Evolution is the process of change of the entire information content of the ecosystem — over time.
We all understand time, and the important thing here is that time does not go backwards, nor does it stop. I do not know why. Ask a physicist if you want to talk about that. What I know is — it’s one of the laws of our living ecosystem. Time stops for no living thing. If God created the ecosystem, then it is one of God’s laws.
So that takes care of time. We can not change what is already behind us. Furthermore, evolution does not happen in the future, or rather it WILL happen in the future, but it is what is happening in this very moment of time that affects what will happen in the next moment of time. The only thing that actually is changing is NOW.
The information content of the ecosystem is usually thought of as the “gene pool.” You could quibble about this and say that there are other forms of information, but I am talking about the primary source of information in the ecosystem that changes in response to whatever conditions exist at each moment in time. That information is all the genes that exist in this moment of time.
The ecosystem is the largest unit of life as we know it on earth. The information of life is the genes. The gene pool of a population is all the genes in that population, the gene pool of a species is all the genes in all the organisms of that species; the gene pool of the ecosystem is all the genes in the ecosystem. You have only two genes of each kind. So does everyone else. So forget the delusions of grandeur. The impact of any one person on the gene pool of the ecosystem is tinier than tiny. Even if you kill off all your enemies and even if you are more fit than Superman, your impact on the gene pool is still unmeasurably small. Survival of the Fittest is an excuse for people like Hitler. It doesn’t work that way.
The third word in the definition is CHANGE. Change in the gene pool over time IS evolution. What causes this change? No person knows, and unless you are a person who can understand all the genes in all the organisms in the ecosystem, and all the ways in which they interact to allow the ecosystem to be alive — then there is no way for you to know scientifically what causes evolution, beyond what we have already said. There is a change in the gene pool. That is, a change in the information content of the living ecosystem.
Now it gets complicated, because the gene pool (through it’s organisms) changes in response to the ecosystem environment. That sounds like a cycle, doesn’t it, with the environment on one side and the gene pool on the other. The gene pool is necessary for the environment and the environment is necessary for the gene pool, and this is true. But it is not a cycle because of the element of time. If the gene pool changes in response to the environment — then the gene pool is changed, and it can not go back in time to what it was before. Therefore, in the next moment of time (or more likely the next generation of organisms) the relationship between the gene pool and the environment is different, because the gene pool is different. And that makes the environment different. And the environment influences the gene pool in the next following generation. So it’s not a cycle, like the carbon cycle, that happens over and over again in the same way. It’s more like a figure 8 with infinite potential to continue, if it does not destroy its own environment. Or its own gene pool.
So to this guy on wall street who is puffing out his chest and gloating that he is contributing to survival of the fittest because his company has grown 100?
THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS.
What that guy has done to us all is essentially the same as what Bernie Madoff did to his investors. Because the ecosystem does not honor Ponzi schemes, nor does it honor growth. The ecosystem survives on BALANCE.
Balance between the gene pool and the environment; balance in all the interactions between all the species in the gene pool of the ecosystem; balance of all the nutrients and other chemicals that cycle around so that we may have life; and balance between input and output. That economist who is going around claiming to be a boon to mankind — what he has done by growing 100% is to contribute to the UN-BALANCE of the ecosystem. He has taken out more resources than she can sustainably produce and destroyed species that are required for her balance, and even changed the weather for goodness sake, and he thinks he has done a good thing because he is a big fat macho “winner.”
That guy who is richer and more important than any other person on wall street — measured according to the natural law that allows life to exist — is one of the most UNFIT people on earth. He and his friends have gone halfway to changing the ecosystem into a desert. He will be dead and gone; his legacy will be huger and thirst.
Because he chose to rally behind a silly slogan about survival of the fittest instead of finding out how it really does work.