The scientific background of Faustino Cordón (1909) started at the university, continued -after being interrupted by the Spanish Civil War- in the Zeltia laboratories, Porriño, with Professor Calvet (1941-1945), and culminated in the Institute of Biology and Serotherapy (1945-1966), where he directed the Research Department from its creation in 1958. In this period the mastery of contemporary experimental biology allowed him to deal with problems of a new type and outline the line of thought that he was to develop in his maturity. He had not yet developed a project for organizing a general biological doctrine, and his theoretical developments were linked to the study of specific biological problems applied to industry. However, the new problems made it necessary to reorganize the available biological data and translate them into an experimental and evolutionist body of biological thought.
Cordón wrote four main works: Inmunidad y automultiplicación proteica (Spanish), Introducción al origen y evolución de la vida (Spanish), La evolución conjunta de los animales y su medio (Spanish) and Origen y evolución de la secreción gástrica. Una contribución al estudio del animal por su origen (Spanish), unpublished.
Inmunidad y automultiplicación proteica includes Cordón’s main theoretical research findings on immunity. Working on serums and vaccines in his late forties, Cordón dealt with an applied biology problem (how to prevent protein solutions from sensitizing, from causing an allergic reaction) that led him to a biological question of undoubted theoretical interest: when small amounts of a protein from a species unrelated to an animal are injected parenterally in the animal, why does this change its way of reacting to an injection of the same protein?
More specifically, outside the current sphere of immunology, Cordón experimented with allergy to casein in guinea pigs, striving to observe the facts strictly and seeking the key to them, first intuitively and later by creating a working hypothesis to be tested with all the relevant known facts. He then compared the explanatory power of his own theoretical thinking with the mode or modes of interpretation of these events by orthodox immunology, using as a basis Robert Doerr’s Die Immunitätsforschung: Ergebnisse und Probleme in Einzeldarstellungen (the eight volumes of which he later translated for La Revista de Occidente). But what is really significant is not that Cordón was able to give a better explanation for the facts than orthodox immunology, to bring together fields of immunology that had previously been unconnected, and to discover and interpret new facts (which is in itself a great achievement), but that this experimental biological research was translated into problems of a new type, a comprehensive and evolutionist set of biological problems. For instance, the existence and nature of the intense subcellular life, the subcellular level of living beings (protein life); the general concept of the biological integrative level; and the relationships of origin and maintenance between living beings of different levels and between living beings and inorganic beings.
Similarly, using this theoretical background and the set of problems, Cordón extended his field of study to the experimental problem of photosynthesis, so far from the first origin of life on an evolutionary scale. This study led him to consider the emergence of life from inorganic matter, in an attempt to understand the nature of the first biological level through its origin. In fact, this conscious attempt to study biological problems as evolutionist problems was his first effort to understand biological evolution as a general process. Introducción al origen y evolución de la vida (Spanish) contains the theoretical results of this research: the stratification of reality into integrative levels, laws of biological levels (such as the law of the evolution of homeostasis of a lower level under the higher level: of the protein under the cell, of the cell under the animal), the mode of action of living beings of the first integrative level, and similar topics.
The specific experimental problems that Cordón dealt with in his late fifties and sixties were mainly ones of animal biology. Based on these problems, his own previous ideas and the main strands of truth of evolutionist scientific thought (in particular Darwin and Pavlov), he sought to address the question of the origin, nature and evolution of animals in one way or another. He thus moved away from the dominant school of animal biology (which, it must be stressed, does not distinguish between the animal and the cell, and reduces animal life to a pure result of the joint activity of an association of cells).
The works of this period include those that formed the basis for the book La evolución conjunta de los animales y su medio (Spanish), namely: “Generalización de los principios teóricos del darwinismo” (Spanish), “La evolución conjunta de los animales y su medio (Spanish) and “Balance y perspectivas del darwinismo” (Spanish).
