Everything in the universe evolves… even the process by which everything evolves must evolve.
Evolution is the change in individuality over time. In a balanced ecosystem, energy flows through freely by established paths (the study of these paths of energy flow is called ecology); sunlight shines on leaves, deers eat the leaves for nourishment and poop out the remains, bugs eat the poop, birds eat the bugs… and so on. That flow of energy is most popularly understood as the Cycle of Life. So, if a lion entered this balanced ecosystem for the fist time and ate a deer, that lion would change the flow of energy going through that ecosystem. Whats more, there would be a reason why that lion ate that particular deer rather than another one – maybe it was slower. that reason is called Selection. Selection is the physics of Evolution – the physics that governs the change in individuality over time.
There are four steps of selection; Chance, Suitability, Competition, and Choice.
- Chance is a single event occurring; everything begins with chance. (A lion coming across a group of deer.)
- Suitability is two our more chances occurring simultaneously to create an environment – and one of those chances is that an individual would find itself in a suitable environment. Unsuitability is when an individual cannot cope with a change in the environment. (The lion and deer are all healthy)
- Competition is two individuals well suited to their environment fighting for the exact same resource. (The lion spring from it’s hiding spot and begins to chase the deer.. eventually catching the easiest one for it to catch.)
- Choice is the ability to avoid competition; or the power to create a chance. (Lions do not have conscious access to choice so it does not apply in this example.)
These steps are conditional in their sequence (like electricity flowing through a circuit board), step 4 cannot occur if 1,2, and 3 are not already engaged. These steps have evolved over time.
(Back to our story….)
Over time, that lion will have established itself in the flow of energy of that ecosystem. However, eventually it will have eaten all the slowest of deers creating two conditions. the first is that only the faster deer will reproduce, and the second is that those remaining deer are too fast for it to catch… making it necessary for the lion to make a change in order to survive.
In the interest of survival, an individual must find and maintain balance with its’ environment. To do this, there are five options:
- Do Nothing.
- Migrate (flight)
- Compete (fight)
- Adapt – when an individual changes their individuality to better fit their environment.
- Create – when an individual changes their environment to better suit their individuality.
These five options have also evolved over time… emerging at certain points along the evolutionary ladder. The experience of evolution begins with options and methods appearing as a Chance event, and individuals evolve towards it, learning to navigate the process through Suitability and Competition, and eventually commanding it with Choice. Even to the point where we have learn to make the Choice to Create a Chance. Every step in the Evolution of Selection causing an increase in the speed and accuracy of Evolution.
In the story of the lion and the deers, the lion entered a balanced ecosystem and disturbed it by eating deers and changing the flow of energy through that ecosystem. However, the reality is that there is no such thing as a balanced ecosystem.. it is a myth. The flow of energy is constantly fluctuating in every ecosystem. Evolution occurs by the process of Selection, and Selection can only occur in an unbalanced ecosystem…. and this process is constant. the best way for an individual to find itself out in the cold, to be pushed out of the flow of energy in their ecosystem, is to think that they have achieved balance and stop trying to find or maintain balance.
From here we move forward without a little story.
The Evolution Cycle
There are three steps in The Evolution Cycle; Physical Mutation, Mechanical Adaptation, and Behavioral Adaptation.
The first step is Physical Mutation. It is the only step available to the simplest life forms. A mutation occurs and the organism either survives or does not. For millions of years, during the beginning of life on Earth, Physical Mutation was the only thing that guided evolution until organism became a little more complex.
The second step is Mechanical Adaptation and occurs after Physical Mutation. A Physical Mutation occurs in a mechanical trait of an organism, then the organism has to adapt to the change in the mechanical trait. An example of such a trait would be the claw of a crab. A Physical Mutation can change the mechanism of the claw, but the organism has to make it function usefully towards it’s survival in it’s present environment. If the Mutation is such that it renders the claw useless, then it is a failed Physical Mutation. However, if the mutation is such that the claw is simply different and the organism doesn’t adapt to it, it is a failed Mechanical Adaptation.
The Third Step is Behavioral Adaptation and always occurs after Physical Mutation, and Mechanical Adaptation. A physical Mutation occurs in a mechanical trait that is first successfully adapted to, then the organism develops behaviors that further utilizes the mechanical trait. An example of this process is the development of opposable thumbs. it is a Physical Mutation that begins the process. Then the organism must adapt to the mutation to survive in it’s environment. If it is successful at Mechanically Adapting the opposable thumb, it can then learn to use it in various ways to further the chances of success in it’s environment. If the organism has mutated the opposable thumb and is able to simply survive with it, it is successful with the Physical Mutation and Mechanical Adaptation of that thumb. But if it fails to survive because it did not learn to use the thumb in a certain way, it is a failed Behavioral Adaptation. For instance, if a primate has successfully adapted to it’s opposable thumb and is able to use it to survive the same way it’s parents did, that is a Mechanical Success. However, if another primate learns how to grab a stick and use it as a tool and weapon walks over and kills that first primate with out much of a struggle because the first one did not know how to use a stick, it is a failed Behavioral Adaptation for the dead primate and a successful Behavioral Adaptation for the brutal stick wielding primate.
