About this book
"What in the ever-loving blue-eyed world do these [U1ano wicz's] innocuous comments on thermodynamics have to do with ecology!" Anonymous manuscript reviewer The American Naturalist, 1979 "The germ of the idea grows very slowly into something recognizable. It may all start with the mere desire to have an idea in the first place. " Walt Kelly Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo, 1959 "It all seems extremely interesting, but for the life of me it sounds as if you pulled it out of the air," my good friend Ray Lassiter exclaimed to me after enduring about 20 minutes of my enthusiasm for the newly formu lated concept of "ascendency" in ecosystems. "It wasn't," I replied, "but it would take a book to show you where it came from. " If such was the reaction of someone usually sympathetic to my manner of thinking, what could I expect from those who viewed biological devel opment in the traditional way? After all, I was suggesting that it is possi ble to quantify the growth and development of an entire ecosystem. Fur thermore, I was maintaining that this development was not entirely determined by events and entities at smaller scales, and yet could influ ence these component processes and structures. To be sure, mine was only the latest of many challenges to straight reductionism, but, like everyone else with a new idea, I thought mine was special.
biological biology development dynamics ecology ecosystem growth structure temporal dynamics thermodynamics