Evolution & Progress

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Notes:

Most of Western society is unconsciously operating under the myth that "evolution = progress". This is depicted in the advertisement above from Toshiba. In reality there is no link between evolution and progress. Evolution is simply about "survival of what works" - the only value judgment involved is survival. In terms of other human values there is no judgment about whether or not what survives is better or worse than what didn't survive. It is a myth to think that survival of the fittest, through competition alone, leads to progress through evolution. For progress, the mind has to be involved in the selection process and value judgments have to be made.

References:

Bateson, G. 1988, Mind and Nature: A necessary unity, Bantam Books, New York.

Gould, S. 1995, "Ladders and Cones; Constraining Evolution by Canonical Icons" in Hidden Histories of Science ed R. Silvers, Granta Books, London, pp. 37- 69.

Palumbi, S. 2001, The Evolution Explosion: How humans cause rapid evolutionary change, W. W. Norton & Company, New York.

Wheatley.,M. & Kellner-Rogers, M. 1998, A Simpler Way, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco.