The epistemological synthesis of the various theories of evolution, since the first formulation in 1802 with the transmission of the inherited characters by J.B. Lamarck, shows the need for an alternative synthesis to that of Princeton (1947). This new synthesis integrates the scientific models of self-organization developed during the second half of the 20th century based on the laws of physics, thermodynamics, and mathematics with the emergent evolutionary problematics such as self-organized memory.
This book shows, how self-organization is integrated into modern evolutionary biology. It is divided into two parts: The first part pays attention to the modern observations in palaeontology and biology, which include major theoreticians of self-organization (d'Arcy Thompson, Henri Bergson, René Thom, Ilya Prigogine). The second part presents different emergent evolutionary models including the sciences of complexity, the non-linear dynamical systems, fractals, attractors, epigenesis, systemics, and mesology with different examples of the sciences of complexity and self-organization as observed in the human lineage, from both internal (embryogenesis-morphogenesis) and external (mesology) viewpoints.
Anne Dambricourt Malassé (PhD 1987 in paleoanthropology, Accreditation to Supervise Research 2011) is born in 1959 at Neuilly-sur-Seine (France). She is a researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and attached to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Paris, since 1990. The research centre is housed by the Institute of Human Paleontology, a Foundation Albert 1st Prince of Monaco (1910). Her research has been focusing more than 30 years on the evolution of the face and the skull base in the human lineage. She has put in light their morphodynamic links in relation to the neural crest cell migration, the bending of the chondrocranium and the straightening of the neural tube, i.e. the verticalization of the craniocaudal axis. This new approach opened human palaeontology to the sciences of complexity and nonlinear dynamic systems, the mathematical modelling of unstable systems and the homeotic genes. Her dynamical and geometrical approach was strongly supported by René Thom (Fields Medal) and has important repercussions in dento-maxillo-facial orthopaedics and posturology. She has been teaching since 1990 at the postgraduate level (NMNH, René Descartes University, Aix-Marseille University) and has supervised more than 40 predoctoral (French DEA) and doctoral theses. Since 2007, she has conducted seminars in prehistory and paleoanthropology at the Doctoral School of NMNH. More than 20 years of fieldwork in Pakistan and then in India have led her to the discovery of the oldest human activities in Asia, in the Indian Sub-Himalayan piedmonts (butchery and stone tool-making activities dated to 2.8 Ma). She is currently leading the program “Siwaliks” with two Research Units of the CNRS, the “Natural history of prehistoric Man” laboratory, NMNH and the “Geosciences” laboratory of Paris-Saclay University. She has initiated and co-founded the association FREHOPS, “Research Federation on Human Evolution, Osteopathy and Posture to Serve Health”.