Zann Gill on What Daedalus told Darwin  

What Daedalus told Darwin
Darwin’s Dilemma and The Struggle for Existence

Darwin’s Dilemma harks back to Darwin’s famous admission that he couldn’t explain variation, evolution’s source of novelty. Until recently, it was taboo to ask whether random variation and environmental selection through “survival of the fittest” had any limitations. But simple logic shows that Darwinism does not fully explain how or why evolution’s arrow points toward complexity. Bacteria multiply in profusion and are fit survivors, so why didn’t evolution just stop there? After Intelligent Design hijacked the word “design” to label its dogma, scientists shunned that word. Design was viewed as a craft — something a Designer (capital D) does, top down, from outside in. Intelligent Design presumes that a higher authority sits above and outside the system He designs.

In contrast, the design of intelligence occurs from inside out. Design (small d) is not intuitive, ad hoc, as many scientists assume. Design is characterized by systematic principles, manifest in life’s origin and evolution, bottom up.Recognizing our view of evolution as incomplete has large implications. The interpretation that evolution rewards those who compete best for “survival of the fittest” served those in a position to exploit resources. But we are now poised to experience the impact of what Garrett Hardin evocatively predicted in 1968 would escalate into a “tragedy of the commons,” where competition for scarce resources and “survival of the fittest” could potentially threaten the delicate balance of Earth’s ecosystems.

Distinguishing the design of intelligence from Intelligent Design is a practical imperative. Buckminster Fuller conceived “anticipatory design science,” “Spaceship Earth,” and “World Game,” anticipating the need to integrate information. Now it finally possible to harness the internet and wisdom of crowds to address the “tragedy of the commons.” To survive we must collaborate. In designing intelligence, no “Outsider” takes responsibility. We, the human species, are responsible for life’s trajectory into the future, which affects every living creature on “Spaceship Earth.” Steering a boat on only one side, with one oar is a metaphor for exclusive reliance on random mutation with environmental selection. We need both oars to steer forward into the future. That future does not yet exist for us to observe or predict. It awaits our design.

What IF? (IF = Innovating the Future) asks
how we can refine our capacity to design the future.

© Zann Gill 2008 – 2014

Viewing our interpretation of evolution as incomplete, and Intelligent Design as a diversion, calls for a third option that reclaims “design” by recognizing how evolutionary advancement is internally driven by design principles, why evolution generally advances toward more complex designs, and the relevance of how and why, not only to the origin of life, but to its future. I call this third option synergetic evolution, recalling Buckminster Fuller’s emphasis on synergy (wholes greater than the sum of their parts). Physicist Hermann Haken explored synergetics as the dynamic of self-organizing complex systems. Suppose that fitness of synergetic systems resides, not solely in the organism, nor solely in its genetic information, but in life’s performance as life designs itself. To be alive is to be a designer.

What are the implications for the future if our interpretation of evolution is incomplete?

Microbes-Mind Network
is exploring what that question implies for the future of life on Earth.


Microbes Mind Forum & Planet Innovation, asking What IF? (IF = Innovating the Future)





Zann Gill: paradox pf prediction Zann Gill: bio of an idea Zann Gill: next challenge Zann Gill: life journey Zann Gill books - reviewers: Chris McKay, Lou Allamandola, Baruch (Barry) Blumberg, Stuart Kauffman, Lou Allamandola, Graham Cairns-Smith, John Horgan, J. Scott Turner, Silvano Colombano, Marc Bedau, Paul Grobstein, Bill McDaniel calendar quotes: Zann Gill, Robert Axelrod, Charles Babbage, William Bateson, Niels Bohr, Rodney Brooks, Vannevar Bush, Graham Cairns-Smith, Simon Conway Morris, Francis Crick, Charles Darwin, Christian de Duve, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Sylvia Earle, Manfred Eigen & Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch, Niles Eldredge, Andre Gide, Alan H. Goldstein, Nelson Goodman, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Martin Heidegger, John H. Holland, Douglas Hofstadter, Karl Jaspers, James Jeans, Bill Joy, Marc Kirschner & John Gerhart, Konrad Lorenz, Patti Maes, John Maynard Smith & Eørs Szathmàry, Jacques Monod, Harold Morowitz, Carl Sagan, Sir Charles Sherrington, Ricard Solé & Brian Goodwin, J. Scott Turner, Stanislaw Ulam, Peter Ward & Donald Brownlee, Christopher Wills & Jeffrey Bada, Edward O. Wilson, Carl Woese, Hans Zinsser links collaborative IQ Zann Gill bio Zann Gill books If Microbes begat Mind from origins of life to emergence of intelligence and What Daedalus told Darwin: Darwin's dilemma and the Struggle for Existence If Microbes begat Mind
Microbes-Mind Network What IF? collaborative intelligence Microbes-Mind Network What IF? Innovating the Future; collaborative intelligence Microbes Mind Forum Planet Innovation asks What IF? (IF = Innovating the Future)