Based on Darwin and Cordón’s own previous ideas, this book presents the results of Cordón’s effort to understand processes and to define concepts that seem to be required by the theory presented in On the Origin of the Species: How is the animal environment (i.e. the reality surrounding individuals of a species so that they can live and develop their specific patterns of behaviour) structured and what is the medium of a species (which involves understanding also how the individuals of a given species consistently influence this structure of reality and help maintain it)?
How did the ancestral species bifurcate into in two new species (the speciation process)? What, indeed, is a species defined in this way, in terms of its environment and its process of origin? The book not only makes significant progress regarding these questions of animal biology but also offers glimpses of much wider general biological problems: relationships between living beings of different levels of complexity (the animal and the cell, for example), the possibility of addressing the knowledge of living beings of different levels through their process of origin, based on the co-evolution of the lower level (both in ontogeny and phylogeny), and other questions of this type.
A similar approach is taken in the unpublished work Origen y evolución de la secreción gástrica. Una contribución al estudio del animal por su origen (Spanish). Starting from the experimental study of gastric secretion, this work tries to explain the origin of the first animal based on the evolution of digestive activity, starting precisely from the previously accumulated theoretical foundations. The experimental task of making a product (an antacid) to treat gastritis involved determining how the normal secretion of hydrochloric acid occurs in the stomach. However, when Cordón considered the solution to this problem on the basis of the general biological knowledge that he had attained, the idea that the animal as a whole is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid by acting on the gland with a suitable configuration led him, first, to consider the origin and evolution of a gland and, then, to understand the origin and nature of the animal organism based on the origin of its digestive tract. Cordón recently wrote:
“We were very surprised to find that what we knew of the gland provided us with a solution to this problem almost before we raised it, though it now seems inevitable to me. It is sufficient to think that the animal is defined by feeding on masses of cells that it starts to disintegrate in a digestive cavity. It seems logical that the animal comes from an association of phagocytes adapted to living on dead masses of this kind of food; that in this association digestive cells became specialized; that the digestive cells established the selective advantage of creating the digestive system; and that the functional coordination of cells controlling the digestive system gave rise to the animal action and experience,the first animal. Each step is understandable and any other order of appearance is meaningless” (Note 6).
In 1968 and 1969, shortly after leaving the IBYS Institute, Cordón used his stay as a visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico to considerably refine his general theoretical thought, the biological-evolutionist problems and the systematic investigation of the natural history of living beings. At this time, in association with Juan Huarte, he also founded the Institute of Applied Biology in order to promote the study of human nutrition and the rationalization of the food industry, which fostered the development of his theoretical maturity and gave it its main guiding thread: Evolutions Treatise of Biology. Part One. The Origin, Nature and Evolution of Protoplasmic Individuals and Their Associations (Note 7).
Cordón himself told me recently:
“Today I perceive clearly that my work took a final turning point when I was about 65. First, at that time I enunciated the idea of action and experience as the essential characteristic of living beings, which can be understood in terms of the overall evolution of the universe, so I reached the basis of what I can normally theorize. Second, I found in nutrition the governing thread that allowed me to use the previous basis to organize into a system the stubs of theory that I had been drawing up in various fields of biology in my years of maturity” (Note 8).
A. Formulation of the problems and the research project:
As a general science, evolutionist biology is characterized by the integration of biological-experimental knowledge into a unified system of knowledge that is able to explain living nature more profoundly and to direct human action on it more effectively. Specifically, the general biological problems are related to the history of the origin, nature and evolution of living beings, clarifying knowledge based on the terms of the joint history, in stages, of the earth’s biosphere.
Within each matter-energy level of living beings (proteins, cells and animals), evolutionist biology addresses such important issues as the nature of the elementary medium -or quantum of progress- in the individuals of the level, the dynamics (quantitative progresses) of the relations between the individual and the medium, the process of speciation (or qualitative differentiation of the race [and of its medium] into new species [and new media]), the appearance and persistence of the basic types of level, etc.
