartets that formerly had
    crowded in a mash. Photons were no longer trapped in ricochet and for
    the first time were able to discover their propensity to travel in
    straight lines. When humans would probe the cosmos fourteen billion
    years later, they'd sense these straight streams of photons as a
    subtle radiation, a glow that warms but sheds no light.

    Bosons were suddenly moved by new social cues. Protons found
    themselves reeled in by a force of a kind that had never shown itself
    in quite this way before. They were tugged toward nano-bits one
    1,800th their mass. And those tiny particles, electrons, responded to
    the tugging too. This led to a new circle-dance, a new form of
    nano-tribe or family. Electrons settled into shells around
    proton/neutron cores. And these orbiting electrons, being fermions,
    were polite to each other. No two crowded into the same quantum state.
    They aggregated yet kept a proper distance, revealing their obedience
    to the rules of inanimate politesse later traced by the mathematical
    courtesies mapped by Fermi and Dirac.

    Thus did particles discover something observers-had there been
    some--would have found unbelievable. They gathered in the inanimate
    community we now take for granted and call "atoms." Once again, the
    Xerox Principle held sway. More identical gang-ups sprang up than our
    words for numbers-from trillions and octillions to duodecillians-can
    conveniently convey. And they did so not just one-by-one, but yoked in

    If this were a random universe, innumerable social bundlings should
    have taken place-particle circles of five, ten, 20, or 30 protons and
    their neutron sidekicks. Theoretically there should have been mixes
    and matches-permutations and combinations-of all kinds. On the other
    hand, if this were the disintegrative universe of the entropists or
    the progress-less cosmos of the late Stephen Jay Gould, there should
    have been no social bundlings at all. But for the next few hundred
    million years, six and only six cluster patterns would thrive in the
    co-evolving environment of their time. Only six would be generated by
    what Darwin labeled "variation." Only six would be favored by
    inanimate duplication. And only six would make it through the sieves
    of natural selection. The lucky winners were:

    1. The perpetual swing of a single electron around a single proton-a
    tango held together by inanimate fascination. This is the particle
    dance that we call hydrogen. Add a neutron to the center and the
    swirl's deuterium. Put a second neutron in, and the frisk is tritium.

    2. The swish of two electron circlers around the pivot of two protons
    and one or two neutrons. These are the particle gavottes we know as

    3. The whip of three electrons around a hub of three protons and four
    neutrons. This is the whisk called lithium.

    So evolutionarily stable were two of these atom-strategies, so mighty
    were their powers to overcome potential destroyers like the harsh
    smack of gamma rays, so hardened to bombardments of natural
    selectors-- that hydrogen and helium atoms passed the ultimate test of
    fitness-they make up 98% of the matter in this cosmos to this day.

                  Gravity Triggers Competition-Big Eat Small

    Communal intersects of behaviors-of influenced-actions-were behind the
    startling new emergent properties atoms would display. Since this
    universe began there had been a mere three forces on display: the
    strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic. Yet there was
    another great bond-maker, one so weak that in the thickness of a
    plasma it had never once revealed its possibilities. To an observer
    accustomed to what nature had been like for 300,000 years, it would
    have seemed a myth, a ghost, a fairy tale, a fantasy. This new
    emergent power would add to the Darwinian pistons of variation and
    selection another crucial evolutionary driver-competition. The force
    that slowly unveiled its strength now that the cosmos had calmed down
    a bit was the weakest of the four repellers and compellers. It was the
    subtlest, yet the grandest of the basic socializers--gravity.

    Atoms existed but not substances. How could this be? No tug had yet
    emerged to pull atoms together in a wisp, a tad of dust, a heap. Let's
    put it bluntly. Without groups, there would have been no gravitational
    influence. And without gravity, there would have been no atom mobs, no
    atom crowds and aggregations, and nothing to compete about.

    Cannibalism is the word astrophysicists and cosmologists use to
    describe the new, competitive gravity game. Numbers were power-the
    more recruits you could attract, the more reinforcements you could
    dragoon. If your loosely flowing flock of hydrogen or helium atoms had
    more mass than that of a neighboring gas, you could swallow the wisp
    whole and add it to your atom congregation. If the multitude of atoms
    in your dust speck outnumbered the host in a rival fleck, you could
    haul in the less-populated squad then consume it using gravity's
    traction beam. The larger you got, the more neighbors you could
    attract or shanghai into your pack. When the big felt the attraction
    of the small, the large swept in the tiny and took all.

