BOOK OVERVIEW

CROSSING A CHASM

In Small Steps?

Evolution is defined as the change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations, resulting in changes in both the genotype and phenotype. The evidence for evolution is primarily circumstantial, being based on fossils of extinct species, physical similarities, and a largely common genome. Charles Darwin believed that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.

Today, we know so much more than Darwin did 150 years ago, leading many scientists to discard genetic mutation and natural selection as having the development power previously ascribed to them. What has been missing in the science so far is “systems thinking” – a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system’s constituent parts interrelate, and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.

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