The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization

See on Scoop.itIt Comes Undone-Think About It

Two great trends are evident in the evolution of life on Earth: towards increasing diversification and towards increasing integration. Diversification has spread living processes across the planet, progressively increasing the range of environments and free energy sources exploited by life. Integration has proceeded through a stepwise process in which living entities at one level are integrated into cooperative groups that become larger-scale entities at the next level, and so on, producing cooperative organizations of increasing scale (for example, cooperative groups of simple cells gave rise to the more complex eukaryote cells, groups of these gave rise to multi-cellular organisms, and cooperative groups of these organisms produced animal societies). The trend towards increasing integration has continued during human evolution with the progressive increase in the scale of human groups and societies. The trends towards increasing diversification and integration are both driven by selection. An understanding of the trajectory and causal drivers of the trends suggests that they are likely to culminate in the emergence of a global entity. This entity would emerge from the integration of the living processes, matter, energy and technology of the planet into a global cooperative organization. Such an integration of the results of previous diversifications would enable the global entity to exploit the widest possible range of resources across the varied circumstances of the planet. This paper demonstrates that it’s case for directionality meets the tests and criticisms that have proven fatal to previous claims for directionality in evolution.

The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization
John E. Stewart

Available online 1 June 2014

Eli Levine‘s insight:

Cooperation is the best way to improve, sustain, maintain, and repair.  Competition is what drives everyone and everything towards something different, be it competition for resources or competition against the elements around us.

I don’t get what the point of competition amongst the species is for.  Part of cooperation, after all, is knowing what works, learning about what could work better or doesn’t work, and then letting the negative or sub-optimal slip back beneath the waves of ignorance, such that the new ways can rise to prominence.

Change is the only constant in this universe of universes.

Yet cooperation, I think, yields the higher and stronger of the universal structures that are out there, even if it means that there are still losers and winners.  The only difference is the level of consent and consensus that’s reached within the social, ecological, economical, and/or political landscape.  One way works towards what is best.  The other way simply yields what is best at competing, which is not the same as being the actual best solution to a given problem or condition.

Think about it.

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