The Directionality of Evolution

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It is supposed to be the glory of evolution that species developed without a divine creator or an ultimate purpose-with evolution’s own logic of random variation and selection. But scientific arguments, like species, keep evolving.

It’s a journalist this time, Robert Wright, who is presuming to dress down and stir up some eminent Darwinians, with the argument that evolution isn’t quite random or blind, but has a direction, maybe even a destination.

He makes a point drawn from Game Theory: that what serves survival is not an endless shoot-out between winners and losers, but rather a win-win strategy – an instinct, that is, for sharing information and benefits in the game. Meaning: the playing field in the evolution game has always been tilted to favor complexity, interdependence, social communication-qualities that put humans at the center of cosmic history again.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Robert Wright, journalist and author of “Nonzero”