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Evolution, Diversity and Science – Moisés Wasserman’s Column – Column Book – Opinion

The theory of evolution has had such explanatory power that it has transcended the confines of biology, and its dynamics is applied today to explain many complex social phenomena. Thus, they developed evolutionary economics, ethics, linguistics, philosophy, epistemology, and more. Richard Dawkins, in his classic book selfish gene, introduced the concept of ‘meme’ in parallel with the concept of gene (gene, in English) to postulate cultural evolution, as a logical continuation of the biological evolution that produced A wise man

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Darwin’s system of evolution by natural selection is as simple as it is powerful. There are large groups of individuals in which random changes occur. Many of the changes are not significant, some are harmful (and that streak is disappearing), and some generate a small advantage in the face of an environmental challenge. Those with the advantage will survive better and reproduce more and after many years will become a dominant group which, depending on the type of changes, may be a new species. Thus the mechanics of evolution depends on a broad base of the population, the spontaneous appearance of change, and the environment choosing which innovations work best.

The tropics are very rich in species because there are so few stresses. Multiple food chains, sun, water, good weather. Changes accumulate and in different niches the types differ in a lot. The opposite happens in Antarctica: very cold, lightweight, and severe constraints. We found penguins, seals, sea leopards, some seagulls, and not many.

Something similar happens with some cultural phenomena such as science. There are environments with many resources from different sources. Individuals tend to colonize these environments and reproduce. the emergence of innovations; New ideas, new institutional work forms, specializations and interdisciplinary relationships. Above all, there are too many groups that suggest new things. Some of them are unsuccessful, others grow and generate new buds from which different ideas emerge. Thus a scientific system of immense diversity has been developed which, like the biological system, quickly finds a strategy in response to any new challenge.

That is why, in terms of science, the tropics are located in the Northern Hemisphere (USA, England, Germany, France, Sweden, Israel, Japan, China, etc.) and Antarctica is us. Too few groups and too few food chains to support them.

The general budget recently approved by the Republican Congress for 2022 strengthens us as the Antarctic Republic. The ministry with the lowest budget is the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Just over 230 billion, 25 percent are below the next poorest category, culture, and half of them are in sports.

The ministry is making its debut, it has to strengthen and build its institutional capacity and will have to do so in very precarious conditions. One of the most important tasks of this ministry is to create that environment in which groups grow and multiply and ideas emerge. In countries that have succeeded in science, this effort is mostly made by the state, and in the basic sciences (whether natural, social or human), it is those that seek explanations before applications.

There is nothing with Ma, on the contrary, the groups are in an increasingly precarious position. The disruption of funding has the same effect as starvation on biological evolution. Sometimes they try to show that this lack of budget is compensated by royalties, but this (the subject of another opportunity) is a fallacy, a pious self-deception.

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(Read all of Moisés Wasserman’s columns on THE TIME, here)