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  1. Jan 2023
    1. In the Pirandello play, "Six Characters in Search of an Author", the six characters come on stage, one after another, each of them pushing the story in a different unexpected direction. I use Pirandello's title as a metaphor for the pioneers in our understanding of the concept of evolution over the last two centuries. Here are my six characters with their six themes. 1. Charles Darwin (1809-1882): The Diversity Paradox. 2. Motoo Kimura (1924-1994): Smaller Populations Evolve Faster. 3. Ursula Goodenough (1943- ): Nature Plays a High-Risk Game. 4. Herbert Wells (1866-1946): Varieties of Human Experience. 5. Richard Dawkins (1941- ): Genes and Memes. 6. Svante Pääbo (1955- ): Cousins in the Cave. The story that they are telling is of a grand transition that occurred about fifty thousand years ago, when the driving force of evolution changed from biology to culture, and the direction changed from diversification to unification of species. The understanding of this story can perhaps help us to deal more wisely with our responsibilities as stewards of our planet.

      !- Pirandello’s play Six Characters in Search of an Author : vehicle for exploring cultural evolution over the last 50,000 years