Bare Bones Biology 318 – In The Beginning

“In the beginning was Logos.* And Logos was God. And Logos was with God.

And the spirit of God was brooding over the waters.” Genesis


And then God created the Life system of Earth, the Biosystem.


It has taken several billions of years and many false starts — using the Law of Life — to put together a beautifully functional information system that can organize energy from the sun to maintain the Life of the whole Earth, balanced against the force of entropy.


But God is patient, and now here we are, living as nodes within the corposystem, which is a subsystem of the Biosystem, and we are in great danger of losing our potential future on Earth because the corposystem is making war against its own environmental system, the Biosystem. And the corposystem cannot win.


160606-ASC_4296RLSIf the corposystem loses this war and dies, we humans begin again trying to build a new social system that can integrate usefully among the other naturally evolved systems; on the contrary, if the Biosystem dies and must start over again looking for that viable balance – then we all die, probably down to the microbial level.


We are not in charge. That is the message of God and all the gods. We have been kicked out of our dominion over the Garden of Eden because, instead of nurturing the creation of the system of Life — we tried to dominate the works of God and use them for our own gain,.


We (the corposystem) still are doing this; we have not learned.


The corposystem, the current dominant corpo-political social system within which most of us were raised, is a naturally evolved complex adaptive human social system. It has micro-properties and macro-properties. Its macro-property (emergent property) that threatens us all is “growth by domination for gain.” The corposystem has grown by dominating systems that are smaller than itself.   Eating up both their energy and their information to maintain its growth against the disorganizing alternative of entropy.


160606-ASC_4363RLSs copyWe are not in charge of the Garden of Eden – or the Law of Life — and it is time we take charge of ourselves, instead of trying to bring the whole world to its knees, take charge of our own behaviors that generate the toxic emergent properties of our corposystem — over-growth by domination, for corposystem gain.


And now the corposystem is trying to dominate the Biosystem, a larger and more powerful system, and the other half of its own life; the source of all energy for Life of Earth.


A subsystem cannot win a war against its own environmental system that is the other half of itself. That is NOT how evolution works.   Better it were that the systems of Life cooperate for the benefit of all. That is the function of evolution. The limiting factors of the environment “talk” to the emergent characteristics of its subsystems so the subsystems know when they are not going with the program.


Our corposystem (a subsystem) emergent characteristic is unsustainable because domination is not how evolution works; because our growth is causing irreparable harm to our own environmental system, the other half of our selves; and because our thirst for unilateral human profit of all kinds destroys essential elements of our environment that are not a rightful component of our corposystem.


And now the corposystem has reached the end of its growth, just as a cancer on your kidney eventually reaches the end of its growth unless it is stopped. It eats up your energy and your information/complexity, and you die. Unless we can stop the growth of the corposystem, we all die, all the generations of humans, our corposystem and very likely our environmental Biosystem that is already very sick.


Perhaps after all we are not the chosen ones for whom God has been so patiently waiting?


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Logos = a Greek word meaning: word, reason, reasoning, intellectual power, understanding

Bare Bones Biology 184-repost – Power to Ponzi? Or to Us?

Rudy Sovinee   “Can you think of
any problem in any area of
human endeavor on any scale,
from microscopic to global,

whose long-term solution
is in any demonstrable way
aided, assisted, or advanced by
further increases in population,
locally, nationally, or globally?”

                  – Prof. Al Bartlet

Those are the words of Prof. Al Bartlett. Today I want to share with you some information Rudy sent. I’ll use Rudy’s words and my words and Dr. Bartlett’s words and our combined reference links. If you work through these references, you will have the fact-based information to understand why we worry about population now – TODAY– not for some future time when it will be too late. Additional, and much shorter descriptions of why the exponential function is so important to our welfare have been posted on YouTube by Chris Martensen and by Professor Suzuki and are linked on the blog ( and the web page (

Crash Course, regarding Exponential Growth:
Power of Compounding (this is the good one) Growth versus Prosperity
Prof. Suzuki’s description of exponential growth (another good one)

The accompanying picture illustrates Dr. Bartlett’s description of our dilemma:

“There’s a very profound lesson in that cartoon. The lesson is that zero population growth is going to happen. Now, we can debate whether we like zero population growth or don’t like it, it’s going to happen. Whether we debate it or not, whether we like it or not, it’s absolutely certain. People could never live at that density on the dry land surface of the earth. Therefore, today’s high birth rates will drop; today’s low death rates will rise till they have exactly the same numerical value. That will certainly be in a time short compared to 780 years. So maybe you’re wondering then, what options are available if we wanted to address the problem.

“In the left hand column (of the accompanying picture), I’ve listed some of those things that we should encourage if we want to raise the rate of growth of population and in so doing, make the problem worse. Just look at the list. “Everything in the list is as sacred as motherhood. There’s immigration, medicine, public health, sanitation. These are all devoted to the humane goals of lowering the death rate and that’s very important to me, if it’s my death they’re lowering. But then I’ve got to realize that anything that just lowers the death rate makes the population problem worse.