Another, more modern way to look at this full cycle is through computers. First we buy a computer (Physical Mutation), then we learn how to use it (Mechanical Adaptation), and then we fit it into our daily lives (Behavioral Adaptation). And the cycle of it is in that how we adapt the computer into our lives will affect the next computer we buy. That is to say, if two people bought the exact same first computer, and one played video games while the other wrote novels, their second computers would be completely different from one another…the result of the difference in their individuality.
The only qualified individual to define an individual is the individual itself: any individual that accepts the definition of another individual, limits their own growth, which is contrary to evolution. There are three levels of individuality:
- The first level is of Sub-individual Traits. Sub-individual Traits can evolve like individuals, but they cannot exist on their own. These can include biological features such as eyes and thumbs, as well as inorganic tools like hammers and spears. A rock is not a sub-individual trait, but a rock used as a tool is.
- The second level is the Prime Individual. The Prime Individual is the lowest level of individuality where survival is autonomous.
- The third level is the Super Individual. A Super individual can be comprised of both Prime Individuals and Sub-individual Traits. A corporation is a Super Individual, constructed of people (Prime Individuals) and material… like buildings and computers (Sub-individual Traits)
The Confusing Part
Evolution is a game for individuals only, and an individual can only evolve at the level of their individuality; Sub-, Prime, or Super. This all gets confusing when we consider that a individual can be comprised of smaller individuals and traits. Each trait may evolve at a different rate and different steps along the Evolution Cycle. For example, the color of our hair is something that evolves simply by the first step of Physical Mutation only. While our ears and our ability to hear evolves by the two steps of Physical Mutation and Mechanical Adaptation. Furthermore, individuals and individual traits can be entwined in codependent evolutionary thread, such as the sharpness of our vision and the dexterity of our hands. Our hands are the only part of our bodies that can engage tiny things, thus the evolution of our vision is connected to the evolution of our hands just like the gazelle and cheetah are connected in the evolution of speed. One has to get better before the other gets better… and vice versa.
The Hard Cold Truth
Whether an individual can ascend to a higher level of individuality – from Prime Individual to Super Individual – is a question for theologians. From our perspective it cannot happen. If two friends leave college with the same degree and start working for the same company at the same time, and after twenty years one of them is a plant manager and the other is an executive. this scenario is very similar to the example of the computer’s written earlier, except for the fact that Prime Individual’s make the choices that fit them into the Super Individual, where with the computer, the Prime individual’s choices direct how the computer fits into their individuality. (This is the error that tyranny and industrialist always make, the company is not more powerful than the person… it is really the Prime Individual in the corporation that uses the Super individual as a tool and weapon against other Prime individuals.)
As individuals evolved they developed strategies to increase their ability to survive and evolve. There are two main categories of selection methods – they are Survival and Reproduction.
Survival Selection Methods
- Congregate Selection – is the simple fact that there is strength in numbers. Fish are more likely to survive when in a school than while swimming alone.
- Industrial Selection – is when the school of fish begins to work together to insure survival. An example of a species that has perfected the Industrial Selection Method is honey bees.
- Political Selection – is what occurs when there is more than one right answer to the question of survival. When then honey bees start limiting membership in their hives and dividing up according to shared Industrial goals. Which leads to new criteria for Congregating and the cycle begins over again.
Reproductive Selection Methods
- Reactive Selection – is when two individuals are required for reproduction (which requires them to live together in a congregation first) and physical attributes are the means of invoking a sexual reaction. For example, color of feathers or pheromones.
- Social Selection – is when two individuals are required to reproduce, but an individual can override the reaction; each individual is able to use their own criteria to select a mate. For example, a woman might choose a man with a certain career.
- Progressive Selection – is when an individual chooses a mate from a group of suitable mates based on a new criteria. If a woman chooses to mate with a teacher and finds herself in a room full of handsome and polite teachers. Then she might choose the one she feels most emotionally connected to. Which will cause the cycle to begin again with people who reproduce Reactively to emotional stimulus.
The complicated aspect of these Selection Methods are that they have evolved and are interactive. Simple life forms, whose Evolution Cycle includes only Physical Mutation, are asexual individuals still struggling with Congregate Selection. From there, Reactive Selection depends on Congregate Selection being successful, Social Selection can only occur after Industrial Selection is successful, and Progressive Selection and Political Selection really go hand in hand.
**More to Come**