Mark Bedau
Reed College
We consider how to discern whether or not evolution is taking place in an observed system. Evolution will be characterized in terms of a particular macroscopic behavior that emerges from microscopic organismic interaction. We de ne evolutionary activity as the rate at which useful genetic innovations are absorbed into the population. After measuring evolutionary activity in a simple model biosphere, we discuss applications to other systems. We argue that evolutionary activity provides an objective, quantitative interpretation of the intuitive idea of biological teleology. We also propose using evolutionary activity in a test for life
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Goal-Directed Systems and the Good.Mark A. Bedau - 1992 - The Monist 75 (1):34-51.
Philosophical Content and Method of Artificial Life.Mark A. Bedau - 1998 - In T. W. Bynum & J. Moor (eds.), The Digital Phoenix. Cambridge: Blackwell. pp. 135--152.
Evolution Unbound: Releasing the Arrow of Complexity.Kevin B. Korb & Alan Dorin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):317-338.

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