Evolution, the ‘Mechanism’ of Big History The Grande Synthesis

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John S. Torday


Big History traces the Cosmologic arc from the Singularity/Big Bang to the present. Similarly, evolutionary biology, as “all of biology”, represents the arc of life from its origins. There is mechanistic consilience between Quantum Mechanics, The First Principles of PhYsiology and evolutionary biology that is perpetually centered on the unicellular level. The phenotypic adaptations in reaction to geophysical and geochemical changes that culminate in culture are forged at the level of the recapitulating unicellular zygote. This perspective offers a synthesis for the animate and inanimate alike as Big History. The cell as the mechanistic basis for both evolution and Big History offers a novel synthesis for Humanism and Science.

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Author Biography

John S. Torday, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

John S. Torday received a BA from Boston University (‘68), Masters (’71), and PhD (’74) in Experimental Medicine from McGill University; Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (’76). Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Physiology, Harvard University (’76-’91); Professor of Pediatrics and Ob-Gyn U. Maryland (’91-’98); Professor in Residence, Pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, Evolutionary Medicine, UC-LA (’98-present). He has authored 200 peer-reviewed Journal articles and 3 monographs.