Foundations of Science 15 (4):395-409 (2010)

Authors
John E. Stewart
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Abstract
The evolution of life on Earth has produced an organism that is beginning to model and understand its own evolution and the possible future evolution of life in the universe. These models and associated evidence show that evolution on Earth has a trajectory. The scale over which living processes are organized cooperatively has increased progressively, as has its evolvability. Recent theoretical advances raise the possibility that this trajectory is itself part of a wider developmental process. According to these theories, the developmental process has been shaped by a yet larger evolutionary dynamic that involves the reproduction of universes. This evolutionary dynamic has tuned the key parameters of the universe to increase the likelihood that life will emerge and produce outcomes that are successful in the larger process (e.g. a key outcome may be to produce life and intelligence that intentionally reproduces the universe and tunes the parameters of ‘offspring’ universes). Theory suggests that when life emerges on a planet, it moves along this trajectory of its own accord. However, at a particular point evolution will continue to advance only if organisms emerge that decide to advance the developmental process intentionally. The organisms must be prepared to make this commitment even though the ultimate nature and destination of the process is uncertain, and may forever remain unknown. Organisms that complete this transition to intentional evolution will drive the further development of life and intelligence in the universe. Humanity’s increasing understanding of the evolution of life in the universe is rapidly bringing it to the threshold of this major evolutionary transition
Keywords Conscious evolution  Development of the universe  Evolution of the universe  Intentional evolution
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-010-9184-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255.
The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?By Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243–255.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Future of Life and What It Means for Humanity.John E. Stewart - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):47-50.
Two Purposes of Black Hole Production.Clément Vidal - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):13-15.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
275 ( #38,344 of 2,497,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #73,153 of 2,497,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes