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"Wherever there's contention, there's always survivial of
© Copyright 2011, UniversalSelection.com
The following is the introduction to The Origin of Everything, which includes the many important reasons that this critical work was written.
"He who sees things grow from their beginning will have the finest view of them."
In 1859, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) released his famous work The Origin of Species, and this all-important contribution to science was regarded almost immediately as “the book that shook the world.” This historic publication revealed within its many pages the simple and logical means by which life’s entire unfolding has occurred. Darwin showed that biological evolution ultimately follows from the principle of survival of the fittest, or what he deemed the theory of natural selection. Quite simply, those species which are most fit are “naturally selected” to survive. They then have the possibility not only of procreating, but of having young that are fit as well. Through what Darwin called “heritable variation,” all such lineages also have the prospect of giving rise to slight variations in offspring. While such differentiation is often miniscule by itself, over many successive generations even slight changes can be cumulative, thereby resulting in entirely new species. This powerful tenet led to an utter explosion of scientific discoveries in biology, otherwise known as the Darwinian Revolution. The mere notion of this simple principle allowed people to easily understand every adaptation of every species known to have lived on Earth as each is highly adapted to the specific conditions of its own unique surroundings. In the one hundred and fifty-three years that have followed since the release of this mighty tenet, there have been countless smaller discoveries that not only support Darwin’s theory but add to it greatly. In fact, billions of fossils have now been recorded which, together, perfectly corroborate the entire evolution of life on Earth from the single-celled organism all the way to the complex human being. These also include fossils from nearly three thousand bipedal, hominid individuals representing more than fifteen different species; and these were not apes or humans, but intermediate forms that grew taller and more human-like over some six million years. When dated by various scientific means, all such cold, hard evidence has together revealed innumerable details of a remarkable history on our planet—and advances in evolutionary theory too have expanded our knowledge regarding all such biological change. As revolutionary as it is, however, Darwinian selection immediately encounters difficulties when we see that survival of the fittest is actually at work among all of Nature’s various systems. Having resided in this universe for many years if not decades, each of us is aware that phenomena are often in direct competition. Throughout our vast cosmos, we observe contention among natural laws, weather systems, geological forces and more. We also see that all phenomena sometimes triumph over others, much like species in the biological realm. Then applying these obvious facts of being to our modern awareness of the interactive nature of the universe, we soon realize that the cyclical activity underlying every last system is, at its core, not so different from the many incredible processes involved in life’s own evolution. In fact, no matter how hard we try to avoid phraseology like competition, cooperation, compromise, survival of the fittest and more, we will find that these traditionally biological terms cannot be escaped throughout all of physics. We will see that interactive behavior is prevalent throughout our cosmos, thereby inducing selection at every level. It will thus be clear that this commanding tenet reveals the natural order not only in life—but in Nature as a whole.
Defining Universal Selection
This is the theory of universal selection. It holds that the simple principle of survival of the fittest is operative not only in biology, but throughout our numerous sciences. It posits that at its core natural selection doesn’t involve “the preservation of favored races the in struggle for life” as defined by Darwin, for it ultimately involves the preservation of stable systems in contention for existence. Like life, the entire universe follows from an evolution of systems, and due to simple inescapable physics they too are often engaged in both cooperative and competitive relations. Because the universe is highly interactive, both contention and symbiosis exist among the many ensembles that fall within its limited boundaries. Adding the ever-present rule of survival of the fittest to these equations, such processes can result in strong systems becoming stronger, strong systems absorbing weaker systems, weak systems dying out and much more. All such behavior is therefore strikingly comparable to that which has occurred in life’s own evolution. We will thus find that an elaborate definition of selection should be not maintained in biology or otherwise. In fact, this ubiquitous principle is in no way limited to life’s activities, for it is not confined to the reproduction of genes, species, populations or the like as traditionally believed. At its foundations—i.e., in the simplest physics possible—it is the preservation of the stable and nothing more. At its core, survival of the fittest involves the perpetuation of those systems which maintain a selective advantage over others—and it is indeed that simple.
We will therefore observe that biology’s evolutionary algorithm—or the basic mechanisms involved in life’s stability and progression—is not only prevalent throughout all of Nature, but its deterministic processes can now be properly defined at their foundations. Darwin and others have delineated very distinctive means by which both stasis and evolution occur in life. It will soon be clear, however, that this fundamental set of mechanisms was itself in need of modification, as it is much easier to understand Nature’s innumerable productions when we address them at their true foundations in physics.
