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Collaborating with Evolution

How might we best work with evolution? How can we collaborate with evolution in a way that enhances our own creative expressions? How can we help evolution to reach its full potential for creative expression? There are many approaches to working with evolution. The different forms of collaboration vary in the degree to which we control the evolutionary process by artificial selection, or free it to operate by natural selection, and in the degree to which the genetic language pre-determines the form of the replicators.

At one extreme, evolution is reduced to the role of technician or builder, filling in the details, by optimization, of a design completely specified in advance by the human. At the other extreme, evolution is free to generate and refine its own designs, with the human only providing the raw materials for evolution to work with. In between these extremes there exist more equitable collaborations in which evolution generates creative alternatives and the human provides aesthetic (or other selective) guidance.

Thomas S.Ray
Wed Apr 16 17:02:37 JST 1997