Moreover, the scientific understanding of the links between two consecutive biological levels raises problems of another type: the origin of the first individuals of the level from the co-evolution of the living beings of the lower level; the physical nature of the unitary field in which the individuality of the organisms of the new level lies; the nature of the somatic activity, the medium and the experience of the individuals of the level; the relationship between the individuals of the level and the individuals of the lower level that constitute the soma from which the former emerge and evolve; etc.
Finally, a general biology must consider biological evolution as a whole process, considering issues such as the following: evolution in homeostasis and according to variations involving selective advantages of living beings in general; variety and growing complexity of types of food, trophisms and, ultimately, the corresponding living beings; the dynamic nature of every organism and the scientific explanation of the real unity of the living being (its soul); the scientific (historical) interpretation of human awareness and, in general, of the appearance, maintenance and evolution of all forms of awareness (experience); the relationships between biological evolution and geological evolution; the scientific basis of monism arising from the relationships between biological evolution and the universal whole; the relationships between the real multiplicity of specific media, and therefore the clarification of thedependence of the evolution of a given species on the co-evolution of living beings; and other similar questions.
B. Theoretical foundation and driving force:
In the 1970s Cordón, who continually shapes his own version of the precise theoretical foundation for the scientific study of any manifestation of life, wrote an extensive “General Introduction” to his basic work, providing an overview of his treatment of the biological evolutionary problem. In the following chapters he dealt with the concepts of evolution, organism, experience, medium, soma, biosphere and nutrition, all of which are biological concepts that are necessary for studying the evolution of living beings.
Biological evolution is a broad, unitary homoeostatic process in which three basic unitary states coincide with the levels of living beings (proteins, cells and animals). Understanding the living being in terms of that biological evolution involves, among other things, understanding how inorganic matter drives life through the mediation of life and how the historic results of that biological evolution are conserved within the somatic processes of current living beings.
Meanwhile, each living being (each individual) is an organism controlling a soma that continuously gains experience through its action on the medium.
Specifically,the organism is the physical substrate of the unit of action that constitutes the characteristic individuality of all living things. It is defined by a certain form of energy (or a general physical field) and it is like a potential refuge that is continuously annihilated (transformed into constant action, or current energy) and is continuously created and maintained on the basis of the fluctuations of action of the organisms of the immediately lower level (proteins in the cell, molecules in the protein, cells in the animal) from whose coordination it emerges. The activity of the higher organism is a process of continuous application of external energy to the living beings of the lower level, for their maintenance. Furthermore, the higher organism results constantly from the integration of a unitary (and therefore unprecedented and qualitatively different) action of the multiple actions of the organisms of the living beings that constitute its soma.
This is because the soma,
“the indispensable link between the organism and its medium” (Note 9), is merely “that set of structures and processes that is formed by the organism and from which the organism in turn continuously emerges: it is the organization of the complex reality through which the unit (the organism) and the whole (biological evolution) are connected and sustain each other” (Note 10).
While the organism is known only by its effects (and only from the biological-evolutionist theoretical perspective), the soma is easily detectable by human senses (at least the animal soma, and since the 19th century the cell soma). While the organism disappears at the end of its life, the soma, as a conglomerate of disconnected structures of a different level, remains relatively as a cadaver until it is degraded by the physical-chemical agents (sometimes persisting for a long time and then appearing as paleological remains).
In addition, the soma is the instrument of the action and experience of the organism in its relations with its medium, i.e. with “the reality surrounding the living being that shapes its experience and is modelled by it” (Note 11). Theserelations always remain within the framework imposed by the capacities of the organism’s action and experience that make up its soma and by the nature of its medium. The relationship with the environment that is characteristic of all living beings is always established through the mediation of the organisms of the lower level; if the living being controls these organisms, it is precisely because of the greater speed and integration of its mode of action and experience.
