Tyler Volk


On his book Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be

Cover Interview of July 11, 2017


Gosh! I hope to connect people in all walks of life to this extraordinarily lively, creative, full of surprises universe that we find ourselves in and which, frankly, we do not ponder in its fullness often enough. Life has demands. Life has distractions. And it requires stretching of the mind to get into all the levels to at least the degree of detail that I think is useful for expanding our minds and such exercise can lead to exhilaration.

I also would like to say in these concluding moments that some of the families of patterns within the 12 fundamental levels can be useful as templates for thinking about the organization of systems that anyone might want to use.

For example, I noted earlier the part three of the book. In that part, I discover, shall we say, or make a case for, three families of adjacent levels that I am calling the dynamical realms: physical laws, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. I will leave it to readers to get into that part, and in particular to see how I justify using the word evolution to refer to certain dynamics within cultural systems, from the upper Paleolithic to the geopolitical state. But the implications of the logic indicate that a next level would be some sort of merger of nations into a planetary scale.

I have an epilogue exploring what this might mean, which I will not go into here. But let me say I believe that new perspectives on the emerging planetary scale can be gained by studying these templates just referred to. You can think of these templates as ways of combining that have been proven successful more than once in the grand sequence. And therefore the templates might be useful as generalizations for exploring possibilities for the planetary scale. This is crucial to think about right now.