    When wisps and specks were still brand new, the predatory impact of
    their gravity would have seemed a piffle. But as atom-masses grew they
    changed the face of darkness, space and time. Long trails of queer,
    phantasm-stuff-matter-- threaded through the black of time and space.
    Where they crossed they battled to survive each others' tug. Some hung
    together through sheer compromise. They swung in ellipses and spirals
    around fattening hubs of gravitational stuff, protected by their
    speed-by centrifugal force. They discovered yet another evolutionarily
    stable survival tactic-orbit-a stratagem whose loops speckled the
    cosmic map.

        An act of what astrophysicists call galactic "cannibalism" and

    This was the compromise. The atom-clots that stayed intact as circling
    captives added their tug to their motion-master's center of gravity.
    They upped the grasping power of the globular giant at the heart of
    their orbital course.

    The larger the gatherings of circlers and swallowers, the more new
    niches gravity carved out, and the more new forms and shapes its
    marauding masses showed. The globular atom-legions that reeled in
    rival squadrons turned to disks and whorls. Pinprick specks evolved as
    pinwheels 100,000 light years across. These were the cinder-dark
    swirls of atoms we call galaxies. Groups of these megadishes duked it
    out for dominance. Tens of billions of galaxies were drawn together in
    superclusters that continue to attract and gorge on weaker neighbors
    to this day. Competing clusters swept the space between them in their
    capture-matches. This lateral inhibition gave the new clumps spacing.
    The mega-shapes of circle-laced-with circle turned into an
    astro-froth, a bubble-stuff of mega-foam whose particles are galaxies.

    Gravitational sumo matches re-landscaped the flat plain of Einsteinian
    space/time. They gouged and raised the Van-Gogh patterns in our
    night-time sky. Gravity was the great aggregator, the great
    integrator, the great pattern-maker of inanimate sociality. But as yet
    the sky was dark. Cosmic evolution hadn't yet discovered the secret of
    the spark.


    Variation is a word too tame when something like surprise pops up and
    changes the very nature of the self-assembling game. The crowding of
    atoms in the winning gravity centers created an atom smash. Gravity
    balls grown overfat ignited. They stripped their atom-inhabitants of
    electrons, mashed proton-neutron groups together-and forced these
    tortured families of particles to let go of energy. The loss flooded
    out as photons, and the radiating scatter of debris made light.
    Roughly 200 hundred million years after the Big Bang, gravity's
    variation, natural selection, and competition had pricked through
    nature's blackness and had caused stars to ignite.

    The Xerox effect-mass duplication-continued to adhere. The hulks that
    cracked their atoms and spilled photonic refugees were suns. Evolution
    cookie-cut them by the zillions, each in the shape of a sphere. The
    swirls in which hundreds of billions of suns were wheeled together by
    gravity were so profoundly similar that they're easily seen as
    galaxies. Thousands of herds of galaxies were corralled by gravity.
    Yet despite their fantastic number, these clusters had a disk-shaped
    contour that remained at heart the same. Stars, galaxies, and galaxy
    clusters all are evolutionarily stable strategies. All have proven
    their ability to endure nature's nightmares, her selectors, her
    evolution-honers, her gestation razors. All have triumphed over an
    environment of star-eat-star and galaxy-eat-galaxy. And all have
    trillions of lookalikes. All have doppelgangers to the nth degree.

            A foam of galaxies. The spaces opened in this lace by
     gravitationally-powered lateral inhibition are between 60,000,000 to
                       150,000,000 light-years across.

                   Cosmic Death, Birth, and Transfiguration

    Repetition remained the rule for the next six billion years. Then once
    again the force Darwin calls variation coughed up a saltative change.
    Stars spun through developmental phases--youth, maturity, and,
    finally, old age. The leaping, rebel-jamming, atom-slam that powered
    stars ran out of energy. The liquid-like inferno at many a star's
    heart was squeezed. The core of the star shrunk down, grew cold, and
    balled up like a fist. Atomic nuclei at the heart grew sluggish and
    lost the energy to keep their distance, to stay apart. The stellar
    death-grip multiplied density and, in the presence of trapped nuclei,
    gave that old attractive force new emergent properties.

