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Next: Evolutionary Progress Up: Evolution and Life Previous: The Origin of Life

The Pattern of Life

At this stage it is worth stepping back from the debate over definitions of life from the point of view of individual organisms, and considering the way in which life has evolved on Earth on a larger scale. We are interested in the fundamental question of which features of evolution we might expect to be universal (and therefore be apparent in any evolutionary system, natural or artificial), and which features are due to mere contingencies in the particular history of life on our planet (cf. the discussion of sex and species in Section 2.1.1). These considerations will affect the expectations we should have for how an evolutionary process might unfold in an artificial system.


Tim Taylor