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Spaces of the possible: Universal Darwinism and the wall between technological and biological innovation


Wagner, Andreas; Rosen, William (2014). Spaces of the possible: Universal Darwinism and the wall between technological and biological innovation. Journal of the Royal Society. Interface, 11(97):20131190.

Abstract

Innovations in biological evolution and in technology have many common features. Some of them involve similar processes, such as trial and error and horizontal information transfer. Others describe analogous outcomes such as multiple independent origins of similar innovations. Yet others display similar temporal patterns such as episodic bursts of change separated by periods of stasis. We review nine such commonalities, and propose that the mathematical concept of a space of innovations, discoveries or designs can help explain them. This concept can also help demolish a persistent conceptual wall between technological and biological innovation.

Abstract

Innovations in biological evolution and in technology have many common features. Some of them involve similar processes, such as trial and error and horizontal information transfer. Others describe analogous outcomes such as multiple independent origins of similar innovations. Yet others display similar temporal patterns such as episodic bursts of change separated by periods of stasis. We review nine such commonalities, and propose that the mathematical concept of a space of innovations, discoveries or designs can help explain them. This concept can also help demolish a persistent conceptual wall between technological and biological innovation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:6 August 2014
Deposited On:20 Feb 2015 14:06
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 10:27
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:1742-5689
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.1190
PubMed ID:24850903

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