    Catastrophe is opportunity in the world of evolution. Destruction
    spreads the seeds of new construction. During the years before the
    first stars died there had only been three basic atom-forms-hydrogen,
    helium, and lithium. All star-power, no matter where, had come from
    munching on hydrogen and helium nuclei. The stellar death-squeeze
    forced these ancient proton-neutron families to accept new social
    norms, to reluctantly ally in 89 new tribal forms. Four protons forced
    together would be beryllium. Five protons tortured to unite would be
    boron. Six would be a wonder at match-making-carbon. Seven would be
    carbon's eventual sidekick, nitrogen. Eighty-eight would be the
    strange and flickery clan called radium.

    These were proton-neutron tribes created in the midst of supernova
    devastation. They were huddles, social strategies that would prove
    their stability in the worst starburst catastrophe this cosmos could
    toss at them. They were victors on the battlefield of natural

    The Xerox Effect-synchronicity, duplicative-evolution-the pre-biotic
    cousin of reproduction-still reigned. So much creativity, and yet so
    little change. So much novelty and yet so much constraint. Eighty-nine
    new atom-centers...yet in a world of 1077 protons, so few. Why for
    every new atomic core would there be roughly 1055 carbon copies, 1055

    While old stars were dying, new stars were aborning-evolving by the
    trillions, yet self-assembling so identically they were
    indistinguishable as sheep. Star-wannabes self-seeded in patches where
    the matter-scraps were plenty, and battled nearby rivals
    gravitationally. Each scoured the dead-star bone yard for
    more-than-its-fair-share of debris. In the clutter that they sucked up
    there was something new--a smattering of the novel newborn atoms.
    These were the 89 freshly-scrunched crews of protons and of
    neutrons-the new elements the rules of duplicative generation,
    competition, gravitation, and selection had sutured in new forms of

    In the new stars' wakes, inanimate evolution produced another newness
    unknown in this cosmos' first few hundred million (and possibly even
    billion) years-radical new molecules. Raucous jumbles of
    atom-combinations explored their possibilities. They spat out
    biomolecules in multitudes, the product of chance and of emergent
    opportunity. Yet hydrogen and helium were still the rule. Hydrogen and
    helium, the oldsters in the evolutionary match of slam, crash,
    join-together, and dance, have shown a hardiness, a fitness, an
    ability to take on comers of all kinds and stick together. They are
    still 98% of all we know as gas and matter.

    The epoch of new-star-and-matter-birth was the third great era of the
    EEA. All throughout the cosmos nucleic acids, ammonia, and sugars
    crystallized on spicules of amorphous ice, clumped in
    slush-and-dustball comets, and discovered their fraternity while
    mix-and-matching in the stuff of meteorites. Without replication there
    was iteration. Carbon-copy molecules precipitated with precise
    identicality billions of light years from each other in the emptiness
    of space. If any found a planet or a moon with liquid water they could
    do a dance of conjugation and gather in a bubble, in an empty pocket
    that invited filling. Yes, when plunked into a puddle of water,
    meteorite-born polyols, dihydroxyacetones, glycerols, sugar acids, and
    sugar alcohols automatically swarm together in the lipid-like-bubble
    we now call a membrane.

                            Self-Replicating Dust?

    On one planet that we know of, these new proton-neutron-and-electron
    aggregations flocked in yet far larger mass confederations-complex,
    varied, polyglotted atom-leagues, knotted ropes of atoms stitched by
    strange affinities. Repetitious cables of atom-squadrons seduced and
    recruited nitrogenous and hydrogenous outriders to join on their
    periphery. These were the shockingly "unnatural" new mass behaviors,
    the whole new ways of hanging out together, the whole new strategies
    in which particles by the millions joined to make it through a rain of
    insults-heat and ice balls, ultraviolet rays, the shock of
    planetesimals splattering the globe on which they rode, and high-speed
    particles slammed down from space. In the flick of less than 750
    million years, these new strings, new tangles, rings, and triangles of
    particles uncovered a bizarre new opportunity-the ability to fuse and
    flicker in the huge self-replicating armies of atom-scavengers that we
    call DNA. Every living creature, from bacteria to salamander and to
    all of us now in this room-is a child of this history. We are the
    offspring of this self-creating, self-evolving cosmos that's crawled
    upward despite the grand disintegrator, entropy. We are mounds of
    quarks in trios, we are proton-and-electron families.

