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Swenson, R. (1989b). Emergent Evolution and the Global Attractor: The Evolutionary Epistemology of Entropy Production Maximization. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of The International Society for the Systems Sciences, P. Leddington (ed)., 33(3), 46-53.


Abstract - The diagnostic time-dependent behavior of the visible universe of which biological and cultural evolution are clearly a part is characterized by the progressive emergence of new irreducible space-time levels of dynamical behavior from successive symmetry-breaking events. Until this universal dynamical behavior is explicated by a theory of general evolution neither biological nor cultural evolution, both products and special cases of this universal behavior, can ever be understood. Working by induction from simple physical systems, the author in previously published work has demonstrated a set of first principles fromwhich this behavior can be deduced. In particular, it has been shown that the progressive attraction of matter away from equilibrium is governed by a law of maximum entropy production. Nonlinear relations between components puncture the space-time barriers to entropy production of the incoherent (linear) regime by extending the dissipative surfaces of the fields from which they emerge by orders of magnitude. Those attractors prevail that extend their dissipative surfaces at the fastest possible rate given the constraints. From the first prokaryotes on the Archean Earth to the increasingly accelerating cultural systems of today, evolution on planet Earth can be seen as an epistemic process by which the global system as a whole learns to degrade the cosmic gradient at the fastest possible rate given the constraints.


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