“There’s peace, law and order; scientific agriculture has lowered the death rate due to famine—that just makes the population problem worse. It’s widely reported that the 55 mph speed limit saved thousands of lives—that just makes the population problem worse. Clean air makes it worse.

“Now, in this column are some of the things we should encourage if we want to lower the rate of growth of population and in so doing, help solve the population problem. Well, there’s abstention, contraception, abortion, small families, stop immigration, disease, war, murder, famine, accidents. Now, smoking clearly raises the death rate; well, that helps solve the problem.

“Remember our conclusion from the cartoon of one person per square meter; we concluded that zero population growth is going to happen. Let’s state that conclusion in other terms and say it’s obvious nature is going to choose from the right hand list and we don’t have to do anything—except be prepared to live with whatever nature chooses from that right hand list. Or we can exercise the one option that’s open to us, and that option is to choose first from the right hand list. We gotta find something here we can go out and campaign for. Anyone here for promoting disease? (audience laughter)

“We now have the capability of incredible war; would you like more murder, more famine, more accidents? Well, here we can see the human dilemma—everything we regard as good makes the population problem worse, everything we regard as bad helps solve the problem. There is a dilemma if ever there was one.

“The one remaining question is education: does it go in the left hand column or the right hand column? I’d have to say thus far in this country it’s been in the left hand column—it’s done very little to reduce ignorance of the problem.”

These are the choices we do have as a human community in response to overpopulation. The odd thing, if you look on the web, is that these are not the choices we humans have chosen to discuss. We are, instead, leaning toward magic. We aren’t even talking very much about available technologies that could limit births, but much more about technologies that increase the certainty of death and suffering of humans after they are born. These discussions are framed as being about human rights, but in fact, it is very clear that overpopulation DECREASES human rights in many ways that are very profitable for the short-term interests of the corposystem.

( , ,

Neil deGrasse Tyson


So what do we-the-people do when our leaders withhold information that is critically important to human values and to the welfare of our children? We investigate it for ourselves – and educate ourselves, and our neighbors — for survival with a reasonably comfortable, sustainable way of living.


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Bare Bones Biology 317 – The Engine that Runs the Corposystem

Human interactions – human games* – human behaviors – are critical to human welfare. I try to surround myself with win-win “games*” and relationships, or better yet, win-win-win — a win for myself, a win for the community, and a win for our Mother Earth. But this is most often impossible within the corposystem* world view.

The corposystem, is not a person; it is a naturally evolved complex adaptive system*. The primary function of any naturally evolved system is to maintain itself, as defined by its emergent characteristics. The emergent characteristics of the corposystem can be described as “growth by domination for profit.” I call that the corposystem ethic, or worldview. It is not a win-win world view; it is about competition, that is, you win-I lose, or preferably I win-you lose.

The corposystem world view maintains itself by teaching us to believe in the domination ethic — competition/dominance/co-dependence/win-lose.

How does the corposystem maintain its toxic win-lose ethic?   By programming us.

Our human world views are largely programmed into us as children, by our environments. Our corposystem environment teaches humans, from the cradle to the grave, to play “win-lose” domination “games” in order to achieve whatever we want. (For an example, just turn on any TV program and watch for an hour or two.)  Cradle to grave.

And in spite of the common belief that humans have: “always been this way,” apparently we have not. Humans have been around for 40,000 years or more, most of that time apparently living in communal groups with relationships of the sort that D. Eisler* refers to as the “partnership model” that stresses collaboration over competition.

Around 3500 BC, with the development of modern cities,*(Newitz) humans evolved what Eisler refers to as a “dominator” social organization that stresses hierarchical relationships, competition, and with competition of course comes win-lose relationships.

And then we took over the world.

Engine-corposystNow, about 5500 years later, our corposystem justifies its “domination/competitive” model by using it to accomplish “beneficial” goals to balance the hostile ones. The “good guys” are in constant conflict with the ”bad guys,” and many in both camps believe themselves to be “saving” us all.

Saving us from what? We are not being saved; we are not even winning. In fact, with every turn of the wheel the competition between the good guys and the bad guys creates more victims.

It is the corposystem itself – which is not a person, but a complex adaptive system – that wins — no matter what win-lose game we people are playing. Whether it be domination by non-violence); or by willful ignorance;* or by a whole array of ritualized co-dependent behaviors that include withholding (whatever the other needs or wants); or by competition in sports and business and social life; or by class distinctions; or by gangs; or by military flyovers; or by brute physical force, or by the ultimate humiliation of a presidential candidate who defends his ignorance with win-lose theatrics.

