- Why Evolution Isn’t Progressive (We aren’t better at surviving than single-celled species)
- What Species Is Most Fit for Life? (All species use the same standard for survival)
- Evolution is Antifragile (Evolution benefits from failure)
- Deep down, there is in the substance of the cosmos a primordial disposition, sui generis, for self-arrangement and self-involution.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Mostly, we think about evolution as though it is trying to create the perfect organism. I suppose this reflects the importance that we humans place on reputation, social status, and power in our society. But evolution doesn’t care about our social values. Evolution is about continuing to evolve, and the key to that is creating variation. As much variation as possible.
Selection (what we tend to think is the important part of evolution because it is important to us) is automatic anywhere there is a scarcity of any kind of resource.
It is the variation that “drives” evolution. Selection works locally, variation works throughout the complex system of life.
Evolution is about continuing on despite uncertainty (the universe is a very uncertain place), and variation is the best way to be ready for what you just can’t predict.
Since the two most consistent forces in evolution on this planet have been gravity (a fulcrum for all movement that shifts in its impact with every movement) and the day/night cycle (framing the cycling of all processes in every complex system), change is constant.