Mechanisms of Progress in Organic and Cultural Evolution

Börje Ekstig


Due to the randomly changing environmental conditions in which natural selection is acting, it is hard to see how this process could give evolution the steady direction of a large-scale incessant progress. In the present article I propose a solution to this dilemma by the application of the concept of complexity as a measure of evolutionary progress, a notion that I have developed in a descriptive way in previous works. By means of the concept of complexity one can conceive of the evolutionary process as having a stable direction towards ever-increasing complexity. The explanatory mechanism behind this trend is in the present work suggested to be found in the combined actions of natural selection, competition, feedback, arms race, and sexual selection. These mechanisms are discussed at length, being applicable not only in organic evolution but in human cultural and social evolution as well.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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