The constant action results in an overall increase in experience in the course of biological evolution; the experience of the living being acts as an agent of natural selection and natural selection acts as the mechanism of evolution. This experience focuses on nutrition, so the role played by food in the co-evolution of the being and its medium is fundamental: living beings continually come together around food, and they themselves are food; a biological qualitative leap is instigated from the moment when the beings of a given level fill the biosphere, making the struggle for life infinitely more difficult, with the consequent intensification of selective pressure.
At first, life arises from the molecular level (which is therefore the link between geological evolution and biological evolution) and within the biosphere,
“the surface layer of the molecular mass of the Earth where the conditions of interaction between the hydrosphere, the atmosphere and the ground are suitable for the sustenance and reproduction of living beings (...). With the evolution of the action and experience of living beings, the biosphere has expanded (in the course of biological evolution) from the starting point of a primitive sea in which the conditions were so favourable that they produced the food of the proteins in sufficient concentration for the first protein to originate on it, until it occupied a whole area of the earth’s surface in a layer of variable thickness, progressing towards increasingly unfavourable conditions. After being subjected to colonization by living beings, the biosphere (the molecular environment) has evolved in homeostasis under them” (Note 12).
As an accumulation of food, every living being is understood in terms of other living beings and, ultimately, in terms of the sources of the organisms that make up its soma in the environment, and it takes from the soma the energy that it needs to continuously replenish its stocks. Guided by its experience, it approaches and incorporates food, transforming it into food of the living beings of the lower level and distributing it suitably among them. Meanwhile, by correlating the stimuli that come from the food in the somatic actions that are favourable or unfavourable to the maintenance of its organism, it constantly gains experience.
In the evolutionary process, trophism always precedes the living being, so nutrition explains the living being by its process of origin: in the face of selective pressure, without losing their individual nature, the living beings of a given level end up coordinating their action in an unprecedented way to develop a new trophism. Once this association acquires sufficient firmness, its governing organism emerges, different from the organisms that formed it and capable of reproducing itself. And thus, by explaining the higher through the lower, the new through the old, the unitary understanding of living beings is reached.
In each biological stage two successive phases are distinguished: the heterotrophic and the autotrophic stages. Heterotrophic individuals feed on remains of the immediately lower level until the improvement of their action and experience culminates in the domination of the biosphere by an association of heterotrophs that is able to cause the shortage of its own food. This shortage results in a selective pressure that ultimately leads to the appearance of autotrophs that are able to exploit a new matter-energy reserve. Finally, the environmental disorder generated by the extreme multiplication of the last autotrophs produces a new extreme situation that gives rise to the emergence of the heterotrophs of a new level.
Thus, nutrition is the guiding thread and the main theoretical key to an evolutionist biology that allows us to understand all living beings in total dependence on their medium, because they all have to take from the medium the matter and energy that they need to exist, maintain and reproduce themselves.
When the known facts and the scientific knowledge that explain them are mastered, scientific progress occurs when a more critical and comprehensive theory emerges and allows us to observe reality from a higher theoretical level, to be surprised at the unprecedented, to better explain all the facts, to refine some of them, to discover new facts, and ultimately to promote the progressive change in human knowledge.
On the basis of his theoretical ideas of the 1960s, in 1971 Faustino Cordón undertook the systematic theoretical reconstruction of the natural history of the action and experience of living beings—the history of biological evolution.
The result of this effort was the first volume of his basic work, Evolutions Treatise of Biology Natural History of Action and Experience: The Origin, Nature and Evolution of Protoplasmic Individuals and Their Associations, which was published in Spanish in 1978 and in English in 1982, and is pending publication in Russian. The second volume, The Origin, Nature and Evolution of the Cell is to be published shortly, and will undoubtedly have a much greater impact on current biological thinking. However, Cordón has already offered a thorough outline of this authentic natural history under construction in his conversations with a young journalist, Antonio Núñez (Note 13).
