Lavishly illustrated examination of the theory of biological self-organization—territory unfamiliar to most.
The theory of self-organization is an attempt to answer the continuing and ancient question of how the organism develops from a solitary fertilized egg to achieve its final form in maturity. Pivar believes that biology as a discipline has no overarching theoretical principle to explain the process of ontological development. He begins with a detailed description of the tensile strength of the toroidal sphere and how that funnel bi-layer shape is an ideal flexible vessel designed to facilitate the progression from single cell to full-fledged organism. He posits that the specific pattern of development of the species is already encoded at the cellular level and elaborated through physical and chemical dynamic processes. While the genome can specify certain traits of the animal, it cannot account for the process of the developmental sequence of the emerging biological form. In a similar vein, he rejects the principle of random mutation or natural selection precisely because these Darwinian concepts stress the crucial input of the environment in promoting adaptive evolutionary change along a continuum. He describes and illustrates the developmental sequence of flora and fauna from the basic toroidal sphere, stating that every life form grows from the same hypothesized point of origin as the inner layer undergoes continuous embryological transformation that is specific to each animal, flower or insect. The presentation of the biological self-organization theory, unorthodox at best since it minimizes accepted doctrines in biology, is highly disorganized. By immediately discussing and defining the mechanical properties of the torus and more specifically the toroidal sphere, Pivar is launching the reader into highly unfamiliar–and often disorienting–territory, a situation worsened by liberal use of terminology that is discipline-dependent. It is only in the concluding chapters that the relation of the torus principle to ontological and philological development is clarified.
An intriguing work of new ideas on the cutting edge of biology, though not for the uninitiated.