Applying indiscriminately to every last ensemble, we will discover that selection is truly universal. In light of the powerful continuity that exists in our Natural History and therefore natural selection, it would appear that universal selection is indeed the best term to use for this single overlying principle. It could be argued that we do not require more than one name for what appears in every regard as a continuous and in fact universal tenet; yet such terminology enables us to draw a necessary distinction between universal selection and Darwinian, or biological, selection. Still, we will use the term natural selection freely throughout this work in reference to the evolution of every last phenomenon. In other words, we will not reserve Darwin’s phraseology for the selective processes which occur solely in life. This will allow us to avoid confusion when speaking of all things as being natural and therefore naturally selected. In this universe, utterly filled with competition at every level, it will soon become evident that this revolutionary principle is pertinent not only in biology, but in every branch of science conceivable. Survival of the fittest is the driving force behind the stable self-organization of all phenomena from the most fundamental building blocks to the universe in its entirety. We will even find this remarkable principle to have already pervaded some sciences that are outside of the traditional bounds of biology, giving rise to what is currently known as Universal Darwinism. It will be clear, however, that selection must ultimately be applied to every science that has ever been or will be; i.e., it is universal, for it can and must be applied to every last system in Nature.
Cooperation & Competition
We will also discover that the major players responsible for stability and change have been present from the beginning of time, as they are all products of both cooperation and competition. With neutral relations aside, systems are either symbiotic in nature or they are in contention. In other words, they either work together or against one another—and these two opposing forms of interactive behavioralism involve selective processes that have led not only to the many stable lifeforms that inhabit our Earth, but to the many stable phenomena that exist throughout our universe. It will also be clear that the immense power of survival of the fittest is heightened by the fact that we live among the innumerable throes of a great and endless war. Nature in its entirety is forever engaged in a battle of enormous opposition, and, as touched upon, we as rational beings know this all too well. On one side of this powerful duality is chaos itself, for everything known ultimately ages and thus degrades via contention among systems. Physicists have even been telling us for more than a century that our universe is headed toward greater entropy, or ever-increasing oblivion, and that this future cannot be escaped. Yet it has passed fully unnoticed that there is a natural counterpart which never ceases in its attempts to subdue this chaos. To put it another way, scientists hadn’t realized that there is an extremely commanding force forever working in direct opposition to this disorder and which bares the unbelievable task of holding the turmoil of the entire cosmos in check. This conflict has remained largely misunderstood throughout history, for the true role played by preservation of the stable has remained virtually unknown to science. Like chaos, our protagonist too has been present from the beginning of time and has not ceased in its struggle to maintain this precious balance. Incredibly, however, its powerful influence was never before recognized, as its net result often appears to merely balance the scales. In other words, selection’s overall effect involves a universe where positive evolution and negative degradation can both be veiled by a world that seems perfectly stable, or unchanging, in virtually every regard. Call the interactive nature of the cosmos a battle between good and evil, call it order and disorder, evolution and degradation, or call it what you like. The universe at large will never cease in revealing a great match between astronomical powers that are so diametrically opposed that they are predominantly locked in check for all of eternity. They together maintain a performance unlike anything that science has ever observed, as it involves the mightiest of all duals that may never be won. It is the yin and yang clasped in a futile embrace that results, however ironically, in the very stability of our complex world. Despite the magnitude of these opposing forces, they together give rise to a powerful yet symbiotic balance which leads to the incredible formation of a stable universe that is complete with stable planets, species, humans and more.
The Book that Shook the World
In further introducing this work, it must be explained that its full title was ultimately derived from that of Darwin’s own book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. In fact, the obvious similarity in these titles is maintained, one, to pay homage to the great naturalist who brought about the Darwinian Revolution. The title of the work you are reading also reflects the most rudimentary equation of logic that best represents the fundamental premise as defined within these pages. It is therefore similar, as it allows us to readily understand the obvious affinities and distinctions that exist between these theories. It permits us to see not only the many important differences between these powerful tenets, but to observe their likeness as well. This is necessary in comprehending the exact correlation and clarification of these two competing hypotheses. Finally, however, it allows us to forever utilize both theories, therein complimenting Darwin’s influential tenet by not redefining it in its entirety. Simply in maintaining this distinction, we can still refer to Darwinism to explain everything in the many biological sciences, and we can refer to Universal Darwinism to explain the innumerable phenomena that exist among the countless branches of Natural Science at large. As the book that shook the world, The Origin of Species sold out immediately upon publication in 1859, and the greatest shock followed from the fact that this revolutionary scientific explanation was in direct contrast to the long-held religious view that God himself created species as immutable forms. In other words, it was in opposition to the age-old belief that a divine creator had cast life’s various forms individually: dogs as dogs, lions as lions, people as people and so on.