Logically, this evolutionist biology “under construction” should bridge the current thematic and methodological gap between physical and chemical sciences (including the currently dominant school of biology) and human sciences. Moreover, in recent years Faustino Cordón has combined his central work (the construction of natural history) with the publication of books and the delivery of lectures that now clearly show the deeply illuminating effects that this natural history will have on our knowledge of man.
A. The human being: origins and nature
Starting with the most recent publications, one must mention the books La naturaleza del hombre a la luz de su origen biológico (Spanish) and Cocinar hizo al hombre (Spanish).
The problem of human nature continues to be a fundamental philosophical problem despite the enormous contemporary development of the human sciences. In human sciences, the general question of the relationship between nature and society tends to be approached exclusively through the particular problem of the biological and social aspects of humans. And we all know that, in recent times, both Western and in Soviet science reject dualistic approaches as reductionist (biologism as sociologism), stressing the need for a monistic approach and interdisciplinary collaboration. For example, the psyche and the psychic aspects of humans are considered as a mediating link between the biological and the social. There is a call for a comprehensive approach to anthropogenesis and human ontogenesis, and for an interdisciplinary study of certain psychological and biosociological problems within a system. In fact, this is the orientation taken in the study of all important specific problems: the determinants of the origin of humans; the nature of psychic phenomena; the differentiation of what is innate and acquired in the human individual; the distinguishing physiological and psychological characteristics of the human being; the fundamentals of individual creativity and of differences between individuals; the psychic development of the individual; etc. In short, the evidence that the human being can only be understood from a comprehensive and monistic perspective has been imposed.
However, these approaches go no further than an interdisciplinary formalism or a static, ahistorical and dogmatic monism. Society has failed to accept that the most appropriate way (the only proper way) to understand human beings and to properly reorganize the enormous empirical and theoretical richness contained in the human sciences is that of evolutionist science (and in particular, evolutionist biology).
There is no other way of understanding the nature of a being than by its origin, and there is no other way to rigorously explain the origin of humans than to strive to reorganize and interpret all the known information from the highest theoretical level corresponding to the level of development reached by evolutionist knowledge previously gained on all living beings and their co-evolution. After all, humans are the culminating living being. While we have a rich experience of interpersonal relationships (we tend to understand human individuals from their relations with other human individuals and from the history of these relations), we have hardly more than subjective experiences and purely empirical and purely speculative notions of the nature of the human being. Hence the radical weakness of the current schools of anthropology.
In addition to warning us of these shortcomings of the human sciences and indicating the keys for overcoming them, the books we have mentioned offer an initial draft (wider and more precise than in Conversaciones con Faustino Cordón (Spanish) of the scientific-evolutionist treatise of the nature of human beings. Applying the general thought and the governing thread (nutrition, the basis of evolutionist biology), constantly refined by the previous study of the natural history of the different levels of living being (the protein, the cell and the animal), Cordón considers in these books the problem of the origin of man as one more case (though an outstanding one) of biological speciation (splitting of a species into two).
After considering the process of all speciations and specifying the particular paths that distinguish the particular speciation in which humans emerged from the hominid, Cordón applies these and other general biological principles to reinterpret the origin of man (reorganizing all the relevant information provided by specialists in taxonomy, palaeontology and others) in three basic historical moments or episodes: 1) the abandonment of the trees by the arboreal ape who was the ancestor of man, resulting in its speciation; 2) the humanization or the successive dichotomous speciations (still animal) that gave rise to the adaptation of this ape to the ground; and 3) the final transformation of a particular, very specialized hominid into the human.
In this latest evolutionary inflexion, made possible on the firm foundation of the enormous previous evolutionary refinement and complexity of animal specialization, it seems that the decisive process was the origin of language from previous selective advantages of social cooperation for the use of tools, and in particular for the successful testing of the artificial transformation of certain foods of other species that were initially indigestible for humans. By becoming autotrophs, inventors of their own food, humans freed themselves of the biological struggle for life and its closed equilibrium, encouraging the unlimited expansion of their own environment. From having a medium defined mainly by relations with other animals, humans began to form their own medium, using their action and experience not only on the different levels of living beings (except the protein level, which had disappeared) but also on the various inorganic levels, starting with cooking, continuing with pottery and metallurgy, and concluding with modern experimental science.
