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James MacAllister



You might want to look at the constructal law <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructal_law&gt;  as stated by Adrian Bejan in 1996 as follows: “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.”  He is a physicist and his definition of living is an oversimplification for cellular life, but if you substitute (organize) you have a useful law for why things “self-organize”.  Bejan’s reference to flow is to energy gradients so organization is a thermodynamic process. Life too is a thermodynamic process, but one that tends to maximize entropy.  Perhaps “auto-organize” would be a better term since the minimal unit of self is the cell.


I will introduce myself. I was an award-winning science and medical program scriptwriter, director, editor for 30 years. I then began working with the evolutionist and natural philosopher Lynn Margulis, I was her colleague and teaching assistant for a decade, earned my Master’s of Science in geography and was getting my PhD with her as my committee chair when she died unexpectedly in 2011. I am a fellow of the Linnean Society of London and I run the website http://www.environmentalevolution and edit the Environmental Evolution newsletter which comments on various Gaian, microbial, biospheric, and Margulisian topics. I will be speaking at the European Society of Literature, Science and the Arts Meeting on “Scale” June 15-18 on Malta. My talk is entitled “Bacteria to Biosphere: ‘Gaia is symbiosis seen from space.'”