The origin of species by means of natural drift | HUMBERTO MATURANA-ROMESIN & JORGE MPODOZIS | 2000


In this article we propose that the mechanism that gave rise to the diversity of living systems that we find today, as well as to the biosphere as coherent system of interrelated autonomous living systems, is natural drift. And we also propose that that which we biologists connote with the expression natural selection is a consequence of the history of the constitution of the biosphere through natural drift, and not the mechanism that generates that history. Moreover, we do this by proposing: a) that the history of living systems on earth is the history of the arising, conservation, and diversification of lineages through reproduction, and not of populations; b) that biological reproduction is a systemic process of conservation of a particular ontogenic- phenotype/ontogenic- niche relation, and not a genetic process of conservation of some genetic constitution; c) that a lineage arises in the systemic reproductive conservation of an ontogenic-phenotype/ontogenic-niche relation, and not in the conservation of a particular genotype; d) that although nothing can happen in the life history of a living system that is not permitted by its total genotype, whatever happens in it arises in an epigenetic manner, and it is not possible to properly claim that any features that arises in the life history of an organism is genetically determined; e) that it is behavior what guides the course of the history of living systems, not genetics; and f) that that which a taxonomist distinguishes when he or she claims that an organism belongs to a particular species, is a particular ontogenic phenotype/ontogenic niche relation that occupies a nodal position in the historical diversification of lineages.

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Teaching and health: a biological view | Professor Nelson M. Vaz (1999)

Abstract Living systems are structure determined systems. Teaching is never feasible, but learning is inevitable, a comment by an observer about some aspect of the constant changes occurring while life goes on. Teachers are all those who open up spaces for conviviality and allow congruent changes to take place. There are no instructive interactions in nature. Health and the biology of living systems are phenomena studied in different domains. What is healthy or unhealthy for humans, is defined by human culture. As biological phenomena, health and disease are relational configurations of the organism and its medium. From this perspective, individual health is a social phenomenon.

Key words Health Education; Epistemology; Education; Health

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La noción del Tao constituye una invitación a un vivir en el bien-estar psíquico y corporal, a un vivir sin esfuerzo en la unidad de toda la existencia en el hacer que surge del ver el presente cuando no hay prejuicio o expectativa. Como tal, la noción del Tao ha llevado a muchas personas a la reflexión y a la acción que busca encontrar o revelar la naturaleza de ese vivir en los ámbitos de la filosofía, la mística, y la religión. ¿Con qué nos conecta ese vivir?, ¿con lo divino o lo biológico? Pensamos que el vivir al que la noción del Tao nos invita es el vivir fundamental del vivir del ser vivo en su naturaleza biológica que se da en el existir en un presente cambiante continuo. En nosotros, los seres humanos, ese vivir ocurre como un vivir en el lenguajear sin enajenarse en el explicar, vivir que surge cuando se vive en la ampliación del ver en el desapego que es la biología del amar. Por esto el camino del Tao es el camino del amar, y el camino del amar es la biología del Tao.

Palabras clave: Biología, tao, amar, ser y hacer.


The notion of Tao constitutes an invitation to live in the psychic and bodily well-being, a living without effort in the unity of all existence that arises as the manner of living in the present with the expansion of vision that occurs when one lives without attachment and expectations. As such the notion of Tao has lead many people to the reflections and actions that attempt to find or to reveal that manner of living in the domains of philosophy, mysticism and religion. Where that manner of living leads us?, to the divine or to the biological? We think that the manner of living to which we are invited by the notion of the Tao, is the basic living of livings systems in their biological nature as this takes place in a continuously changing present. In us human beings that manner of living occurs as we do not become alienated in explanations as we live in the detachment and absence of expectations of the biology of love. This is why the path of Tao is the path of the biology of love.

Keywords: Biology, tao, to love, to be, to do.

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Reflections in relation to the article “Are living beings extended autopoietic systems? An embodied reply.” | Humberto Maturana Romesín


This is a very interesting article, and I would like to make a few epistemological and operational reflective commentaries that it evokes in me.

