Generalising darwinian evolution by using its smallest-scale representation as a foundation

Gerard A.J.M. Jagers op Akkerhuis*, Hendrik Pieter Spijkerboer, Hans Peter Koelewijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Latin word evolvere means to unroll. As unrolling is a very general concept, the sensu lato interpretation of evolution has become a catchall for many different dynamic phenomena in nature. While zooming in on part of this broad context, this chapter focuses on the Darwinian kind of evolution. The structure of Darwinian evolution was analysed in Chap. 4, resulting in the identifi cation of an object-based graphpattern for Darwinian evolution at the smallest scale. The hypothesis of this book is that, because of its irreducible complexity, a defi nition at the smallest scale can serve as a reference for a range of extensions, which defi ne a family of related patterns of Darwinian evolution. To test this hypothesis, several extensions of the pattern in the smallest form are explored. The results offer a new perspective on the proposition of generalised Darwinism that evolutionary phenomena in different domains can be viewed as identical in their basic structure if they are analysed at a suffi ciently abstract level of analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution and Transitions in Complexity: The Science of Hierarchical Organization in Nature
EditorsGerard A.J.M. Jagers op Akkerhuis
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)9783319438023
ISBN (Print)9783319438016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Evolution at the smallest scale
  • Evolution theory
  • Extended synthesis
  • Generalised darwinism
  • Ontology


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