E. O. Wilson

Consilience [kun-sil-ee-ehns]: The Unity of Knowledge’ is a 1998 book by biologist E. O. Wilson on the unification of scientific fields of inquiry and the potential unification of hard and soft sciences (humanities). Wilson uses the term to describe the synthesis of knowledge from different specialized fields of human endeavor.

He defines it as: ‘Literally a ‘jumping together’ of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation.’ Examples include the unification of Darwin’s theory of evolution with genetics; the unification of forces in modern physics; Einstein’s work unifying Brownian motion with atomic theory; Rene Descartes’ unification of geometry and algebra; and Newton’s universal gravitation, which unified the laws of falling bodies with the laws of planetary motion.


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