Designed Evolution

Had an exchange with David Morey today on MoQ.Discuss, on non-simple mechanisms contributing to evolution, prompted by the recent “In Our Time” edition on “altruism” involving Dawkins and Dupre, and we got into Systems Engineering approaches to evolution …

By coincidence, stumbled across this interesting post from Matt Wyndham (who looks like he hasn’t posted for over a year) The link in the post (and the comment thread on that) and the “Previous Posts” links in Matt’s side-bar are full of good material. Also got a Gordon Pask hit on Cybernetics, after also mentioning Stafford Beer and “Requisite Variety”. The great convergence, Dawkins would dismiss.

Matt’s comment (or was it Ze’s ?) about “Every surgeon knows the quality of evolved functionality comes with lousy interfaces” reminds me this is a systems engineering dialogue. That is so relevant to the day job currently; If you’re planning for evolution of a complex system, ensure you have its interface specifications well defined before you let nature rip.

(BTW talking of blogs-long-time-no-post, I reviewed some of my 5 and 6 year old pages earlier and found 30% or 40% link-rot. Time to start stashing away important off-line links.)

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