Yet the most interesting aspect of this partial sketch of an evolutionist anthropology is the biological-evolutionist method that allows speech (and thought, as internalized speech) to be understood through its animal origins. Humans, who emerged from hominid work, are animals.
And speech is a component of the human animal stimulus, although because of its faster tempo and its greater evolutionary efficiency it is the controlling component of this stimulus. Internalized speech (thought) is perceived kinesthetically, but it has the advantage that in it the muscle activity is minimized (as has been experimentally proven), so the most appropriate action can be anticipated with a very small animal effort. Moreover, because of that animal origin and nature, thought receives its ultimate meaning from the coherent whole in evolution that led to humans. And it is this coherency of language with co-evolution and its culminating character that ultimately explains why language, once it had emerged, came to lead the action and experience of humans in phylogeny (the history of culture) and ontogeny (the history of each man).
B. The human being: historical evolution
Finally, in addition to a fairly early work, La actividad científica y su ambiente social (Spanish) (Note 14), in two more recent ones Cordón strives to raise our level of understanding of the human in general and of the origin, nature and evolution of scientific thought in particular. These are Pensamiento general y pensamiento científico (Spanish) and La función de la ciencia en la sociedad (Spanish).
Because Pensamiento general y pensamiento científico was a compilation of seven different works written in around 1967-68, one would expect it to be unsystematic, but this is not the case because of the unity and coherence of Cordón’s thought and its development.
The first article, Experience as an essencial character of living beings is densely biological. Once he has defined living beings by their mode of action and experience, Cordón presents the basic concepts of his biological-evolutionist or general thought according to the state of knowledge of the late 1960s. On this basis, after explaining and demonstrating how different things can only be understood scientifically through their process of origin, Cordón argues rigorously in favour of a uniform, dynamic and historical (evolutionist) interpretation of living beings, one that links their various levels, puts us on the path towards a scientific understanding of the world as a whole, and reveals the insurmountable explanatory and practical value of this evolutionist and general science.
In the second work “El pensamiento como carácter definidor de la naturaleza humana” (Spanish), Cordón defines human nature through thought and/or language (insofar as language, as a vehicle for the communication of human experience, creates the medium of humans). He explains the origin of humans (or, what amounts to the same, the origin of thought and language) through the mode of action and experience (work and cooperation) of ancestral hominids in search of food.
Finally, after defining human freedom as the conquest of true thought (inclusive and open, general, governing productive activity, discovering the nature of consciousness and society, etc.), the five remaining articles focus on some of the basic aspects of the highest level in the dialectic interplay of activity and thought that defines the human being: science (Note 15).
This is precisely the central theme of La función de la ciencia en la sociedad (Spanish), which is more complete and more expressly systematic and historical. In this work, consistent with the approach that characterizes his thought, Cordón first defines and clarifies the concepts action and experience, which are essential in evolutionist or general biology. He then explains how all genuine living beings are defined by a peculiar mode of action and experience that is in each case suitable for each type of being to obtain the food it needs. And he conceives biological evolution as the history of the constant and unceasing development and diversification of this action and experience plus the parallel history of the complementary complexification and diversification of the media (i.e. the reality surrounding living beings, which is gradually shaped by their action and experience so as to enable further advances of this action and experience).
