Saturday, March 8, 2014

Complexity does not necessarily equal evolution

See this article. I've long argued that evolution doesn't necessarily equate with increasing complexity. I'm not in the least surprised that evolutionary biology is proving the point. But as they say, this is going to be a very hard pill to swallow* for those so attached to the complexity = evolution crowd criticized in this lengthy thread. Probably not so much for the pomo complexity crowd though. Or the SR/OOO crowd. As the article said:

"Perhaps the fact that people are stunned whenever organisms become simpler says more about how the human mind organizes the world than about evolutionary processes. [...] The environment selects whatever form handles the challenges at hand, be it simple, complex, or plain ugly.  Mother Nature, with her 4 billion years of experience, does not work like Steve Jobs, continuously designing sleeker versions. When asked whether de-evolution, a reversal from the complex to the simple, happens frequently, Dunn replies, sure. 'But,' he adds, 'I wouldn’t call that de-evolution, I’d call it evolution.'"

I add that this is not necessarily "how the human mind organizes the world" but about how a formal operational, metaphysical mind does so. A more evolved, yet not necessarily more complex, mind doesn't do this. Recall this thread.

* "Swallow it down, jagged little pill..."

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