Melting pot theory

Melting pot theory (label)Melting Pot theory (cartoon)
Left: A depiction of a generic thermodynamics-themed melting pot theory. Right: a cartoon of Daniel Brooks and Edward Wiley who got burned for their 1982 melting pot fueled Brooks-Wiley theory of evolution.
In hmolscience, melting pot theory, melting pot theorist, or a “pot theory”, refers to a publication, argument, or person who employs a variety of variegated, albeit seemingly related theories—such as: cybernetics (Norbert Wiener), information theory (Claude Shannon), itself being an ongoing Sokal affair, general systems theory (Ludwig Bertalanffy), systems theory (James Miller), dissipative structures (Ilya Prigogine), emergy (Howard Odum), autocatalytic closure (Stuart Kauffman), negative entropy (Erwin Schrödinger), among others—as a general spring board and or launching pad to argue for just about anything; often related to evolution, and or the humanities.

Pot theorists, typically, tend to be lacking credentials in the hard physical sciences. Example melting pot theorists, include: Ludwig Bertalanffy, and his 1968 general systems theory; Erich Jantsch, and the general argument found in his 1980 Self-Organizing Universe, Peter Corning, and his 1981 synergy-based evolution theory; Daniel Brooks and Edward Wiley, and their 1982 Brooks-Wiley theory; among others. [1] The following cartoon, e.g., is a parody of the infamous 1982 Brooks-Wiley theory, from the article “Are Evolutionary Biologists Really Ready for the Extended Synthesis”, by David Tyler, portraying their argument as a "melting pot theory" wherein, in the end, Canadian zoologist Daniel Brooks is the one who gets "burned".

In fact commenting, in 2011 retrospect, on the adverse reaction to their theory: “Ed and I were stunned by [the] vicious tone. Why the rhetorical heat?” [2]

Of note, melting pot theorists, as the decades progress, as pattern seems to indicate, seem to build on each other, e.g. Corning, himself a pot theorist, cites Bertalanffy, a classical pot theorist; and so it is with newer pot theorist.

Other pot theorists include: Tullio Scrimali (2006), [add].

1. (a) Bertalanffy, Ludwig. (1968). General Systems Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications (pgs. 39-44; pgs. 192-97). New York: George Braziller.
(b) Corning, Peter. (1981). The Synergism Hypothesis: A Theory of Progressive Evolution (thermodynamics, 8+ pgs; energy, 52+ pgs; entropy, 6+ pgs; synergy, 16+ pgs). McGraw-Hill.
2. (a) Tyler, David. (2011). “Are Evolutionary Biologists Really Ready for the Extended Synthesis” (ΡΊ), Science literature,, Mar 18.
(b) Brooks, Daniel R. (2011). “The Extended Synthesis: Something Old, Something New”, Evolution: Education and Outreach, 4(1):3-7.

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