Every kind of win-lose game serves to benefit the corposystem while it causes harm to the majority of humans on this living earth and increases the numbers of human and nonhuman victims. And for this reason, I call this human “good guy/bad guy/victim” game, the win-lose game, the Engine that Runs the Corposystem.

And while the good guys are blaming the bad guys and the women are blaming the men and the people of color blame the people without color — all of them are actually working to strengthen the system they deplore because nobody is blaming the hierarchical, co-dependent competition SOCIAL MODEL that is the cause of the problem, and this would all be just good fun except that every turn of that wheel — even by the good guys — creates proportionally more victims now, and especially in the future, than ever before existed. In this system we live off the victims we create.

Well, call me a loser, but I’m not playing that game anymore.

I was pretty good at it, .

But win-win is more fun;

And win-win-win is a real accomplishment.



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*Eric Berne, 1996. Games People Play.

*The international corporate-economic social system that is currently our dominant human social system.

*A system is a group of things and processes that are linked together to perform a particular function(s). Thus a car is a system, I am a system, the Biosystem, a molecule, a cell, all can be seen as systems that are composed of subsystems and exist within environmental systems. An adaptive system is characterized by the ability to respond to its environment in order to perform that function. A complex adaptive system is characterized by emergent properties that facilitate the interaction with its environment. There are some good definitions on the web now.

*Riane Eisler, 1987. The Chalice and the Blade.

*Win-win games, for example: Win-Win Games for All Ages: Co-operative Activities for Building Social Skills Paperback – 2002by Sambhava Luvmour (Author), Josette Luvmour (Author)

*Annalee Newitz, PhD. 2016. The Urban Species: How Domesticated Humans Evolved,. Lecture at Santa Fe Institute. /



Bare Bones Biology 317 – Willful Ignorance

Not very many things make me steaming mad, but one thing always does, and that is willful ignorance. That is – when a person or an institution chooses to to remain ignorant of the harm it is doing to others in order to avoid the responsibility that goes with knowledge and wisdom. Such a person has sold his “soul” for personal gain.


160513-Snake-asc_4166RLSs copy copy

In the case of the snake oil salesman who claims his product is “green,” “environmentally friendly,” and a gift of black gold from Jesus, that would be selling his soul to the corposystem, our international corporate controlled social system that specializes in dominance (by trick or treat or force if necessary) to make a profit.

But the corposystem is (or at least was) not all bad, or it wouldn’t exist, and it’s not the only naturally evolved system of which we each are a part. The universe probably, and all of Life certainly, is made up of nested systems. Evolved, complex, adaptive, interacting systems.

Every naturally evolved or created person is a system that is composed of other systems and is a component of bigger systems. The result is a sustainable balance of living systems of which we are a part. Selling our soul to any part of these systems, without making any effort to learn the up side and more importantly the down side of our actions, and doing it for personal gain at the expense of the welfare of others, is an evasion of our human and humane responsibility to all the communities of which we are a part.


Of course it’s not easy to understand all this complexity, and that is another excuse that such people use – it’s too complicated for us to think about, and it is, but we can consider a metaphoric model of the system using information from personal experience, facts, mathematics and our own humanity. That’s what humans have always done, and choosing instead to rejoice over our ability to hornswoggle people out of their own profits has never been high on the list of admirable human behaviors.


Anyone can make a valid model – that is anyone who chooses to examine rather than avoid confrontation with factual reality. For example, I will simplify my own system-set, that is the systems of which I am a part, down to a four-system metaphor. (1) Myself, an individual naturally evolved human system (composed of physiological systems that keep me alive and healthy); (2) my naturally evolved community of family and friends who have the skills that I need to survive; (3) the corposystem that gives me a job so I can pay IT for food water and air and a place to live; (4) the naturally evolved Biosystem that generates the food, water and air that I need to stay alive and healthy.


If we actually believe in any one of the systems, to the exclusion of the others – in this example, if we sell our souls to the corposystem mantra that domination (by chicanery or force or co-dependant behavior, or for any other method) – is more important than our responsibility to (1) our own self-respect and physiological welfare; (2) our family and friends; or (4) the sustainability of the Biosystem upon which all living things depend for their livelihood — then in this example, if we actually believe in corposystem ethic of competition for profit, to the exclusion of other human values that are more important for the welfare of the whole, then we have “sold our soul to the corposystem.”


BBB-316-ASC_5661If we sell our soul to ANY systemic world view, including human rights, “love,” “happiness,” or “the will of God,” without considering what HARM our behaviors may cause to OTHER ESSENTIAL SYSTEMS, the result will cause more harm than good to the whole.


The possible exception to this generalization might be “wise compassion.” If we are truly wise enough to work for the welfare of the whole, and think about what we do before we do it while studying all affected systems, the up side and the down side now and in the future, rather than concentrating all our energy on some diddly little part of it. Then we might be able to claim that Jesus approves of our behaviors, or at least of our good intentions.


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of


A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: