Competition vs. Co-operation

· Blog

Competition and co-operation seem to be everywhere in nature. It looks like there are times that species compete for survival and other times that they co-operate to survive. But, what if the underlying forces between the diverse species in nature are actually always co-operative and not competitive?

I was taught the idea of survival of the fittest when I was in school and it wasn't hard to apply that idea to lots of situations in nature. But if we zoom out a little further and look at the situation from a broader perspective, I begin to see that the underlying forces between species could ultimately be co-operation.

This week we're continuing to share the conversation with Dr. Zach Bush and Dr. Rangan Chatterjee where they explore this idea of competition versus co-operation and Zack shares something that scientists are seeing called quorum sensing. This is a behaviour that is expressed in our microbiome that consists of over 1000 different microbes, where the entire population begins to express a higher level of intelligent behaviour. That's over 1000 different species co-operating, not competing. And it's the behaviour that scientists are seeing occurs in the microbiome of the soil that consists of perhaps 50,000 different species of microbes, 50,000 species co-operating.

Listen to hear more:

Isn't that amazing that thousands of different species can create this activity of quorum sensing that leads to an extraordinary level of intelligent, new and creative expression. Intelligent, creative expression never before expressed.

As I look at my love of being out in nature, I wonder if the awe I experience isn't somehow connected to an awareness of this extraordinary level of intelligence that is occurring throughout nature. I wonder if it's this activity of quorum sensing that is the basis of the constant balance, harmony and beauty that I see, and that I love so much.

I don't think it matters what you call it, it's hard to deny that the endless, beautiful unfolding of nature seems to be guided by an intelligence greater than what any one species contributes.

What I love most about what Zack is saying is that there is this principle in nature that leads to hyper-co-operation that is expressed everywhere. Put that together with the fact that we, as a human species, are part of nature, we too have the capacity of hyper-co-operation. We too have built into us the capacity to be the curious, creative force that we see evolving forests, mountain ranges and every aspect of the natural environment. I believe that in that capacity we will find the solutions to the problems facing us and our environment. And that is really good news.

The recipe this week is a Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry that is out of this world. Rich, flavourful and very satisfying. Give it a try, we think you'll like it.

To Your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

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Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry (Serves 4)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups mushrooms, cut in slices
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 3 carrots, cut in matchsticks
  • 3 cups broccoli, cut in pieces
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 small Habanero red pepper, diced very finely, or 1 Jalapeno, diced fine
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos

In a large pan add onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, filtered water and carrots. Cook until onion is transparent (7-10minutes).

Add broccoli, peppers, cashews, sesame seeds, vinegar, and coconut aminos. Cook until broccoli is tender.

Serve over wild rice blend or other grain of your choice.