Supplemental Text

Free Life and Confining Form

Stephen L. Talbott

This article is supplemental to “Genes and the Central Fallacy of Evolutionary Theory”, and should be read in conjunction with that essay. Both pieces are part of a larger work in progress entitled: Toward a Biology Worthy of Life. Original publication of this article: February 28, 2013. Date of last revision: March 6, 2013. Copyright 2013 The Nature Institute. All rights reserved.

There is no single seat of power in the organism. Its living dynamism is reflected in a fundamental polarity exhibited by every living thing — a polarity involving the interpenetration of, and creative tension between, two principles: on the one hand, relatively fixed structure and organization; on the other, plastic energies. Samuel Taylor Coleridge spoke of an irreducible polarity between "confining form" and "free life" (cited in Barfield 1971, p. 31*), and it is indeed impossible to have life without structure, identity, and already achieved form, just as it is is also impossible to have life without movement, flexibility, and change.

Neither pole can ever