This is a proper notebook post, intended to amplify the sort of discussions which are shaping my discussion of an evolution aesthetic here. Don’t worry, these are all links to popular science writing that frame the discussion in lay terms.
The first is just a little fluff piece about the romantic and nationalist fantasies that underpin certain forms of conservationism. Fluffy or not, that’s going to come in handy when I revisit the apocalypse, with its nationalist underpinnings.
The next two dig a little deeper into the logic of evolution and pushback on genetic determinism. The first does so by pointing out the role played by the environment as part of the feedback loop shaping evolution. The second focuses more on the organism and its development rather than evolution in specific, but its shared focus on the role played by the feedback loop gets us back to the importance of the algorithm.
Finally, let’s round out the link fest with a couple that reframe what it means to call something an invasive species within this sort of unguided but directed evolutionary perspective. There is an article I really quite liked on this topic, but I can’t seem to locate it.
ETA: Oh for goodness sake I forgot two other links on the early phases of life. The first I found thanks to Gordon which describes how we may be getting closer to understanding the organic potentials of inanimate matter. (Bonus points that this very golem-like discussion is being kicked up by a Jewish scientist.) The other is a discussion of the trickster-cells that might link both plant and animal cell biology.