Evolution is descent with modification, that is change in the
heritable characteristics of populations of individuals over successive
generations.Hall & Hallgrímsson (2007), 4–5
The individuals are
Systems, in their
Environments.This implies that evolution is a universal process
that also acts on non-living systems. See e.g. Campbell and Price
Since The world is a hierarchy of systems, this encompasses subatomar particles, atoms, molecules, dissipative structures, cells, organisms, organisations, societies, ecosystems, civilisations, nature, and finally the universe as a whole.
Each of these systems (e.g. an organism) can be described as made up of populations of lower-level systems (e.g. cells).
Thus evolution can be described in three equivalent ways:
- The process view: as heredity plus variation plus Selection in populations
- The systems view: as Self-organisation of higher-level systems
- The computational view: Selection is Bayesian Search.
In what can be called “Population Thinking”Mayr (1982), 45–57. See also DeLanda (2002).
, we can thus understand
- species as Attractors of populations,
- variation & selection in populations as a search algorithm of the larger system,
- this larger system as stabilised by self-organisation.
This explication helps us understand Cultural Evolution and e.g. how Cities are innovative because they tolerate crazy people.
If reciprocal selection and different levels of system self-organisation interact, evolution appears as.
- Campbell and Price (2019): “Universal Darwinism and the Origins of Order”
- DeLanda (2002): Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy
- Hall & Hallgrímsson (2007): Strickberger’s Evolution
- Hesp et al. (2019): “A multi-scale view of the emergent complexity of life: A free-energy proposal”
- Hoelzer, Smith and Pepper (2006): “On the logical relationship between natural selection and selforganization”
- Mayr (1982): The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance
- Schmidhuber (1997): “A Computer Scientist’s View of Life, the Universe, and Everything”
- Vijver, Delpos and Salthe (1998), Evolutionary Systems
- Zuse (1969): Rechnender Raum