In Graham Bell's book Selection, it's written:

To some it may be a cause of regret that the natural world cannot be understood in terms of a single set of rules and laws, but at least, so far as we know, the whole of the natural world can be understood in terms of just two general systems, and no more. This book is an account of one of these, in the context of biological systems. It is an account of the Second Science

The first system or process is Selection. What is the second?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Remi.b, Bryan Krause, David, James, another 'Homo sapien' Apr 6 '17 at 15:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if it might be genetic drift? $\endgroup$ – Kara Apr 5 '17 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ The categorization of the entire of knowledge regarding the natural world is sexy but the categories aren't necessarily natural (wiki > natural category). 99.999% of scientists (me included even if I am an evolutionary biologist) would disagree to consider the the process of selection would hold half of the knowledge we have about the natural world. It does not even hold half of our knowledge in evolutionary biology! $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Apr 5 '17 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ In any case, whether his saying makes sense (or even whether the question of what he says) is a matter of opinion and is therefore off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Apr 5 '17 at 23:03
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Beausoleil As a rule, questions that evoke discussion aren't good SE questions. The point is to produce questions that have an answer that can be accepted as the best answer out of fact and presentation, not out of rhetoric. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Apr 6 '17 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ On reading the rest of that passage via google books I think you and others are simply interpreting it wrong. He isn't saying Selection is one of the two ways to understand the world he is saying that one approach is to reduce to basic principles, like physics and chemistry, and the other is that this isn't possible. He is saying his book is one example of an attempt to understand something that cannot be reduced to basic principles alone. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Apr 6 '17 at 0:17