    We are children of a repetition, an iterative churning that
    cookie-cuttered with identical precision long before there was a thing
    called breathing or the spasm of 100 trillion human cells we call a

       Fission and fusion started in the big bang. They appeared in the
    formation of baryons, in the disintegration of neutrons, in the birth
    of proto-galaxies, and in the ignition and death of stars. They've led
     to aggregations as small as protons and atoms and as large as galaxy
    superclusters. Fission and fusion also took place among biomolecules,
    bacteria, plants, animals, and human clans, and led to aggregations as
      small as proteins and as large as empires and nations. Which first
      pioneered fission and fusion strategies--protons and galaxies, or
                     bacteria, chimps, and human beings?
     Are fission and fusion examples of evolutionarily stable strategies,
                      or are they simply sloppy similes?
    (Illustrations clockwise from upper left: nuclear fission, the fission
       of The United States of America from its parent body, Britain, a
    moment of fusion among chimpanzees, and a moment of fusion between two
               clusters containing several thousand galaxies.)

                   We Are Family-Cousins In The Clan of DNA

    Evolution has crept forward since the first twitch of inflation from a
    singularity. And so have social strategies. We are the Big Bang's
    children. We are containers of the Xerox Principle's legacy. There is
    only one life-process on this planet, not the 30 or 3,000 we'd expect
    if evolution had proceeded in blind randomness. This cosmos can create
    but is constrained. There are only 92 natural forms of atoms, not the
    millions that a random cosmos would gestate. There is but a single
    family on this planet, just one life form stretching out its tendrils,
    testing possibilities as dust and stars did once upon a time. Face it;
    we are all in this together, microbes, seaweed, starfish, salamanders,
    humans, every strange extrusion of nucleic acid chains. We are the kin
    of yeast, the brothers of cockroaches, the sisters of sugar beets, and
    the cousins of maize. We share a common birthright born of ancient
    gene-and-membrane teams. All of us are children in the clan of DNA.

    Suggested further reading:
    Among other things NASA's Astrophysics Data System provides a
    reference to the 35 top journals in astrophysics and astronomy. The
    NASA Astrophysics Data System: The Digital Library for Physics,
    Astrophysics, and Instrumentation Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
    Astrophysics. From the World Wide Web:


    [3]Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the
    21st Century

    Lee Smolin, "The Life of the Cosmos", New York: Oxford University
    Press (1997)

    Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, "Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer",
    Santa Barbara: Center for Evolutionary Psychology, University of
    California (1997) Retrieved June 1999 from the World Wide Web:

    Edward L. Wright, "Brief History of the Universe", Astronomy
    Department, UCLA Retrieved May, 2002, from the World Wide Web:

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    About the Author:
    Howard Bloom ([6]howard at paleopsych.com), a visiting scholar at the
    Graduate Psychology Department at New York University and a Faculty
    Member, The Graduate Institute, is the author of two books: The
    Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History
    ("mesmerizing"-The Washington Post) and Global Brain: The Evolution of
    Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century ("reassuring and
    sobering"-The New Yorker). This article is derived from one of his
    upcoming books, The Big Bang Tango: Quarking In the Social Cosmos.
    Bloom is the founder of the International Paleopsychology Project,
    executive editor of the New Paradigm book series, a founding board
    member of the Epic of Evolution Society, a founding board member, The
    Darwin Project, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the
    National Association for the Advancement of Science, the American
    Psychological Society, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, The
    International Society of Human Ethology, and the Academy of Political
    Science. He has been featured in every edition of Who's Who in Science
    and Engineering since the publication's inception. Bloom's writings
    have appeared in The Washington Post, Wired, Knight-Ridder's Financial
    News Service, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, Omni Magazine, New
    Ideas in Psychology, The Independent Scholar, Across Species
    Comparisons and Psychopathology, and in two book series: Research in
    Biopolitics and the Disinformation Company's series of three books:
    You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know is Wrong, and Abuse Your


    1. http://physicaplus.org.il/view_eng1.html#author
    2. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/
    3. http://howardbloom.net/Expert%20opinions%20on%20Global%20Brain.htm
    4. http://www.clark.net/pub/ogas/evolution/EVPSYCH_primer.htm
    5. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/BBhistory.html
    6. http://physicaplus.org.il/howard@paleopsych.com

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