Publication 5633

Maturana H. R. & Varela F. J. (1992) The natural drift of living beings. Chapter 5 in: The tree of knowledge: The biological roots of human understanding. Revised Edition. Shambhala, Boston: 93–117.
In this chapter we shall go over some topics that arise from the foregoing chapters, to understand this organic evolution in a general and global way, for without an adequate understanding of the historical mechanisms of structural transformation there is no understanding of the phenomenon of cognition. Actually, the key to understanding the origin of evolution lies in something which we noted in the earlier chapters: the inherent association between differences and similarities in each reproductive stage, conserva-tion of organizations, and structural change. Because there are similarities, there is the possibility || of a historical series or uninterrupted lineage. Because there are structural differences, there is the possibility of historical variations in the lineages. But, more precisely, how is it that certain lineages are produced or established and others are not? How is it that, when we look around, fish seem to us so naturally aquatic and horses so naturally adapted to the plains? To answer these questions, we must look more closely and explicitly at how interactions occur between living beings and their environment.
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