View Full Version : Why is biological and technological evolution accelerating?

Tom Mazanec
2018-Oct-02, 10:29 PM
Life spent most of its history as Prokaryotes and most of the remainder as protists.
Behaviorally modern humans spent most of their history in the Paleolithic, then had major innovations every millennium, then every century, and now every generation.
Why is there this long stagnation, followed by increasingly rapid progress?

grant hutchison
2018-Oct-02, 10:35 PM
Complexity begets complexity. The bigger a toolkit you have, the more stuff you can do. And the more human brains you have, and the more time to think they have, the more stuff they can think up to do with the available toolkit.

Grant Hutchison

2018-Oct-03, 12:29 AM
Speed and capacity of communication means that more information can be recorded, analyzed, and shared. Labor saving systems and increased food production and preservation, means more people have the luxury of not always scrounging for food. Better sensory tools provide more information about how the Universe works, and more opportunities to apply that knowledge. The printing press provided the capability of widespread education and literacy. Etc.

2018-Oct-03, 08:00 AM
As a contrary view, and concentrating on human “ progress” we see in history intellectual leaps that took some time to be accepted but then caused large changes. The growth after each leap came from development rather than new leaps, until the next leap. So today we are getting used to the internet and we are experiencing change but is it more fundamental than the effect of printing, gunpowder, democracy, scientific method, oil engines, farming, and so on. Maybe genetic manipulation of our very selves is a game changer, up to now we are the same humans that came through the end of the last ice age. Now we might see a new elite being invented to replace the old aristocracies, with new conflicts arising but otherwise? We wait for the next big idea.

Tom Mazanec
2018-Oct-03, 02:35 PM
Well that's technological. Does that apply to biological (where the acceleration is even more dramatic over eons)?

2018-Oct-03, 06:38 PM
Well that's technological. Does that apply to biological (where the acceleration is even more dramatic over eons)?

A multicellular organism can be complex because its cell are specialized and differentiated. Aside from that it's like Dr. Grant said, complexity adds to complexity. Cumulative adaptations pile up.

2018-Oct-04, 11:36 PM
Haven't seen the replacement for Eukaryotes yet.

2018-Oct-05, 12:50 AM
Haven't seen the replacement for Eukaryotes yet.

Why would it be "replaced"? Sharks and horseshoe crabs are highly successful, adaptive organisms. They don't need replacement. Neither do Eukaryotes. Evolution is not goal oriented beyond reproductive capacity.