FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Does Our Species Have a Future?
Dr. Peter Corning’s New Book Redefines What Evolution Can Teach Us About How the World Works
Seattle, WA, February 14, 2018 — Peter Corning’s new book, Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind,
is being hailed as a major contribution to the greatest shift in our understanding of evolution since The Origin of Species. His book highlights the unique creative power of synergy and takes us on a guided tour of the history of life on Earth. Does our species have a future? The answer can be found in synergy.
Synergy refers to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the natural world, synergy arises from the combined effects produced by two or more cooperating genes, parts, or organisms. Synergy contradicts the traditional, individualistic, “selfish gene” model. As Dr. Corning puts it, “Nothing about the evolution of biological complexity makes sense except in the light of synergy… Life on Earth has been a synergistic phenomenon from the get go.” He also shows how synergy has been a key to human evolution, including the rise of complex modern societies. He describes our evolution as a cooperative, entrepreneurial process that he calls the “Self-Made Man” scenario. “Cooperation may have been the vehicle, but synergy was the driver.”
Sir Patrick Bateson, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Biology, Cambridge University, president of the Zoological Society of London and the author of (among others) Behaviour, Development and Evolution, offers a strong endorsement: “This excellent book is based on a relatively simple idea, namely that when independent entities come together they can create something that is different from the sum of its parts. The idea is familiar in chemistry. In biology, it is true at all levels of organisation… running from the origins of life to modern economics in human societies… Peter Corning’s approach is wise and he is astonishingly well read… He writes extremely well and I read every word with great pleasure and interest. I am full of admiration and strongly recommend it.”
Dr. Corning’s book also examines the role of synergy in the context of twenty-first century economics, politics and the environment. According to Anthony Trewavas, FRS, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Molecular Plant Science, University of Edinburgh and author of Plant Behaviour and Intelligence, “This magnificent book reveals the critical role of synergy in evolution and in all of biology, including especially in humankind…”
In this far reaching and comprehensive book, Dr. Corning provides an eloquent and powerful explanation for the evolution of complexity that has the power to change our understanding of how the world works and who we are as a species. “This is an important book,” notes Daniel W. McShea, Professor of Biology, Duke University and co-author of Biology’s First Law. “It offers a solution to a problem that has been central to evolutionary biology for half a century, with implications that reach down to the foundations of evolutionary theory.”
Based on more than 30 years of research about the role of synergy in evolution, Dr. Corning’s book also addresses the future of our species, and of the planet. As he shows, we are at a tipping point in our history. He argues that, at this critical juncture, our ultimate fate as a species will depend on being able to make major social, economic and political changes on a global scale, and he offers us a synergy-based road-map to the future. “One of the great take-home lessons from the epic of evolution is that cooperation produces synergy, and synergy is the way forward.” Anthony Trewavas concludes: “Peter Corning offers us a unique and hopeful new vision.”
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Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind Retails for US$78 / £69 / S$115 (hardcover) and US$29.95 / £26 / S$ 44 (paperback) at leading bookstores. To learn more about the book, visit
About the Author
Peter Corning is currently the Director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems in Seattle, Washington. He was also a one-time science writer at Newsweek and a professor for many years in the Human Biology Program at Stanford University, along with holding a research appointment in Stanford’s Behavior Genetics Laboratory. In addition to some 200 professional papers, he has published six previous books, including The Synergism Hypothesis: A Theory of Progressive Evolution, New York: McGraw-Hill 1983; Nature's Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind, New York: Cambridge University Press 2003; Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2005; and The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2011.
About World Scientific Publishing Co.
World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 130 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www.worldscientific.com.
NOTE to EDITORS and PRODUCERS: Release Summary Text: Peter Corning’s new book, Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind, is being hailed as a major contribution to the greatest shift in our understanding of evolution since The Origin of Species. This book highlights the unique creative power of synergy and takes us on a guided tour of the history of life on earth. Does our species have a future? The answer can be found in synergy. Dr. Peter Corning is available for Interview. Contact: Patricia Vaccarino +1-206-979-3380 firstname.lastname@example.org