As the culmination of biological evolution, humans emerged from the last development of animal action and experience in a culminating animal species, a development of such a nature that it involved a qualitative change. Moreover, from its very origin, human nature, emerging from the intense and disciplined cooperation of hominids seeking food, under a special selective pressure and in a relatively fast process, ceased to evolve along with the other animals in the animal medium: biological evolution ended and social evolution began. While the evolution of their congenital capacities was halted (genetically there are no significant differences between primitive humans and modern humans), the essential communicability of thought in the form of language, which defines the nature and medium of humans, allows humans to influence other living beings and nature in general. The history of humans thus appears as the history of continuous improvement of thought, and of the action and experience (work and cooperation) that make it possible. On this basis, Cordón’s thought enters the domain of social and historical sciences without ever leaving its basic methodological principle: scientific thought is explained on the basis of empirical and general thought, just as thought in general (the human) is explained on the basis of animal action and experience, which is explained on the basis of cellular action and experience, which is explained on the basis of protein action and experience.
In our opinion the aim of the book La función de la ciencia en la sociedad is to present a general but crystal-clear outline of the major stages of social evolution and the history of thought, with the advantage that, in this case, the history of humanity is offered in the exceptional context of a profoundly scientific (monistic, dynamic, historical) clarification of the co-evolution of living beings, including the culminating living being, the human.
With these foundations, by systematically applying the knowledge gained in the understanding of living beings, having clarified the origin of thought, following an inverse chronological order Cordón reveals the current crisis of experimental science. It is a crisis of growth but also a crisis whose strongest and deepest roots lie in the animal selfishness of humans and in the peculiar social relations of capitalism in our time.
For more information, see the article “La sociedad, la ciencia y la educación a la luz de la biología evolucionista de Faustino Cordón (1909-1999)”, by the same author, in the Asociacion de Hispanismo Filosofico, http://www.ahf-filosofia.es.
”Faustino Cordón”, (Spanish) interview by Carlos Gurméndez, Leviathán, 2nd period, nº 6, autumn 1981 (pp. 107-117), p.115.
This is the general title of the classic work by Faustino Cordón on the natural history of living beings in four volumes, corresponding to the protein, the cell, the animal and the human.
”Autobiographical Reflections”, Triunfo, 6th period, nº 5, March 1981 (pp. 49-56), p. 51.
"Evolutions Treatise of Biology. Part One. The Origin, Nature and Evolution of Protoplasmic Individuals and Their Associations".
Op. cit., p. 32.
Op. Cit., Cordón distinguished between the concepts medium and environment, the latter meaning “the reality around a living structured in the levels established by cosmic (inorganic) evolution and even biological evolution (in living beings in evolutionary homoeostasis under those of the higher level) which is not subject to the action and experience of that living being. It is the whole background or evolutionary foundation of the living being in question”.
Op. cit., pp. 642-643.
Note 13 Conversaciones con Faustino Cordón sobre biología evolucionista, (Spanish) Barcelona, Península, 1979. Of this work Cordón stated "It was for me a systematic and complete outline of all the work to be done, and for the readers it was an introduction to the extensive work, which it summarizes with sufficient and uniform rigour” (Preface of this basic work).
The titles of the articles collected in this book (Madrid, Taurus, 1962) are in them selves very illustrative of Cordón’s systematic interest in clarifying the nature of thought. These are: “La actividad científica y su ambiente social” (Spanish), “El menosprecio al pensamiento en la biología contemporánea” (Spanish), “Las tres etapas del desarrollo del conocimiento biológico: empírica, experimental y evolucionista” (Spanish) and “Fundamento, valor y riesgo de la ciencia experimental” (Spanish).
The illustrative titles of these articles are: “Marie Curie” (Spanish), “La estrategia para la ordenación de la biosfera al servicio del hombre” (Spanish), “El científico y los derechos humanos” (Spanish), “La conquista de la Universidad por el pensamiento verdadero” (Spanish) and “La crisis mundial de la Universidad y la investigación científica” (Spanish). Almost all of them are dominated by a single theme: the current crisis of universities and science. Cordón, who addresses this problem with his habitual scientific consistency, stresses that only a humanity that promotes the construction of evolutionist science and puts it into practice can overcome such a serious crisis.