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Increasing Evolvability Considered as a Large-Scale Trend in Evolution

By Peter Turney


Evolvability is the capacity to evolve. This paper introduces a simple computational model of evolvability and demonstrates that, under certain conditions, evolvability can increase indefinitely, even when there is no direct selection for evolvability. The model shows that increasing evolvability implies an accelerating evolutionary pace. It is suggested that the conditions for indefinitely increasing evolvability are satisfied in biological and cultural evolution. We claim that increasing evolvability is a large-scale trend in evolution. This hypothesis leads to testable predictions about biological and cultural evolution

Topics: Evolution, Theoretical Biology
Year: 1999
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