Much of the surprise thus followed from the fact that species have evolved via a simple and natural process. When we observe our evolutionary history, ultimately determined by blind natural selection, or mere chance, many arrive at the immediate conclusion that this view is entirely devoid of a creator. Science often makes it appear that, all things unfolding as the logical results of perfectly natural laws or principles, no guiding hand is necessary to explain anything at all. It was especially astonishing for the world to discover that life too appears as no exception, since Nature’s own blind processes gave rise even to species themselves. This brings us to one of the key factors that influenced this work even prior to its conception, as it concerns an extremely simple argument made by the well-noted author and evolutionary theorist Niles Eldredge in his important work Reinventing Darwin (1995). There Eldredge expounded upon the manner in which Nature itself carries out the selective processes involved in survival of the fittest. To put it another way, not only is it a natural process, as defined so innately by its discoverer, but Nature also performs the actual selection. Of course, both implications might seem obvious in every regard; but what is perhaps most unusual is the universal nature by which the selective procedure is made. Though blind, this act is perfectly natural as it is a logical production of physics itself. Eldredge therein revealed that, unlike true rational selection in the human realm, natural selection occurs entirely innately, for Nature determines the ultimate fate of every last organism. While it’s clear that the actual determination is made via simple physics, even here such an understanding remains vague at best. To be more specific, then, it is systems and their many behavioralisms that are actually selected. Consider how our own individual systems can be terminated by, say, an oncoming train system or internally via microbial systems acting upon our immune and other systems. Whether caused by internal or external behaviors, the activities of one phenomenon can entirely disrupt the activities of another. This, of course, can cause the deterioration or even the utter failure of our overall functioning as living things. In short, if there is no interference that is destructive to the initial ensemble, there can be no system failure and the phenomenon is naturally selected to persist. If it’s unable to continue its cyclical activity, however, then the overall assemblage ultimately fails and is not selected. Consequently, internal and external systems can both wreak havoc upon the entity at hand, and this applies to subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, planets, stars, galaxies and everything else in Nature. But at its foundations this involves the behavior of systems acting upon, or influencing, the behavior of other select assemblages, as both failure and success are always the natural results of the particular situation at hand. In other words, selection is a product of the interactions that occur within the ensemble under consideration and within its surrounding environment to add. As we will find, survival of the fittest therefore allows us to grasp not only the relative character of everything known, but to better understand the abstract nature of the universe as a whole. The great physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) revealed a cosmos that beneath its surface is absolutely teeming with activity which, without his contributions, could not have appeared more intangible. He found, for instance, that time provides a critical fourth dimension, as it too is always relative. This, in turn, showed that space and time are not separate entities, for they are ultimately united as one. Einstein proved, correspondingly, that matter-energy is a single indivisible entity as well, that gravity follows from the curvature of space-time, and much more. His theory of relativity therefore shed great light not only on the extraordinary nature of the universe, but on the immense order behind these otherwise-ethereal notions—and universal selection too reveals an enormous amount of logic and order underlying these and other powerful abstractions. In fact, when we apply Darwin’s notion of survival of the fittest to the incredibly dynamic nature of Einstein’s cosmos, we find that these theories together reveal an unthinkable universe of which even they were not aware. We will thus observe that an understanding in terms of selection provides another way of speaking about relative causation throughout Nature and its lengthy history. Every time that a cause leads to an effect, a selective result arises—and this process can carry on entirely indefinitely. Selection therein provides a powerful means of interpreting exactly why things are the way they are, step after incessant step. Just as Einstein gave us a new perspective on the relative nature of every last phenomenon, Darwin gave us a new method by which to know the relative nature of species and adaptations—and so too does universal selection, explaining the formation of every ensemble that has ever been or will be. It provides an important way of looking at our cosmos, for it allows us to finally understand the many relativistic causes within. In deciphering the various laws at work in Nature we reduce them, or boil them down to the most fundamental tenets possible, and these powerful equations of logic together reveal the causation behind everything in history. They allow us to interpret influences that otherwise cannot be observed, as they are often imperceptible not only to the eye but to our other various senses. Gravity, for example, follows from principles that are not at all readily perceptible, yet it too explains an enormous amount regarding our planet and the many other phenomena that we see in our night skies. Knowledge of such laws allows us to understand the furthered self-organization of our universe—and the driving force of evolutionary change is of no exception. It gives rise to an invisible power that, once reduced to its most rudimentary form, enables us to comprehend everything in Nature under entirely new light. It provides the simplest reductionist model possible that simultaneously explains not only the systems at hand, but their many internal and external activities to add. Selectionism—i.e., the study of selection—is therefore a commanding instrument that allows us to determine the simple causation behind the fundamental existence of everything known.