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EARTH CHARTER AND CULTURAL BIOLOGY Co-Inspired by Love | Ximena Dávila and Humberto Maturana (2011)

Interview with Humberto Maturana and Ximena Davila, of Matriztica School in Santiago, Chile.

Humberto Maturana is a renowned biologist and philosopher from Chile. He invented a theory of autopoiesis, about the nature of reflexive feedback control in living systems. Ximena Davila is a Professor from Chile who collaborates with Maturana, together they developed the dynamic vision that entangled the Biology of Knowledge and the Biology of Love that conform the basis for the Biological Matrix of Human Existence. Together they co-founded “la Escuela Matriztica de Santiago”.

In this interview, done by Cristina Moreno together with the staff members of the Methodist University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Humberto Maturana and his colleague Ximena Davila offer their insights and reflections about the meaning of the Earth Charter and its relevance for today’s challenges.

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“The Effectiveness of Mathematical Formalisms” by Humberto Maturana Romesin (2000)

Reproduced from: Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol.7, no. 2-3, 2000, pp. 147–150 ASC American  Society forCybernetics a society for the art and science of human understanding The Effectiveness of Mathematical Formalisms  Humberto Maturana Romesin In this short article I would like to address the question: How is that mathematical formalisms permit us to compute relations in the… Read More

“Biology of Language: The Epistemology of Reality” by Humberto R. Maturana (1978)

Reproduced from: Biology of Language: The Epistemology of Reality Humberto R. Maturana (1978) I am not a linguist, I am a biologist. Therefore, I shall speak about language as a biologist, and address myself to two basic biological questions, namely: What processes must take place in an organism for it to establish a linguistic domain… Read More

Understanding Social Systems? / What Is Sociology? / Confusion of Reflective Domains? by Humberto R. Maturana

Understanding Social Systems? Humberto R. Maturana Escuela Matríztica de Santiago, Chile hmr/at/ Maturana H. R. (2014) Understanding social systems? Constructivist Foundations 9(2): 187–188. In my commentary I reflect on conceptual and epistemological questions. In particular, I challenge the idea of trying to define social systems. I also wonder whether in many cases autopoiesis is… Read More

Cultural-Biology: Systemic Consequences of Our Evolutionary Natural Drift as Molecular Autopoietic Systems

Our purpose in this essay is to introduce new concepts (dynamic architecture and dynamic ecological organism-niche unity, among other) in a wide and recursive view of the systemic consequences of the following biological facts that I (Maturana in Biology of cognition, 1970, Unity and diversity of man. Le Seuil, Paris, 1978; Maturana and Varela in Autopoiesis and cognition: the realization of the living. D. Riedel Publishing Co, Boston, 1980, El Árbol del Conocimiento: Las Bases Bioógicas del Conocer Humano, 1a Edición. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, 1984; Maturana and Mpodozis in Rev Chil Hist Nat 73:261–310, 2000) and we (Maturana and Dávila in Habitar humano: en seis ensayos de biología-cultural. Juan Carlos Sáez Editorial, Chile, 2008) have presented that can be resumed as: (1) that as living systems we human beings are molecular autopoietic system; (2) that living systems live only as long as they find themselves in a medium that provides them with all the conditions that make the realization of their living possible, that is, in the continuous conservation of their relation of adaptation to the circumstances in which they find themselves; (3) that as a living system exists only in a relation of adaptation with the medium that operates as its ecological niche, its reproduction necessarily occurs as a process of systemic duplication or multiplication of the ecological organism-niche unity that it integrates; (4) that the worlds of doings that we generate as languaging beings in our conversations, explanations, reflections and theories are part of our ecological niche; and (5) that we human beings as living beings that exist in languaging, are biological–cultural beings in which our cultural and our biological manners of existences can be distinguished but cannot be separated. Of the systemic consequences of these biological facts that we consider in this essay, we wish to mention two as the principal: (1) that the diversification of manners of living produced in biological evolution is the result of differential survival in a changing medium through the conservation of adaptation, and not through competitive survival of the best; and (2) that we in our living as languaging human beings (observers) are the epistemological fundament of all that we do and know as such. Read More