Of course, humans have sought the natural order in things from the very dawn of rationale itself. In fact, every great philosopher and scientist that ever lived has logically considered the possible history and therefore the organization behind Nature. Moreover, long before Aristotle, Plato, or even Socrates there were many who engaged in the logical search for the simplicity that exists throughout. The rational mind naturally seeks the order that is inherent of the universe at large, and this applies to history’s greatest contributors in particular. Since Einstein and others revealed the abstract nature of our cosmos, however, many have wondered if it is entirely deterministic after all. Subsequently, it is contrary to the beliefs of some that we will herein find the universe to be inescapably mechanistic in every regard. Remarkably, we will discover that selection reveals the natural order behind every last phenomenon. It will be clear that it furthers our many sciences in unprecedented fashion and even places the pinnacle rightly atop the hierarchical foundation of knowledge. In other words, it alone allows us to decipher an enormous amount regarding the otherwise-unseen organization behind our entire universe. We will thus find that selection is arguably the most important discovery in history, as it exposes so much of the mechanistic order previously unknown to science. Just as survival of the fittest has led to a commanding measure of self-organization in life, it has led to the stable self-assembly of our cosmos as well. Not only has it given rise to a biological history that is both continuous and branching, but it explains how every adaptation of every species is highly evolved to its own specific environmental conditions. Correspondingly, universal selection further reveals the continuous development of all such natural phenomena and the influential means by which they are self-adapted to their own unique surroundings. It discloses the powerful measure of stability and thus self-order that is inherent of the universe, as well as the simple physics that dictates all such inescapable being.
As touched upon, we’ll find that selection has thus shaped not only humans and Earth’s other innumerable species, but our universe as a whole. It has played a pivotal role in the self-organization of our most fundamental building blocks, ourselves as living beings, and Nature in its entirety. It has formed our bodies and minds, our planet, and everything else to be as physically enduring as possible. In short, it has given rise to immeasurable order and therefore equilibrium at every level from space-time to the universe as a system in itself. However remarkable, it will be clear that, like the Earth, our cosmos too is a massive and stable ecosystem entirely self-organized via selection.
Consequently, we will find this remarkable principle to lead us to the single epistemology, or worldview, which has been sought by every individual and from the very dawn of our human thinking. It reveals an evolutionary perspective wherein the origin of every phenomenon can be fully explained via science. Exposing the natural origins and therefore the natural order that people have sought in everything, the selectionist approach brings unprecedented unity to our knowledge, all of which is in logical terms of simple mechanistic determinism.
Such exploration thus allows us to better understand our vast cosmos, for we are aware of the single law which gives rise to organization and therefore stability in every arena. We can then comprehend Nature in terms of selection and, in turn, comprehend this tenet in terms of the entire universe. The scientific endeavor included herein will thus grant us the ability to know both Nature and selection in much greater detail, as we will learn to view all phenomena in the proper context of their own chronological development. After all, it is when we understand the incredible logic of our history that learning becomes a process of simply filling in the gaps—and it is selection that will continue to grant us the collective ability to reveal every last piece.
At the other end of this grand scientific endeavor, knowledge of selection can be extremely beneficial to the individual and with regard not only to survival, but all that is in excess of such. As our history unfolds, it offers innumerable lessons about weakness, stability, preservation, progress, exponential growth and everything in between. This understanding therefore provides its greatest assistance in allowing us to know the most fundamental processes involved not only in surviving, but in growing and developing in particular. Of course, even our mere subsistence can sometimes pose the greatest of difficulties. It is thus my sincere hope that this work is somehow beneficial to every reader—be it some way big or small. This venture also reveals our story as humans. As definitive productions of this almighty principle, our evolutionary history is imperative to our knowledge. Our universe has been some 13.7 billion years in the making, and its development has been extraordinary to say the least. We will therefore cover the evolution of all phenomena, beginning with the earliest and most rudimentary, and progressing to the most complex such as ourselves. In doing so, we will observe the incredible measure of simplicity which underlies even the many intricacies of our modern world. In short, universal selection reveals a cosmos which has experienced a definitive evolution of extremely stable systems—and via its unrelenting presence, this unfolding too will never stop. Selectionism therefore involves the study of this commanding tenet (i.e., the preservation of the stable) and the innumerable ways in which it influences the continued development of all natural phenomena—past, present and future. While Darwinian selection has traditionally entailed the preservation of fit genes, adaptations, and species in the struggle for life, universal selection must also include exploration of the many stable systems that exist throughout Nature as a whole. To then summarize the primary intent of the work you are reading: the book that shook the world is largely incomplete, as it too is now in utter contention. The interactive nature of systems has shaped far more than species and adaptations, for it has molded our entire cosmos. It has given rise to the stability not only within ourselves as living things, but in our building blocks, our world and our universe. Consequently, selectionism too is a system that must further adapt by taking a large evolutionary step forward—and ultimately being rewritten. We will thus find not only that it was vital for this critical work to be reformulated in its entirety—but that it demands, of all things: a second Darwinian Revolution!
The 2nd Darwinian Revolution Is Upon Us!
"Selection has given rise not only to our own stable existence, but to our stable world and universe."
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& the Self-Organization of the Cosmos
The Natural Order of the Universe
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